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 the firm's 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 USA; Best Lawyers in America; Who's Who Legal; Super 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
Acquisitions, Dispositions & Development
- Represented numerous REITs and other real property owners in connection with the acquisition, development or disposition of hundreds of office, retail, senior housing, apartment, condominium and industrial, warehouse and data center properties, involving billions of dollars, throughout the U.S.
- Represented both landlords and tenants in leases involving millions of square feet in office, shopping center, and industrial, warehouse and data center projects throughout the U.S.
- Represented numerous money center and other financial institutions in connection with hundreds of real estate loans related to properties throughout the U.S. with an aggregate indebtedness of billions of dollars.
- Represented numerous financial institutions in connection with the restructuring of, or litigation regarding loans secured by mortgages on over 100 different properties located throughout the U.S. with an aggregate indebtedness of billions of dollars.
- The Best Lawyers in America© (2006-2023)
- 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)
- Illinois Super Lawyers (2005-2023)
- Top Ten Real Estate (2016)
- Top 100 Real Estate: Commercial & Finance
- Leading Lawyers Network (2003-2023)
- Illinois Real Estate, Chambers USA (2008-2022)
- Legal 500
- Who's Who Legal
"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.”