People

Keith R. Barnett

Partner

Barnett, Keith R.

Keith Barnett advises local, national and international clients in all aspects of commercial real estate, including real estate finance, development, acquisitions, sales and leasing. For more than 25 years he has represented a variety of clients, including some of the world's largest publicly traded and private retailers, investors, developers, pension fund advisors, life insurance companies and commercial banks in various real estate transactions. Recently, Mr. Barnett has led numerous high-profile hotel transactions and developments.

As a leading commercial real estate attorney, Mr. Barnett counsels clients on a wide range of legal and business real estate matters for clients across industries. Mr. Barnett represents United States-based retailers in all their real estate needs, including acquisitions and dispositions, leasing, permitting and development. He also advises clients in connection with numerous major real estate developments, such as hotel projects, retail developments, office buildings, biotechnology and high technology facilities, residential developments, warehouse and industrial facilities and academic buildings. In addition, Mr. Barnett has an active practice representing owners and tenants in connection with various leasing transactions as well as buyers and sellers in connection with both the acquisition and disposition of real estate in all asset classes.

In the area of real estate finance, Mr. Barnett has significant experience with traditional mortgage loans, mezzanine loans, preferred equity investments and so-called "bond leases," "synthetic leases" and other accounting and tax sensitive transactions. He is a leader in the firm's Distressed Real Estate Solutions Group, and advises clients in various positions with respect to options and opportunities, including loan workouts, foreclosure advice, and debt and equity restructurings.

Honors & Awards

Mr. Barnett is consistently recognized for his "exemplary service" by some of the largest ranking publications in the industry and was recently described to Best Law Firms as having "the highest level of expertise and consistently provid[ing] wise counsel." Mr. Barnett and the firm were also described as "dedicated to serving the interests of its clients with unparalleled professionalism and commitment." His individual awards include:

  • Recognized for his "great depth of knowledge in real estate transactions" and "good business sense" in the commercial real estate space in the 2016 and 2017 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Selected by his peers as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of real estate law (2007-2018) and is described as a "great lawyer" providing "excellent service" with "the unique ability to 'think 360' and anticipate and overcome issues in all aspects of real estate"
  • Recommended in the 2016 and 2017 editions of the The Legal 500 United States for his real estate practice
  • Named a "New England Super Lawyer" in the area of real estate law in Boston Magazine (2004-2005, 2008-2015, 2017)

Publications & News

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March 8, 2018

Infrastructure Series: Fast-Tracking Electric Transmission Infrastructure

In the coming weeks, the US Department of Energy is expected to undertake its fourth triennial national congestion study. DOE may then designate one or more National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors, in which projects can be fast-tracked. This client alert was also published by Law360.

August 16, 2017

WilmerHale Lawyers Named Among the 2018 Best Lawyers in America®, Nine Recognized as Lawyers of the Year

Best Lawyers in America®—the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal industry—recognizes 107 WilmerHale lawyers and names nine partners as Lawyers of the Year in its 24th edition.

June 9, 2017

The Legal 500 United States 2017 Recognizes 125 WilmerHale Lawyers Across 28 Practice Areas

The Legal 500 United States has released its 2017 rankings, recommending 125 WilmerHale lawyers—including 12 who are named to its elite “Leading Lawyers” list and two on its “Next Generation Lawyers” list—and 28 practice areas in its 11th edition.

May 26, 2017

WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices Recognized in 2017 Edition of Chambers USA

Chambers and Partners announced its rankings for the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, with WilmerHale listed among the nation's best in 50 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 86 WilmerHale lawyers as leaders in their respective fields.

November 15, 2016

WilmerHale Reps Campanelli in Sale of Heritage One & Two

Campanelli—a full-service commercial real estate development, acquisition and construction management company—has announced that it sold two first-class office buildings in Quincy, Massachusetts in two separate transactions.

August 15, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers Named Among the 2017 Best Lawyers in America®, Six Recognized as Lawyers of the Year

Best Lawyers in America®—a respected peer-review publication in the legal industry—recognizes 101 WilmerHale lawyers and names six partners as Lawyers of the Year in its 23rd edition.

June 22, 2016

The Legal 500 United States 2016 Recognizes 111 WilmerHale Lawyers Across 30 Practice Areas

The guide's rankings are based on a series of criteria, including client feedback, interviews with private practice lawyers, and its own research.

