(Save the dates: RealShare Apartments East comes to the Hyatt Regency in Miami, FL, on February 26, and RealShare Los Angeles comes to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, CA, on March 27.)
LOS ANGELES-Corporate transactional attorney Jeff Sklar and Andrew Kirsh, former partner with Beverly Hills, CA-based firm Raines Feldman, have founded Sklar Kirsh LLP, a corporate and real estate transactional firm here. The firm aims to provide a full slate of corporate, securities, M&A, real estate and finance capabilities that combine sophisticated legal services and exceptional value.
Kirsh, an experienced commercial real estate transactional attorney, tells GlobeSt.com that while it was difficult to leave Raines Feldman, he and Sklar were noticing a demand in the market that wasn’t being met by the larger law firms. “The last year was a very, very active year, culminating with an extremely active fourth quarter. With that, we’ve noticed that our clients, a growing number of them, were demanding sophisticated legal services—more so now than ever, given a lot of change in laws and changing ways to structure deals. But with the rates of law firms increasing every year, our clients and real estate companies just simply can’t afford that size legal fees any more. They don’t want to sacrifice in their legal services, but they don’t want to be paying the large rates that the large firms are charging.”
Sklar’s clients come from around the country and range in size from individuals and start-ups to emerging and middle-market companies. His expertise covers a wide range of industries, including alternative energy, automotive, banking, consumer products, digital media, entertainment, food and beverage, healthcare, hospitality, logistics, private equity, professional services, public relations, real estate and technology.
Kirsh and Sklar decided to merge their practices, forming a premier transactional-based law firm filled with lawyers that come from nationally and internationally recognized law firms and who have the pedigree of the top 10 or 20 law schools that clients expect for much better value. “Our client base ranges from national institutions to regional family offices, local operators and syndicators and high-net-worth individuals,” says Kirsh. “We’re doing deals that large law firms would be doing, and we go up against large law firms in JV agreements all the time. These are transactions that have purchase prices of $10 million to $50 million—they’re not small deals. With that said, we’ll also be able to handle deals for under $10 million that larger firms would not be able to work on.”
Sklar Kirsh will focus on the middle-market real estate industry in L.A., Kirsh adds. “The large financial institutions, banks and the largest of private-equity firms are going to continue to use large international law firms, but the vast majority of real estate players in this community are middle market.”
As GlobeSt.com previously reported, Kirsh was among the 40 rising stars Real Estate Forum editors selected from among more than 250 nominations. All 40 have in common a commitment to real estate excellence and to making an impact on their chosen fields. Read about them in the October 2012 issue of Real Estate Forum.
Read our update later today to find out how large private-equity firms are partnering with middle-market players to find deals.