With a background as a tax and business transactional lawyer, practicing both in western Pennsylvania and south Florida, Jack J. Kessler provides counsel to high-net-worth families and closely held businesses, focusing on complex business transactions in the real estate industry, as well as individual income tax and gift and estate tax planning.
Having joined the firm in 1983, Jack has had nearly 40 years of experience representing high-net-worth families and their closely held businesses in a variety of business transactions and personal wealth planning matters. His business transactions focus on complex national and international real estate, real estate development and real estate finance matters with an emphasis on business tax planning. His real estate finance and capital markets experience includes the origination and restructuring of numerous secured and unsecured, construction and development, syndicated, mezzanine, high-yield, hybrid debt/equity and preferred equity facilities. He has had experience with high-end retail, office, hotel, luxury residential, golf course resort and gaming properties. Representative transactions have ranged from $40 million to $4.0 billion. Jack’s personal wealth tax planning practice involves income, gift and estate tax planning and asset protection planning for high-net-worth individuals and their families.
Among Jack’s clients is the Soffer family of Miami, owner of Turnberry Associates and Fontainebleau Resorts, whose real estate developments include high-profile development projects and properties in Florida, western Pennsylvania, Las Vegas and multiple other national and international locations.
Prior to joining the firm in 1983, Jack worked for five years for Coopers and Lybrand (now PwC), practicing in a variety of federal and state tax areas including individual, corporate, partnership and international tax.
Jack has been a long time trustee of the Western Pennsylvania Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and, with his wife Ellen, supports numerous Western Pennsylvania charitable organizations.
He was named a “Top Rated Lawyer” in taxation and garnered an AV® Preeminent distinction, the highest available mark for professional excellence from Martindale-Hubbell’s® Peer Review Ratings. Since 2013, Jack has been named to The Best Lawyers in America® list for Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law, Real Estate Law and Tax Law. In 2005, Jack was named among the Most Effective Lawyers by the Daily Business Review, selected from nominations received from attorneys and law firms in practice across South Florida.
Duquesne University School of Law, J.D., 1979
The Pennsylvania State University, B.S., 1972
- New York
Allegheny County Bar Association
Tax Section, Pennsylvania Bar Association
Tax Section, Florida Bar
American Bar Association Section of International Law
American Arbitration Association
The Pennsylvania State University College of the Liberal Arts Alumni Society, Board of Directors
Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America, Board of Trustees