Your CGS3 Team > Phil Jelsma


Phil Jelsma


Email [email protected]

Direct 858.367.7675

Phil Jelsma


  • J.D. Stanford Law School
  • B.S., magna cum laude, Business Administration, University
    of Southern California, Dean’s List

Bar Admissions

  • California
Phil Jelsma. Top 25

When you need someone who knows how to build a strong legal foundation for your real estate project, look to Phil Jelsma. Phil applies his strategic advice, tax counsel and transactional support on entity formation and joint ventures to protect your interests, minimize your tax liabilities and ensure the long-term success of your project.

With over 30 years of experience in structuring sophisticated real estate and business transactions, Phil brings to CGS3 a deep knowledge of real estate exchanges, syndications, nonprofit corporations and international tax planning. His practice focuses on limited liability company (LLC) and partnership business and tax planning, with an emphasis on real estate and nonprofit corporations.

“Entity formation is about putting like-minded people together to achieve a common goal. My goal is to help clients build a legal foundation that sets them up for success.”

Phil’s extensive experience supporting corporate mergers and acquisitions includes representing buyers and sellers in consolidations, stock and asset purchases, management buyouts, and related transactions. He also advises on entity formation, fiduciary duties, inter-partner relationships, the issuance of stock and other ownership interests, recapitalizations and reorganizations, officer and director issues, corporate governance, stock option and appreciation rights plans, and contract preparation.

Prior to joining CGS3, Phil was a partner in the San Diego offices of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps LLP (now Dentons).

As part of his legal practice, Phil serves as an expert witness in partnership and LLC disputes, particularly fiduciary duty and allocation issues, and attorney standards of care. He also has served for three years on the Executive Committee of the Taxation Section of the California State Bar, and is an active participant in ABA tax subcommittees. Since 1989, Phil has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he specializes in tax law.


Professional & Community Involvement
  • Opportunity Zone Magazine, OZ Writers Council (2019-Present)
  • Veterans Medical Research Foundation, Chairman of the Board
  • Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research, Board Member
  • Veterans Research Alliance, Board Member
  • CONNECT, Board Member and Executive Committee Member
  • AKAL Enterprise Team, Advisor
  • The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, Advisor
  • Rise Up Industries, Volunteer
  • Columbia Sin Borders, Volunteer
  • Cristo Rey Site Selection Committee, Volunteer
  • Editor-in-Chief, California Tax Lawyer (1992-1993)
  • Best Lawyers in America – San Diego,” Tax Law, Best Lawyers (US News & World Report) (2011-2021)
  • San Diego Super Lawyers (2011-2020)
  • Top 25 OZ Influencers: Attorneys,” Opportunity Zone Magazine (2019-2020)
  • “Lawyer of the Year – San Diego,” Tax Law, Best Lawyers (US News & World Report) (2016, 2019)
  • “50 Influential Leaders,” The Daily Transcript(2018)
  • “Top Lawyers,” San Diego Magazine(2018)
  • Top 50: 2017 San Diego Super Lawyers (2017)
  • “2017 Top Lawyers,” International Taxation, San Diego Magazine(2017)
  • “San Diego’s Best Attorneys,” Tax, San Diego Metro Magazine(2011, 2015)
  • AV Preeminent Rating, Tax, Martindale-Hubbell