Kevin Block has been practicing law for over 30 years in large firms, small firms, and now with his son. His practice focuses on land use, real estate and business matters, both transactions and litigation.
For nearly 10 years, Mr. Block practiced law in Russia, where he advised blue chip banks, investment funds and multinational corporations on a wide range of projects, including corporate acquisitions, joint ventures, real estate development, debt and equity financing, governmental affairs and regulatory matters.
Mr. Block acted as outside counsel to Deutsche Telekom, Cargill, Weyerhaeuser, Alcoa Aluminum, Daewoo, Bank of Austria, INVESCO Funds, Sea-Land, Alaska Airlines and Mitsui. He advised foreign and domestic government agencies, including the U.S. State Department, the State of Washington, and the Russian Federation Privatization Committee.
For many years, Mr. Block served as counsel to the Soros Foundation, established by philanthropist George Soros to promote democratic change in Russia and Eastern Europe. He also represented the late leveraged buyout artist, Sir James Goldsmith, on numerous acquisitions in emerging markets across the former Soviet Union.
Mr. Block has litigated multiple complex cross-border actions. He was lead counsel to American investors in arbitration proceedings against Ukraine under the U.S.-Ukraine Bilateral Investment Treaty. Mr. Block has qualified as an expert witness in U.S. courts on Russian law.
A native of Napa Valley, Mr. Block returned from Europe in 1998. Today, his practice focuses on the wine industry, with an emphasis on land use, state and federal court litigation, and complex business transactions. Mr. Block regularly represents clients in real estate acquisitions, corporate restructuring, and land use litigation, and has achieved favorable results in breach of contract, unfair competition, easement, employment, trust and estate, environmental and trademark disputes.
In 2003, after serving two years on the Planning Commission, Mr. Block was elected to a four-year term on the Napa City Council, where he was known as a forceful advocate for the City’s economic renaissance. As a Council member, he played a key role in numerous development projects in and around the City and in improving relations between the City and County governments.
Mr. Block represented the City at the Napa County League of Governments, LAFCO, the Napa County Transportation Agency, the Airport Industrial Area Committee, and other commissions and joint power agencies. During his last two years in office, he was elected Vice Mayor by his Council colleagues. He continues to maintain the many friendships he made in public service.
Mr. Block was formerly a partner with Holme, Roberts & Owen, a 250-lawyer firm headquartered in Denver, Colorado. He holds degrees from NYU Law School, Columbia University, and Oberlin College. Fluent in Russian, Mr. Block lives in Napa with his wife of 25 years, Tanya, and their three sons.
Roman Block was born in Vladivostok, Russia. In 1998, he moved with his American father and Russian mother to Napa, California, where he completed high school. After graduating from U.C. Santa Cruz with a bachelor’s degree in 2009, Roman obtained a paralegal certificate from UCLA and worked as a paralegal for three years in Los Angeles, most recently with the firm of Herzfeld & Rubin. He graduated from Whittier Law School with honors in 2015, was admitted to the California bar that year, and has since been practicing with his father. In addition to expanding the firm’s wine law practice, Roman has represented well-known movie and TV personalities in negotiating entertainment contracts and licensing their names. He has also developed particular expertise in the fast-emerging field of cannabis law.