Sullivan & Worcester Adds Three Affordable Housing Partners to Growing Real Estate Group

S&W Press Release
March 12, 2018

Sullivan & Worcester LLP today announced that John W. Gahan III, Deirdre M. Robinson and Karen J. Kepler have joined the firm’s Real Estate Department as partners. The Boston-based trio enhances and strengthens S&W’s growing affordable housing team and brings additional depth to the firm’s real estate practice.

“Sullivan & Worcester continues to focus on attracting top laterals to better serve our clients,” said Joel Carpenter, Managing Partner. “This team brings a wealth of significant experience to our Real Estate practice, providing us with additional opportunities to expand our capabilities in all our major markets.”

“It has been our goal for the past year to add senior-level attorneys to our affordable housing practice” said John Balboni, co-chair of the Real Estate Debt and Equity Practice Group. “John, Deirdre and Karen, with decades of experience among them, bring considerable talent and knowledge in this market sector. Their skill set, combined with our strong tax practice and private equity experience, truly provides full service to our clients in the affordable housing  industry. We’re extremely pleased that they have joined the firm.”

John, Deirdre and Karen have decades of experience representing owners, developers, management companies, and investors in affordable housing transactions that include complex multi-layered financing from public, private and semi-governmental agencies and the syndication of federal and State tax credits including Low-Income Housing, Historic, New Markets, Environmental and Energy. While they are physically located in Massachusetts, because many of the tax credit programs are governed by federal law, they frequently represent owners and developers in all regions of the country. Kepler also represents conventional and quasi-public lenders in providing construction, permanent and tax-exempt financing to affordable housing developments.

Speaking about joining Sullivan & Worcester, John Gahan who has more than 40 years in the industry said, “Anyone who has known me professionally understands that my primary goal has always been to represent clients in a way that satisfies them, in client service as well as in results. Sullivan & Worcester’s comprehensive platform gives our group an expanded opportunity to better serve our clients and to ensure that their legal needs are well-managed going forward.”

This sentiment was echoed by Deirdre Robinson, who added “Good, safe, quality affordable housing is always going to be in demand. We are privileged to work with some of the leaders in the affordable housing industry. To be part of a project that transforms an old historic mill building into housing that then helps to revitalize a community is very rewarding. Housing has the ability to create communities and communities grow Cities and Towns…it all starts with housing.”

“We’ve known S&W by reputation for years and are excited to join this top-notch, well respected team of real estate attorneys,” Karen Kepler said. “Increasingly, putting together the financing piece of an affordable housing development project is a complex jigsaw puzzle with the need to identify and coordinate an array of funding sources and layers of tax credits at the federal, state and local levels. We look forward to working with our new S&W real estate finance colleagues to develop creative solutions for clients.”

John serves on the Board of Directors of the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association and the Executive Committee of  Preservation Massachusetts.

Deirdre sits on the board of the Lawyers Clearinghouse for Affordable Housing and is an active member in the ABA Affordable Housing Forum and CREW Boston.

Karen is active in the Boston Bar Association Real Estate Section and the ABA Affordable Housing Forum and is a past-president of the Lawyers Clearinghouse for Affordable Housing and the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association. She also is a member of the Housing Advisory Board for the Town of Brookline. 

About Sullivan & Worcester LLP

Sullivan & Worcester is a leading corporate law firm advising clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to emerging businesses. With more than 175 lawyers in Boston, London, New York and Washington, D.C., the firm offers services in a wide range of areas, including corporate finance, banking, trade finance, securities and mutual funds, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, tax, real estate and REITs, private equity and venture capital, bankruptcy, environment and natural resources, renewable energy and water resources, regulatory law, and employment and benefits. ZAG-S&W — a joint venture between Israel-based Zysman, Aharoni, Gayer & Co. and Sullivan & Worcester — provides counsel to Israel-based companies and U.S. companies with Israeli interests on a variety of legal matters including access to capital markets, corporate issues, and tax. For more information please visit

Heather Barry
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