Howard has always understood that business involves risk. Howard works with his clients to understand their business, their goals and their level of risk tolerance. That understanding enables him to craft solutions that work for his clients. It is one reason why he has represented many of his clients for decades. For more than 40 years, Howard has served as a trusted lawyer and adviser to clients ranging from some of the world’s largest and best-known real estate, tech, software, and other companies, to national and international financial institutions.

Howard is one of the founders of BFKN and currently serves as co-managing partner. He concentrates his practice on commercial real estate and related corporate, securities and business planning matters. Howard has extensive experience in the acquisition, development, leasing, and disposition of office buildings, shopping centers and other retail locations, multi-family housing, industrial buildings and mixed-used facilities, real estate financings, restructurings and foreclosures, as well as in the formation of joint ventures between institutional partners and developers.

Howard is frequently recognized as one of real estate law's top-ranked practitioners in Illinois by Chambers USABest Lawyers in America; Who's Who LegalSuper Lawyers; and Leading Lawyers, among others. Most recently, Howard was named Best Lawyers® 2021 Chicago Real Estate Lawyer of the Year in addition to his Best Lawyers® 2019 Chicago Litigation - Real Estate “Lawyer of the Year” recognition. 



  • State of Illinois


  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, 1979
  • Northwestern University, with distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, 1976





  • Top Ranked, Chambers USA (2003-2024)
    • Real Estate
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2006-2024)
    • Real Estate Law
    • Litigation - Real Estate Law
    • Named Chicago Real Estate Lawyer of the Year (2021)
    • Named Chicago Litigation - Real Estate “Lawyer of the Year" (2014 & 2019)
  • Super Lawyer, Illinois Super Lawyers (2005-2024)
    • Top Ten Real Estate (2016)
    • Top 100 Real Estate: Commercial & Finance
  • Leading Lawyers Network (2003-2023)
  • Legal 500
  • Who's Who Legal
  • chambers_kirschbaum_2024
  • bl_kirschbaum_2024

"Howard is a deal-maker with the ability to cut through the nonsense and get to the heart of the matter” and “He is the best lawyer I know – thoughtful, smart and incredibly quick thinking.”

Chambers USA
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