Graduating from Harvard Law School, Bob's legal career began at Chicago law firm Levy and Erens. There, Bob had an opportunity, rarely if ever offered today's novice lawyer, to practice, grow and succeed in nearly every category of the law, including litigation, real estate, corporate, securities, tax, estate planning and bankruptcy. Today, he brings that breadth of experience to his mediation and arbitration practices, as well as to the clients of his law practice.

Legal Services

He has tried cases and briefed and argued appeals (see, for example, Johnson v. Nationwide Industries, Inc., 715 F.2d 1333 (7th Cir. 1983) (antitrust appeal) and People v. Community Hospital of Evanston, 108 Ill.App. 3d (1st Dist. 1982)).

He also represented clients in a wide variety of business transactions, in such
matters as:

  • formation of business entities and creating governance structures
  • buying and selling ongoing businesses
  • engaging in financing transactions, representing both borrowers and institutional lenders
  • income tax planning
  • acquiring and disposing of real estate
  • negotiating and documenting leases
  • reaching and documenting agreements among partners and shareholders of various businesses regarding governance and succession issues
  • estate planning and preparing wills and trusts
  • bankruptcy

As a specific example of matters Bob handled during this period, he was responsible for all legal aspects of the formation of First Oakbrook Bancshares, Inc., a multi-bank holding company resulting from the consolidation of ownership of several smaller banks, and the issuance of its shares, including all corporate, bank regulatory and securities regulation legal issues. Similarly, he represented a Chicago homeowner who rented his home as a set for the shooting of the movie "Thief"; he prepared and negotiated the agreement between the homeowner and the movie production company, and then, when the home was burned by a fire during the shooting, handled the litigation with the insurance company that resulted in a settlement. His experience in all these areas gives him particular strength as a mediator and practitioner.

In 1984, he started his own practice, first as a sole practitioner and then as a partner in the firm of Berliner and Krasnow. At that firm, he represented clients in a wide range of personal and business activities, including manufacturing and service companies, real estate developers and entrepreneurs, and individuals. His practice had much the same breadth as at his former law firm, including corporate and securities matters, all phases of the real estate business, taxation, estate planning, and bankruptcy.

Representative clients included:

  • Homart Development Co. (then a subsidiary of Sears Roebuck)
  • JMB Realty Corporation
  • Urban Investment and Development Company
  • Tishman Speyer Properties

In 1989, Bob made the shift from private practice to corporate legal practice when he joined the Jupiter family of companies, founded by the late Jerrold Wexler. He served as partner and general counsel for Jupiter Realty Corporation, a full-service real estate development and investment firm. During that time, Jupiter Realty developed and/or acquired millions of square feet of retail and office space and thousands of hotel rooms and apartments across the country, at a cost of over $500 million. In his capacity as general counsel, he handled (or supervised outside counsel in the handling of) all aspects of the company's legal affairs, including acquisitions, financings, dispositions, leasing, joint ventures and litigation.

At the same time, Bob was a senior officer and general counsel of Jupiter Industries, Inc., a diversified conglomerate with revenues of over $1 billion and interests in construction and engineering, transportation, retailing, insurance, manufacturing and real estate. He was responsible for all the company's legal affairs and, in that capacity, handled or supervised outside counsel in connection with acquisitions and dispositions of operating businesses, financings, employment issues, contracts, leases and all the myriad legal issues that can arise in connection with a complex set of businesses. He reported to the company's board of directors on legal and corporate matters. He also acted as co-counsel or supervised outside counsel in connection with various litigation matters, including two major lawsuits that were settled in mediation.

Bob returned to private practice in 1997. He represents entrepreneurial clients in a variety of business matters, especially in the real estate business. He has spent the majority of his time since 1997 in various real estate and business ventures and developing his practice as a mediator, but he has continued to maintain an active law practice. He also provides legal services to various ventures in which he also acts as a principal. He has also become a sought-after expert witness in cases involving real estate and legal malpractice in real estate matters.

To learn more about Bob’s legal expertise and approach, contact him directly.