May 27, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices Recognized in 2016 Edition of Chambers USA

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business announced its final rankings for the 2016 edition, with WilmerHale ranking among the nation's best in 47 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 82 WilmerHale lawyers as leaders in their respective fields.

April 14, 2016

Keith Barnett Joins American College of Real Estate Lawyers

Members are elected to the fellowship for their outstanding legal ability, experience and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice of real estate law.

February 23, 2016

WilmerHale Advises MKS Instruments on $980 Million Acquisition of Newport Corporation

WilmerHale is advising its long-time client MKS Instruments, Inc. on its acquisition of Newport Corporation in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $980 million.

Speaking Engagements

March 22-25, 2018

American College of Real Estate Lawyers 2018 Mid-Year Meeting

Orlando, Florida

November 4, 2016

MCLE: Commercial Real Estate

Boston, Massachusetts

November 19, 2015

MCLE: Commercial Real Estate

Boston, Massachusetts

October 1, 2015

Columbia University: Graduate Level Course

New York, New York

April 30, 2015

Graduate Program for Students of MIT, New York University, Columbia University and Harvard University

New York, New York

October 24, 2014

International Council of Shopping Centers, Annual Lawyers Conference

Orlando, Florida

April 18, 2013

MIT Center for Real Estate

Cambridge, Massachusetts

October 9, 2012

Columbia University: Graduate Level Course

New York, New York

October 27, 2011

International Council of Shopping Centers, Annual Lawyers Conference

Phoenix, Arizona

October 11, 2011

Columbia University: Graduate Level Course

New York, New York

Recent Highlights

  • Representation of developer of a 700 foot (approximately 60 story) tower in Boston's Back Bay which will include a Four Seasons Hotel and Four Seasons branded condominiums
  • Representation of international NYSE retail company in acquisition, permitting and development of several new stores and expansions throughout New England
  • Representation of developer in the acquisition, development and operation of the first and only five-star hotel in Iceland that will have 250 rooms and be located just steps from the harbor on Reykjavik's waterfront
  • Representation of developer of a luxury 300 room hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, financed in part by state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits, a pension fund venture partner and a construction to mini-perm mortgage loan
  • Representation of a national retailer in the strategic re-use of various locations, including the sale of air rights and the development of mixed use projects
  • Representation of owner of a mixed-use commercial property in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a $160 million financing
  • Representation of institutional mortgage lender in approximately $200 million construction financing of high profile Boston development anchored by a major national big box retailer with separate residential and office towers above
  • Representation of owner/developer in the restructuring and recapitalization of the debt and equity positions in a luxury hotel
  • Representation of white knight who provided bridge financing and then purchased a majority of the assets in the mixed use development of a championship golf course and luxury residential community in north suburban Boston
  • Represented a regional real estate owner/operator in its formation of a joint venture with a pension fund-backed real estate capital partner for the acquisition of a 14-building, approximately 800,000 s.f. portfolio of commercial properties in the greater Boston area. Eight of the properties were acquired in a first-in-Massachusetts federal receivership sale of failed commercial mortgage backed securities collateral. Acquisition financing was provided through the joint venture's equity and acquisition and construction loans from regional banks.
  • Representation of developer of a 33 story, $400 million redevelopment in New Orleans, Louisiana; the project will consist of a Four Seasons Hotel, Four Seasons-branded condominiums and a museum/cultural component
  • Representation of two international life sciences companies in connection with the development and operation of their campuses and facilities in Cambridge, Massachusetts 
  • Representation of pension fund advisors in the acquisition of multiple assisted living facilities, residential, retail and office projects
  • Representation of clients in the acquisition, financing and disposition of approximately $250 million of property in sale/leaseback transactions
  • Continued pro bono representation of The Walden Woods Project in connection with the preservation of almost 200 acres of environmentally sensitive land in Concord and Lincoln, Massachusetts

Professional Activities

Mr. Barnett is a fellow of The American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL) and a member of the Government Affairs Committee of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the International Council of Shopping Centers and NAIOP and The Commercial Real Estate Development Association. He is also a member of the American Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association and Boston Bar Association.

Community Involvement

Mr. Barnett is a member of the Board of Trustees, the Audit Committee and the Hospital of the Future Committee (for long-term strategic planning) of The New England Baptist Hospital. He has also been actively involved in various political campaigns at local, statewide and national levels.

Practices

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Education

JD, magna cum laude, University of Michigan Law School, 1991, Michigan Law Review, Order of the Coif

AB, magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1988

Bar Admissions

Massachusetts

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