Susan Hori, Esq.

Partner, Land Use
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Susan Hori’s practice focuses on obtaining land use development entitlements for landowners and developers, including local land use approvals, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance, and state and federal regulatory agency permits for real estate development projects. The hallmark of Susan’s practice is her track record of success in navigating the complex process of multiagency permits and approvals. Her clients include landowners, financial institutions, developers and builders in the residential, retail, hotel/resort, and commercial and industrial development industries.

Susan has represented clients on issues involving CEQA, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the California Coastal Act, Section 404 permitting under the Clean Water Act, National Historic Preservation Act compliance and Endangered Species Act permitting, including work on habitat conservation plans.

Susan also serves as the administrative partner of Manatt’s Orange County office and is a member of the firm’s land use practice. She has also served on the firm’s Board of Directors.

Susan has been repeatedly recognized as a “distinguished land use practitioner” by Chambers and Partners. According to the Chambers USA 2019 guide, she is “well versed in advising on entitlements and CEQA compliance aspects of residential and commercial developments.” Sources praise her as “very knowledgeable” and say she “provides reliable advice.” Susan has also been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2005, and has been named a Top 25 “Land Use Leader” by the Daily Journal.

Prior to entering private practice, Susan clerked for the Alaska Supreme Court and served as an attorney with the Solicitor’s Office in the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., where she represented the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


  • University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, J.D., 1979 Managing Editor, Ecology Law Quarterly, 1978-1979
    Moot Court Board, 1978-1979
  • University of Washington, B.A., magna cum laude, 1976

Memberships and Activities

  • Admitted to practice in California and Washington, D.C.
  • Member, Board of Directors of Orange County Business Council and Co-Chair, Workforce Housing Committee
  • Member, ULI Orange County/Inland Empire District Advisory Board
  • Member, Chief Executive Roundtable at University of California, Irvine
  • Member, Board of Directors of Arts Orange County
  • Member, Board of Directors of the Orange County Forum
  • Member, Dean’s Council of the School of Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine
  • Member, Dean’s Council, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, University of California, Irvine
  • Conference Co-Coordinator, UCLA Extension, Land Use Law and Planning Conference, 1998–2018
  • Executive Committee Member and Legislation Co-Chair, State Bar of California, Environmental Law Section, 1997–2000; Executive Committee Advisor, 2000–2006; Member, Legislation Committee, 2000–2006
  • Executive Committee Member, State Bar of California, Real Property Section, 1987–1992

Honors and Awards

  • Named Lawyer of the Year, Orange County Land Use & Zoning Law, by Best Lawyers®, 2019
  • Top Women Lawyers in California, Daily Journal, 2016
  • Named Lawyer of the Year, Orange County Real Estate Law, Best Lawyers, 2016
  • Distinguished Fellow, Department of Planning, Policy and Design, University of California, Irvine, 2015–2016
  • Top 50 Development, Land Use and Municipal Infrastructure Lawyers, Daily Journal, 2014
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2010–2020
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2005–2021
  • Named one of California’s Top 25 Land Use Leaders, Daily Journal, 2011
  • The Legal 500, 2008–2009
  • Named one of SoCal’s Most Influential Women in Real Estate, Real Estate Southern California, 2005


  • Obtained approvals for the development of a wetlands restoration project and mitigation bank, and a new oil production facility in the coastal zone of the city of Long Beach. Local and Coastal Commission entitlements included zone change, local coastal program amendment, coastal development permit and certification of the Environmental Impact Review (EIR).
  • Successfully re-entitled over 2,400 acres located adjacent to the Lytle Creek Wash in San Bernardino County. The entitlements included adoption of a new specific plan and a pre-annexation and development agreement, and certification of the EIR for 8,400 residential units and 849,420 square feet of commercial development.
  • Represented a commercial industrial developer in entitling over 5 million square feet of warehouse distribution and business park uses in the Inland Empire. The entitlements included general plan amendments, specific plan adoption, subdivision maps, development agreements and EIR certifications.
  • Represented a national beverage company in obtaining entitlements for a new bottling facility in San Bernardino County. Entitlements included CEQA compliance, parcel map, precise plan and utility agreements.
  • Represented a landowner/developer in obtaining land use entitlements and local, state and federal permits for its master-planned residential development in Orange County, which included major infrastructure improvements (roads and flood control channel) and new infrastructure construction. The permits and approvals obtained were from numerous regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Regional Water Quality Control Board, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The land use entitlements included adoption of a specific plan, subdivision maps, resource agency conservation easements, a development agreement and EIR certification.
  • Represented a landowner/developer in obtaining land use entitlements for a 3,000-acre master- planned community in Riverside County, which included a major transportation corridor improvement and extensive areas of habitat preservation. The land use entitlements included a general plan amendment, a specific plan and certification of an EIR.
  • Represented an S&P 100 company and the largest real estate company in the United States in obtaining the necessary development permit modifications and CEQA documentation for the renovation and expansion of one of the company’s largest shopping malls in Southern California.
  • Represented a religious order in entitling a 100-acre ranch in connection with the development of a new church and school in the Silverado Canyon area of Orange County. The entitlements included a site development permit, a use permit and certification of the EIR.
  • Represented a diversified national real estate organization in obtaining all land use entitlements and local, state and federal permits in connection with the development of a 582-room luxury hotel located on more than 100 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean.