Real Estate Finance chair Krystyna Blakeslee and Litigation partner LaRue Robinson were recognized as Notable Veteran Executives by Crain’s New York and Crain’s Chicago Business respectively. The lists recognize those who forged remarkable civilian careers following their military service.
Krystyna Blakeslee guides global banks and other large lenders through complex real estate financings. She recently led a $500 million CMBS loan secured by a portfolio of 86 industrial properties across the U.S., $490 million mortgage loan secured by real property in the Northeast and $500 million forward purchase facility for a global lender to provide acquisition financing to properties. She is a former U.S. Marine Corps sergeant and leads the Firm’s Veterans Affinity Group. Krystyna has represented veterans honorably discharged because of post-traumatic stress disorder in pro bono cases in which they sought improved disability coverage or benefits.
LaRue Robinson is a litigation partner managing trials and investigation matters in federal and state courts. In 2020, he headed an internal investigation of reported workplace racial mistreatment and was co-counsel in a pro bono case with the ACLU and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund regarding South Carolina’s absentee voting laws. At Willkie, he leads efforts to increase the efforts to recruit veterans, and more broadly, helps former JAG Corps lawyers transition to the private sector. He joined the Army as a ROTC scholarship recipient and rose to the rank of captain. After law school, he joined the Army JAG Corps, serving as a lead administrative and labor law attorney for the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, military magistrate for Fort Knox and lead prosecutor for the 3rd Chemical Brigade.