Kirkland Ellis Hires New Partner for Real Estate Practice (Los Angeles)

Kirkland & Ellis has brought on Robert Keane Jr., a former vice chair of Paul Hastings’ real estate practice, to bolster its real estate ranks in Los Angeles.

Keane, who practiced at Paul Hastings for 22 years, has made the move to Kirkland in its downtown Los Angeles office as a partner in the real estate practice group.

“I had been at Paul Hastings for my entire career. It’s a great firm, and I have many close friends and colleagues there,” Keane said. “But Kirkland offered me a unique opportunity on an incredible platform for private equity real estate work. The chance to work across that platform and enhance the business even further is very appealing.”

Keane said he is excited to work with his new Kirkland colleagues, including partner Kevin Ehrhart, whom he has known for many years, and Albert Stemp, who joined the firm in June from Proskauer Rose, to enhance the firm’s real estate practice.

Keane concentrates his practice primarily on the representation of private equity firms, opportunity funds and other clients in complex real estate-related transactions. According to Keane, over the past two decades, the real estate industry in Los Angeles has become more global.

“In 2019, a major real estate asset in Los Angeles is more likely to be owned and/or financed by a sovereign wealth fund, foreign investor or global bank than by a local investor or developer,” he said. “So, the real estate business has had to learn to compete on a global scale and the attorneys who are active in this market have had to adapt as well.”

Jeffrey Hammes, chairman of Kirkland’s global management executive committee, said in a statement that Keane is a leader in the private equity real estate space.

“Kirkland is committed to growing our transactional offerings on the West Coast, and Bob’s extensive experience advising on market-leading private equity real estate transactions will be invaluable to our clients in Los Angeles and beyond,” Hammes said.