Partner Jeff Sklar's expertise lies with individuals and start-ups as well as emerging and middle market companies.

(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-At a time when there are more players chasing deals than there are deals to chase, a trend toward large institutions and private-equity firms partnering up with smaller or “middle-market” players is emerging, Andrew Kirsh, founding partner of newly formed corporate and transactional real estate law firm Sklar Kirsh LLP here, tells GlobeSt.com. Kirsh says most players in the L.A. real estate market are classified as middle market, but the deals they do are just as sophisticated as those done by the larger firms.

“Where these middle-market players are partnering up and JVing with those large institutions, they need someone to represent them—particularly when partnering up with large capital providers.”

That’s where Kirsh says he and partner Jeff Sklar come in with their new firm, which, as GlobeSt.com reported earlier today, focuses on the middle-market players. “The private-equity companies are flush with a lot of capital. They have a lot of dry powder and they have to push it out and invest, but they’re having trouble finding deals. They’re relying on local operators, experts in their asset class, to partner up with them. The institutions would provide a large majority of capital, and my clients are closer to the ground, able to find the deals and need their capital to take advantage of these opportunities.”

Kirsh says deals are hard to find for these private-equity groups, so they’re relying on partners with boots on the ground in their respective markets to find them. “There are a lot of private-equity companies sitting on a lot of cash who need to find deals and are aggressively pursuing those deals by partnering up with local operators. They are asking attorneys, CPAs and other contacts of theirs to make introductions to these more middle-market real estate operating companies.”

Kirsh adds that after not doing a great number of deals between 2008 and 2011, “this pent-up demand had to get released, and the investors of the private-equity companies are insisting that their money be allocated, but the private-equity companies don’t want to make a mistake and lose investors’ money. They’re being diligent in finding these local deals. They’re relying on a narrow subset within their specialty. They’re not looking for a general practitioner—they’re looking for a heart surgeon.”

Are you a middle-market player who’s noticed that large institutions are pursuing JVs with you? Tell us your story in the box below.