Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres Expands Real Estate Practice, Adding Partners Penelope Campbell and Ari Krigel

May 20, 2024

Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres LLC (CFDB), the entrepreneurial law firm founded by big law alumni and recognized as one of the fastest-growing certified women-owned law firms in the nation, welcomes partners Penelope Campbell and Ari Krigel to its high-profile Real Estate practice group.

Campbell and Krigel join an emerging group of nearly ten seasoned real estate attorneys dedicated to delivering exceptional value and innovative solutions to clients in today’s dynamic market. This expansion solidifies CFDB’s position as a premier advisor on complex real estate transactions and large-scale development projects.

Campbell is an attorney with significant experience across all aspects of commercial real estate, including the acquisition, disposition, borrower-side financing, development and leasing of commercial real estate in all asset classes. Campbell has played a pivotal role in transactions related to retail, shopping center, industrial, warehouse, office, hospitality, multifamily and manufactured housing matters, and is known for crafting creative, business-minded solutions for clients.

Krigel is a commercial real estate attorney who represents large institutional investors, national and regional lenders, and mid-market real estate investment and development companies in acquisitions, dispositions, conventional and public financing, leasing, workouts and development projects, including what was reported as the largest multifamily deal in Chicago history.

“We couldn’t be happier to welcome Penelope and Ari to our dynamic real estate team,” said CFDB founding partner and management committee co-chair Lisa Duarte. “They share in the firm’s mission to be a true partner to clients navigating today’s business landscape, and the wealth of real estate experience they bring to the team will deliver significant value on all their matters.”

Campbell’s and Krigel’s arrivals represent the next key phase in the Real Estate group’s evolution. In January, real estate and development executive David Reifman was named partner and chair of the group, and his sophisticated leadership has fueled the real estate team’s remarkable growth. The group also includes Joan Ferraro, who joined CFDB as a partner in 2022. Ferraro has over 40 years of commercial real estate experience representing investors, developers, family offices and individuals in a variety of commercial real estate transactions throughout the country.

In her wide-ranging practice, Campbell advises companies from startups to global corporations, including cannabis companies, retailers, shopping center owners, hospitality companies and developers of all kinds in connection with real estate matters. She also guides commercial landlords and tenants in the drafting and negotiation of office, retail, industrial, warehouse, hospitality and ground leases. In a 14-month secondment to Gulfstream Aerospace Company, she structured, documented and oversaw the legal and business aspects of the construction, development and financing of airplane manufacturing and assembly facilities. Campbell was formerly a partner in the real estate groups at Honigman and Jenner & Block. Earlier in her career, she served as a press secretary to Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, advising on policy issues relating to the media and serving as a spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s Office.

Krigel is also known for his experience serving a broad range of clients, advising them on all aspects of real estate matters including drafting and negotiating purchase and sale agreements, loan agreements, mortgages, commercial leases, forbearance and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure agreements, and easements. Prior to joining CFDB, Krigel was a partner at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP (SGR) and with Freeborn & Peters prior to its combination with SGR.

Since January 1, 2024, CFDB has added 13 attorneys to its roster as it continues to focus on expanding its team to serve client needs. “Adding Penelope and Ari, and investing in our Real Estate group, is a demonstration of our commitment to grow along with our clients and to offer them best-in-class service,” said Reifman.