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About Bernard

Focused and practical real estate development and investment counsel

Bernard Kearney is a real estate lawyer who advises clients in a variety of industries on real estate transactions. With clients including regional, national and multinational corporations, REITs and private equity funds, Bernard focuses on:

  • Commercial land development
  • Real estate investments
  • Construction
  • Leasing

Bernard works closely with his clients to understand their real estate and other business needs and to structure and develop transactions that meet their objectives.

Experience in Action

  • Representing private equity clients in asset acquisition, private placement offerings to investors, financing, developing and leasing.
  • Advising corporate clients on purchases, sales, leasing and other issues related to their real estate portfolios.
  • Negotiating and drafting complex limited liability company operating agreements, partnership and joint venture agreements for real estate projects and investments, including representing sponsors and developers in partnerships with institutional investors.
  • Representing owners and developers in construction and development of multi-family and mixed-use facilities, including entitlement work, TIF negotiation and construction agreements.
  • Representing owners, investors, sellers and tenants in sale leaseback transactions, including purchase, leasing, institutional financing and build-to-suit leases.
  • Advising REITs regarding purchases and sales and financing of portfolio properties.
  • Serving as borrower’s counsel in HUD loan transactions.


  • Served as principal counsel for multiple private equity real estate funds in connection with the acquisition of over $300 million of assets in the Midwest.
  • Ongoing representation of an international manufacturing client in connection with all legal aspects of its corporate real estate portfolio in excess of 50 million square feet of space.
  • Served as borrower’s counsel for over $650 million of HUD loans for the owner of 100-plus skilled nursing facilities.
  • Represented a publicly traded REIT in connection with acquisitions, financing and the disposition of a $200 million-plus multi-asset portfolio.

Professional Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers in America® (2012–present: Real Estate Law, 2024: Mergers and Acquisitions Law)
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers® "Rising Stars" (2006-2010: Real Estate Law)
  • Chambers USA® (2022-present: Real Estate)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • Wisconsin Bar Association, member

News & Insights


Bar Admissions

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