Willkie Expands Real Estate Finance Group with Addition of Noah Bilenker

March 15, 2021

New York, NY (March 15, 2021) --- Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP today announced that Noah Bilenker has joined the Firm as a partner in the Firm’s Real Estate Department. He is based in Willkie’s New York office, and will be a part of the Real Estate Finance practice group. Mr. Bilenker was previously Director and GC at Mesa West Capital, the asset management division of Morgan Stanley.

At Mesa West, Mr. Bilenker led transactional management and strategy for the firm, as well as helped to drive operational and investor matters and compliance. With significant real estate finance and legal experience, his role as GC helped strategically guide transactions for the organization while also ensuring effective risk management. Mr. Bilenker’s experience includes all aspects of real estate finance including development, sales and acquisitions, leasing, land use, distressed debt sales and financings, and joint ventures, in addition to real estate finance and workouts. He is particularly skilled in fund-level work, including financings, subscriptions lines, acquisitions and joint ventures.

“Noah is a talented and well-regarded practitioner in the real estate industry, known for effectively bridging the gap between dealmakers and counsel to meet transactional and organizational goals,” said Thomas Henry, Co-Chair of the firm's Real Estate Department. “As our clients continue to navigate the current real estate market changes and volatility, Noah’s experience and in-house perspective will enhance our finance offerings to clients.”

Krystyna Blakeslee, partner and chair of Willkie’s Real Estate Finance group commented: “Noah adds tremendous bench strength to our growing real estate finance team, rounding out Willkie’s firm’s platform as a one-stop shop for real estate finance work. His in-house experience and business-focused approach provides an extremely valuable set of skills for our broad client base. We are delighted to welcome him to the firm.”

At Mesa West, Mr. Bilenker ensured consistency across the all facets of the organization and helped steer the successful acquisition by Morgan Stanley of Mesa West in 2018. During his tenure, he advised on all originations and capital markets transactions. He also provided leverage and expertise for the originations team as the firm grew from a single closed end fund to an advisor lending across multiple vehicles offering various loan programs. Prior to Mesa West, he was a member of the real estate department of two different international law firms, and also served as Vice President and GC of Zamir Equities, a real estate investment firm.

“I am excited to join Willkie’s talented team of real estate attorneys and the firm’s growing real estate finance practice,” said Mr. Bilenker. “I was particularly drawn to Willkie’s culture and collaborative environment and the solution-oriented approach of its attorneys. The firm’s integrated approach to real estate transactions complements my practice well and I am looking forward to contributing to the firm’s transactional capabilities to further continued success for clients.

Mr. Bilenker received a BA from University of Pennsylvania and an MS in real estate finance from New York University. He earned a JD from Columbia Law School where was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and served on the Columbia Business Law Review.

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.