Kirkland & Ellis bolsters NY real estate team

Two former White & Case lawyers have joined the law firm's real estate practice group.

Kirkland & Ellis has hired two lawyers from White & Case to bolster its real estate practice. Scott Berger and Jonathan Schechter have joined the firm’s New York office as partners.

Berger and Schechter both join Kirkland from the New York office of White & Case, where Berger was the global head of the firm’s real estate practice group and Schechter was a partner. “We could not pass up the opportunity to combine our practice with Kirkland's private equity, investment funds and restructuring practices,” said Berger in a statement on why he and Schechter joined Kirkland.

“Scott and Jonathan have a diverse practice that fits well into Kirkland's existing transactional groups, our real estate practice and our global footprint,” said Jeffrey Hammes, chairman of Kirkland’s global management executive committee, in a statement. “Their experience will expand our ability to assist clients with their complex real estate transactions.”

The addition of Berger and Schechter follows Kirkland's recent efforts to strengthen its real estate team by hiring lawyers with extensive real estate experience. Indeed, in late April, the firm brought on board Kelly Ryan as a real estate partner in its Chicago office.

Berger joined White & Case in 1987 and has represented equity investors, investment funds, developers, lenders and owners in deals that include joint ventures, financings, acquisitions, developments and dispositions of all types of commercial and residential properties. Schechter joined White & Case in 2005 from Sullivan & Cromwell and has advised clients on distressed real estate debt and equity investments.