Arent Fox Expands San Francisco Office with Addition of Kay & Merkle Team

SAN FRANCISCO — Arent Fox LLP is pleased to announce the addition of seven lawyers from Kay & Merkle, a San Francisco-based commercial, real estate, automotive, and litigation firm with deep ties in the Bay Area. The Kay & Merkle team joined the firm on January 1, 2019, enhancing Arent Fox’s ability to further serve clients in one of the country’s gateway markets. The expansion follows the announcement of Arent Fox’s merger with Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP, a 55-lawyer Boston-based firm focusing on business transactions and complex litigation.

“This group from Kay & Merkle shares our values, culture, and approach,” said Firmwide Managing Partner Cristina A. Carvalho. “After working with them for many years, we have come to find that their sterling reputation is well-earned and their focus on the automotive, financial, and real estate industries is a great match for our key practice areas. We are delighted to welcome the Kay & Merkle team and look forward to working with them.”

Joining Arent Fox are Kay & Merkle Founders Steven Kay and Walter F. Merkle and attorneys W. Bruce Bercovich, John W. Merkle, Angele C. Solano, June M. Lee, and Douglas A. Marshall. A Bay Area institution since 1973, Kay & Merkle has extensive experience in the structuring, acquisition, sale, development, financing, and leasing of significant real estate projects and automotive matters.

“Adding Steven, Walter, Bruce, John, and the rest of their team is big for Arent Fox and our growing San Francisco office,” said San Francisco Managing Partner Richard L. Brand. “They provide depth and talent to an already strong and growing transactional practice. The ‘Kay & Merkle brand’ is well-respected in Northern California and beyond and for good reason. Their practical counsel and bottom-line solutions are precisely the type of service that Arent Fox provides. We are happy to welcome them to the Arent Fox family.”

The attorneys joining Arent Fox include:

  • Steven Kay: Mr. Kay is a founding member of San Francisco-based law firm Kay & Merkle. He has been advising clients in real estate, business transactions, and sports matters for over four decades. Mr. Kay currently represents family offices, Napa Valley vintners, and real estate developers throughout Northern California.
  • Walter F. Merkle: Mr. Merkle is a founding member of Kay & Merkle. He has extensive experience in the acquisition, sale, financing, and leasing of commercial real estate properties. In connection with many transactional matters, Mr. Merkle has formed and structured business entities, including limited partnerships and limited liability companies. In addition, Mr. Merkle has significant experience representing family offices.
  • W. Bruce Bercovich: Mr. Bercovich focuses on a variety of commercial transactions with an emphasis on the retail automotive industry, where he has advised on the purchase and sale of more than 300 new vehicle dealerships (automobiles, motorcycles, and trucks) in California and other states. Mr. Bercovich maintains subspecialties in real estate purchase, sales and leasing, and in matters relating to the retail automotive industry.
  • John W. Merkle: Mr. Merkle focuses primarily on business transactions that involve acquisitions and sales and the structure of private business organizations, which includes corporations, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships. Mr. Merkle provides advice regarding a broad range of transactions, including multi-generational family business matters.
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