Terry Giles

Terry Giles was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State University at Fullerton and his Jurist Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law, where there is now a Terry M. Giles Honor Scholar. In 1975, he established what would become one of the largest and most successful criminal law firms on the West Coast. Some of Giles’ clients have included Richard Pryor, Kenneth Lay, J. Howard Marshall III and Martin Luther King Jr.’s remaining children. In 1983, Terry withdrew from the firm, disillusioned with the criminal legal system.

Starting over, he took a small Toyota dealership and built it into the fifth largest in the world. He then helped build a Canon copier distributorship into the third largest in the country and negotiated the sale of ComputerLand, a company with $2.5 billion in annual sales. He also reestablished his legal practice, but this time focused exclusively on civil trial matters and only for clients and causes that he believed in. In 2008 he was runner up for “National Jury Trial Lawyer of the Year” for his work in the Catholic predator priest cases in California.

Through the course of his career, he has bought/built 35 companies in a variety of industries. Today, his company, Giles Enterprises, has diversified interests in biotech, time management, European 5-Star hotels and restaurants, and financial portfolio investments. Part of his portfolio includes the Chateau Eza on the Mediterranean French Coast and Grand Hotel Son Net on Mallorca in Spain.

He is chairman of Landmark Worldwide Corporation, a San Francisco-based enterprise with 43 offices in 20 countries and Pacific Biomarkers, a diagnostic laboratory enterprise in Seattle. Additionally, Terry serves on the Boards of Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, the Pepperdine University Board of Regents, and The Giles O’Malley Foundation.

Terry has received the Medal of Honor Alumni Award from Pepperdine University, Alumnus of the Year from Pepperdine University School of Law, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Award, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award of California State University of Fullerton. He further serves as an adjunct professor of law at Pepperdine University School of Law.

3 words to describe Nature? 

Beautiful. Powerful. Terrifying.

3 things Nature taught you? 




3 most treasured Nature spots? 

Red Wood Forrest in California

The deserts of Arizona

The canyons and rock formations of Utah and Colorado

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 


When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 


When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...? 

In awe

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 


When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 


When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...? 


Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

Mountain. The majestic nature of mountains inspires me.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

8, except when I am in it. Then it is definitely a 10.

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

Even as a kid, it occurred to me that we have a finite number of sunsets in our life.  We do not know in advance how many that is, but I try to make sure to enjoy each one as much as I can.