IVO KELLER

SENIOR COUNSEL

CONTACT

Direct: 415-243-2687

Email:  ivo@ssllawfirm.com

Mr. Keller has been practicing law since 2006, with a focus on land use entitlements, litigation, and bankruptcy. His areas of expertise include:

  • Assisting companies, institutional investors, and high net worth individuals in real estate due diligence, environmental and water rights issues, and complex permitting processes;
  • Litigating real estate and land use-related disputes, including actions under the California Environmental Quality Act, inverse condemnation cases, commercial landlord/tenant disputes, and eminent domain;
  • Representing landlords, creditors, and other businesses seeking to assert claims, protect contract and intellectual property rights, and defend against preference actions in bankruptcy proceedings; and
  • Serving as court-approved counsel for state court receivers.

Mr. Keller has appeared in Superior Courts throughout California, the First and Second District California Courts of Appeal, Federal District and Bankruptcy Courts for the Northern, Eastern and Central Districts of California, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. Mr. Keller was also the Chair of the San Francisco Bar Association Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section in 2017, and the President of the California Receivers Forum Bay Area Chapter for 2015 and 2016. He has been named a Northern California Rising Star by SuperLawyers magazine for every year from 2013 through 2018.

Mr. Keller speaks fluent German, and has done pro bono work representing Holocaust survivors applying for benefits with the German government, as well as fundraising work for the Bay Area Urban Debate League, including co-founding the Champions of Diversity Challenge which has raised over half a million dollars in contributions from local law firms.

EDUCATION

Undergraduate School: University of California, Berkeley. Law School: University of California, Hastings College of the Law. While an undergraduate, Mr. Keller was the President of the UC Berkeley debate team from 2000 through 2002. As a law school student, he earned awards for academic excellence in Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Advanced Environmental Law, Negotiation & Mediation, and Legal Writing & Research. He also won the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition in New York, and was a regional winner and national semi-finalist at the National Appellate Advocacy Competition in Chicago. He joined the firm in September 2016, after starting his career at Ellman Burke Hoffman & Johnson and spending six-and-a-half years at Buchalter in San Francisco.

PRACTICE AREAS:

Land Use, Litigation, and Bankruptcy

REPRESENTATIVE LITIGATION ENGAGEMENTS

    • Represented a developer of an urban in-fill apartment project in San Luis Obispo against a challenge under the California Environmental Quality Act, obtaining a judgment that denied the challenge, in its entirety.
    • Defended a major financial institution in a five-year-long dispute regarding allegations of wrongful foreclosure on two commercial properties and a mansion, ending with a non-suit dismissing the action and a high six-figure attorney fee award for Mr. Keller’s client.
    • Obtained an order granting relief from the bankruptcy automatic stay for a credit union seeking to foreclose on a rental property, and negotiated a settlement with the borrower leading to a voluntary sale of the property and dismissal of state court and bankruptcy court actions against the credit union.
    • Resolved claims asserted against a national retail chain due to a general contractor’s failure to pay several subcontractors and suppliers, leading to release of over 30 mechanic’s liens and defusing a dispute with the landlord who was attempting to sell the building.

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

  • Chair, San Francisco Bar Association Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section, 2017.
  • President, California Receivers Forum Bay Area Chapter, 2015 and 2016.
  • Board Member, Friends of Cal Debate.
  • Former Advisory Council Member, Bay Area Urban Debate League.
  • Former Board Member, Standing to Represent Our Next Generation.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

  • Co-Producer, “California Bankruptcy Forum Judges’ Roundtable”; CBF Annual Conference, May 2018.
  • Co-Presenter, “How To Deal With The Debtor From Hell”; San Francisco Bar Association, May 2016.
  • Moderator, “2016 Receivership Forecast”; California Receivers Forum Bay Area & Sacramento Chapters, January 2016.
  • Moderator, “Bankruptcy Court Authority After Wellness International”; San Francisco Bar Association, September 2015.
  • Moderator, “Economic Forecast 2015: Outlooks & Indicators”; California Receivers Forum Bay Area & Sacramento Chapters, April 2015.
  • Moderator, “The Current State of the Receiver Market and Predictions by the Experts”; California Receivers Forum Los Angeles Chapter, July 2014.
  • Moderator, “Bankruptcy Crimes”; San Francisco Bar Association, June 2013.