Law Firm Newswire – Dusty Kirk and 13 Member Real Estate Legal Team Join Reed Smith –
Pittsburgh Office Welcomes Dusty Elias Kirk, 3 Partners, 3 Associates, 2 Paralegals and 5 Support Personnel

For more information, contact Jamie Moss, newsPRos, 201-493-1027

(May 17, 2010, Pittsburgh) – Fourteen individuals in Pepper Hamilton’s real estate practice joined Reed Smith LLP today in Pittsburgh in one of the largest mass legal industry moves in the region’s recent history. The group of four partners, three associates, two paralegals and five support personnel is led by Dusty Elias Kirk, former Pepper Executive Committee member, and former co-chair that firm’s Real Estate Practice Group.

“This is a premier real estate practice that represents many of the largest real estate industry players in the country,” said Gregory B. Jordan, Reed Smith’s Global Managing Partner. “Dusty and her team are already well-known to us as exceptionally skilled attorneys, well-respected and well-positioned in all aspects of this sector, and primed to provide leadership as this key sector of our economy recovers.”

In addition to Ms. Kirk, Pepper partners Sharon F. DiPaolo, Jeffrey A. Mills, and Alan K. Sable joined Reed Smith as partners.

“This move provides us with an international platform that will allow us to more comprehensively meet our current clients’ legal needs, wherever they arise,” Ms. Kirk said. “There is significant opportunity for growth, and being able to work with Reed Smith’s premier state tax practice, currently the largest in the country, and its insurance recovery practice, is a tremendous plus for our clients.”

Ms. Kirk, who served on Pepper’s Executive Committee and co-chaired its Real Estate Practice, concentrates her practice on all aspects of real estate development, with an emphasis on real estate litigation, including real estate tax assessment, land use and zoning, and eminent domain. She counsels clients on an array of sustainability issues that impact development projects, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, and regulatory compliance matters, negotiating complex contracts, resolving disputes, and managing risk avoidance. Her work involves the acquisition, financing and tax increment financing for commercial, retail, office, industrial and institutional properties, and obtaining other economic incentives for development projects. She regularly handles issues involving public-private partnerships and transportation issues, including highway occupancy permits.

“This is a multi-faceted and highly energetic group of real estate partners,” said David C. Evans, Reed Smith’s firmwide Real Estate Practice Group Leader. “Dusty and the other members have all built strong practices that are well situated to take advantage of Reed Smith’s broad capabilities, and they bring us a substantial opportunity to grow our commercial real estate services from coast-to-coast.”

Ms. Kirk’s general real estate practice involves representing many of the country’s premier regional mall owners, national developers and retailers.

A 1979 graduate of The Dickinson School of Law, Ms. Kirk is a member of the Board of the Allegheny Regional Asset District Board, president-elect of the Board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, and a member of the steering committee of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Community Development Network, a part of Sustainable Pittsburgh. She recently was appointed to the Allegheny County Transportation Action Partnership as legal counsel. Ms. Kirk is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Allegheny County Bar Association, chairs its Real Property Section, and is a member of the Women in the Profession Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Before joining Pepper in December 1998, she was a shareholder in the firm of Frank, Bails, Kirk, Murcko and Toal, P.C. in Pittsburgh, where she was a founding member and president.

Sharon DiPaolo concentrates her practice in real estate litigation, including lease disputes, tax assessment appeals, and eminent domain and zoning issues. She is responsible for the day-to-day management of the group’s real estate litigation portfolio, and is experienced in a variety of commercial litigation matters, including contract, construction and class actions.

Ms. DiPaolo earned her law degree in 1994 from The University of Pittsburgh School of Law, before joining Pepper in 1995. Ms. DiPaolo is the chair of the Board of Trustees for Holy Family Learning.

Jeffrey Mills’ practice focuses on real estate, commercial and corporate finance, tax exempt and taxable bonds, and general corporate representation. He handles a substantial amount of work for national retailers, national real estate developers, and his financial acumen is integral to the work performed on behalf of the group’s clients. His work in real estate development includes handling acquisitions, divestitures, land use, zoning, leasing and financing. Mr. Mills represents clients and lectures nationally on obtaining economic incentives and tax-increment financing for commercial, retail, office, industrial, and health care projects.

Mr. Mills is a Red Book Bond Counsel, a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, and has represented state and local governments and authorities which issue revenue and general obligation bonds for financing the development and construction of capital projects. He also acts as underwriters and special tax counsel for major investment banks in the underwriting of tax-exempt and taxable bonds.

In addition to his legal experience, Mr. Mills is a CPA and has experience with the financial and tax accounting aspects of transactions. Mr. Mills received his J.D. and M.B.A. in 1994 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Katz Graduate School of Business. Mr. Mills is the Chairman of the Peters Township Planning Committee.

Alan Sable concentrates his practice in commercial real estate transactions, including representation of one of the nation’s largest retailers, handling transactional leasing, land use, and other real estate matters for that client. His practice focuses on commercial real estate transactions, primarily on acquisitions, development, zoning and land use, as well as commercial leasing. He also has been involved in numerous real estate and business transactions occurring in bankruptcy proceedings.

Mr. Sable received his J.D. in 1992 from The Dickinson School of Law. Prior to joining Pepper, he was a partner at McGuire Woods, LLP. Mr. Sable is a frequent lecturer on commercial leasing, commercial real estate documents and title insurance. Mr. Sable also has significant title insurance experience as a Pennsylvania-licensed title insurance agent for Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company and Fidelity National Title Insurance Company.

The three associates joining with the group today are Peter L. Kogan, Paul Didomenico and Jeffrey G. Wilhelm.

“We are tremendously excited about bringing Dusty and her partners into the Pittsburgh office,” said George Stewart, managing partner of the firm’s Pittsburgh office. “This further fortifies our commitment to Pittsburgh, and we expect that our platform will provide enormous opportunity for this group to be engaged with Reed Smith lawyers around the globe, and provide expanded services to all our clients.”

About Reed Smith
Reed Smith is a global relationship law firm with nearly 1,600 lawyers in 22 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1877, the firm represents leading international businesses, from Fortune 100 corporations to mid-market and emerging enterprises. Its lawyers provide litigation and other dispute resolution services in multi-jurisdictional and other high-stakes matters; deliver regulatory counsel; and execute the full range of strategic domestic and cross-border transactions. Reed Smith is a preeminent advisor to industries including financial services, life sciences, health care, advertising, technology and media, shipping, energy trade and commodities, real estate, manufacturing, and education. For more information, visit

U.S.: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Oakland, Princeton, Northern Virginia, Wilmington, Silicon Valley, Century City, Richmond

Europe: London, Paris, Munich, Greece

Middle East: Abu Dhabi, Dubai

Asia: Hong Kong, Beijing

Scroll to Top