Willkie Adds Prominent Real Estate Finance Lawyer Krystyna Blakeslee

September 8, 2020

New York, NY (September 8, 2020) --- Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP today announced that Krystyna M. Blakeslee has joined the Firm as a partner in the Firm’s Real Estate Department. She is based in the firm’s New York office, and will serve as Chair of the Real Estate Finance practice group.

“Krystyna is a widely respected and accomplished practitioner in the real estate finance space,” said Thomas Henry, Co-Chair of the firm's Real Estate Department. “As our clients continue to adapt to this year’s widespread market changes, including as it relates to financing arrangements, Krystyna’s substantial knowledge of the commercial real estate finance and CMBS markets will enhance our team’s capabilities and services we provide to our clients. We are delighted to welcome her to our team.”

Ms. Blakeslee focuses her practice on commercial real estate finance and investment. She has particular concentrations in the origination, acquisition and disposition (including securitization and syndication) of mortgage loans, mezzanine financings and subordinate debt, post-closing modifications, and loan sales and purchases. She is experienced in financings for data centers, retail, office, hospitality, nursing care and condominiums, as well as construction financing, TIC structures and ground lease transactions. She also leads joint venture investments and advises funds in connection with their real estate investment and financing activities. Ms. Blakeslee has also represented investment banks, life insurance companies, commercial banks, institutional investors, loan servicers, joint ventures, and private equity funds in restructuring and workout of complex distressed-debt structures.

“Willkie’s market-leading transactional capabilities and collaborative real estate platform complement my practice and client base well,” said Ms. Blakeslee. “I look forward to collaborating with lawyers across Willkie’s offices to further the Firm’s real estate finance capabilities.”

Ms. Blakeslee joins Willkie from Dechert, where she was a partner in the finance and real estate group. She was previously a law clerk for the Honorable Alan H. W. Shiff of the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Connecticut, and served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, including serving in Iraq. The Legal 500 (U.S.) (2020) recognized her as a leading practitioner in real estate, citing her as a “standout.” In 2018, she was recognized as a “Working Mother of the Year” in the October/November issue of Working Mother. Ms. Blakeslee is currently an editorial board member of the CRE Finance Council and is co-managing editor for CREFC Finance World™. She is also co-chair of the CREFC Finance Counsel’s working group on High Volatility Commercial Real Estate loans.

Ms. Blakeslee received a BA from University of Connecticut. She earned a JD (High Honors) from University of Connecticut School of Law where she was the recipient of CALI excellence awards, the Women’s Law Student Association’s Pro Bono Service Award, the John M. Noonan Award for outstanding scholarship and the University of Connecticut School of Law pro bono award.

About Willkie’s Real Estate Department

Willkie represents a diverse group of U.S. and non-U.S. clients in real estate transactions throughout the United States and internationally. We are actively involved in numerous complex real estate transactions involving high-profile projects for a broad range of clients, including developers, public and private real estate companies, institutional investors, money-center banks, private equity sponsors and hedge funds. The team regularly advises large institutional clients on multibillion-dollar transactions, organizes public and private REITs, and advises on operating company/property company transactions, REIT mergers and acquisitions, equity offerings and securitized financings, as well as other transactions involving public and private capital markets.

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Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is an international law firm of approximately 750 attorneys with offices in New York, Washington, Houston, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Chicago, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Brussels, Milan and Rome. The Firm is headquartered in New York City at 787 Seventh Avenue.

Tel: 212.728.8000.