Name: Tzvi Rokeach
Company: Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Address: 1177 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Year that you entered your current field? 1997
How did you get your start in your current field?
I was initially attracted to real estate law because of the personalities involved. The NYC real estate world, in particular, has a great deal of interesting and varied characters. I recall in my first year out of law school, one late night at the closing of a large, complex deal–a classic big-firm transaction, with a long closing table, reams of documents laid out, army of lawyers on each side and the “client” showed up to sign documents. He was a member of one of the well-known real estate families, one of those larger than life personalities.
How do you contribute to the future of your industry?
In the last several years I have been very fortunate in having had the opportunity to work on several extremely sophisticated, interesting and high profile matters, including representing a large group of bondholders in the real estate aspects of the Caesars bankruptcy and being involved in various gaming property acquisitions and other transactions by VICI Properties, one of the country’s premier experiential-asset REITs. REITs will likely continue to be an attractive vehicle for real estate ownership. It will be an interesting story to watch in connection with the movement of the equity markets, the tax changes and other developments.
Who or what do you attribute to your success?
I’ve been fortunate throughout my career in having mentors to guide me along the way. When I first started out, I was at a firm that had a host of real estate partners, well-known in the industry that educated and mentored me. People like Chic Kotick, Mike Levy (both since gone, unfortunately) and others. My current partners at Kramer Levin, some of whom guided and taught me when I was an associate, and with whom I am truly privileged to now practice as peers, are a group of lawyers second to none in knowledge and experience, and just outstanding people.
How do you manage the work/life balance?
It isn’t easy, truly. There is of course, the work itself, and also making time to assist younger lawyers starting out, Firm and other work related commitments. All week long is action packed, from 5 am until late at night. But family is important, and I just make a point to always take one day a week where I just tune out and focus on my family. It make the rest of the week all the more worthwhile.