profile headshot of Karen L. Karr

Specialties

As a real estate attorney, I can advise you on all real estate matters, but specialize in commercial real estate development projects and real estate matters unique to large, complex business transactions. I represent a wide-range of clients, including, buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants, owner's representatives, developers, and contractors. In doing so, I can offer an “insider's view” of the other side to the transaction and workable solutions. With my corporate background, I recognize and appreciate the interplay of business and real estate risks, and use this to develop a holistic strategy that coordinates those risks for you.   I am a member of your team, who you can trust to support and protect you and your business.

My Approach

It's not about me, it's about you.   My approach is different based on each client and deal.  Ultimately, my job is to help you achieve a result that works for you.  I listen to what is important to you and, as I learn more, tailor the process to fit your needs and risk tolerance.  My legal training, industry experience, and attention to detail fill the gaps and allow me to identify and explain the risks to you.  This provides you with the tools necessary to make an informed business decision.  Your decisions give me the information necessary to mold the transaction to fit your needs.  I respect the investment you have made in your business, and want to help you find the best way to protect it.

More About Me

While I said this is about you . . .

I graduated, with distinction, from the University of Iowa, with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications and Communications Studies, and a Certificate of Entrepreneurship in 2003. In 2008, I received my J.D. from Drake University, graduating with honors, and was admitted to the Iowa bar. Before law school, I worked in the private sector as a real estate agent. This piqued my interest and started my real estate career. Since then, my interest has grown. Real estate development gives me an outlet to see results, make an impact, and be involved in the community. All things that make me tick.

I am named as a leader in Chambers USA®, selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers®, and also selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers®, all in the real estate law area. I am Chair of the Firm's Real Estate Practice Group.

I am on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for Operation Downtown and serve on the Polo on the Green Planning Committee for Variety Club of Iowa. I am also a member of the County and State Bar Associations. Additionally, I am a member of the 2014-2015 class of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, a 2017 honoree of the Business Record's Forty Under 40 and a member of the Polk County Women Attorneys.     

Outside of work, I like to travel, cook, and support the Iowa Hawkeyes with my family and friends. 

My Specialties

  • Real Estate Law
  • Business and Corporate Law/M&A
  • Banking/Corporate Finance
  • Construction Law

New ASTM Standard for Commercial Real Estate Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

05-17-2022 On November 1, 2021, the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) International released its revised standards for conducting an environmental site assessment of a parcel of commercial real estate. The new standard updates the previous standard released in 2013. Now referred to as ASTM E1527-21, the ASTM standard is widely used to satisfy...
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Clarification Provided on Remote Notarizations

03-25-2020   On March 24, 2020, the Iowa Secretary of State issued guidance for remote notarizations. It clarifies that remote notarization must comply with Section 6 of Senate File 475 and Iowa Administrative Code 721-43, Iowa Code chapter 9B, as summarized in our previous post, Remote Notary Now an Option. Per the Iowa Secretary of State’s guidance, remote...
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Remote Notary Now an Option

03-23-2020   Iowa law requires a notary officer to acknowledge real estate documents that will be recorded, including deeds and mortgages. For years, the acknowledgement required the party signing the document to personally appear before a notary officer. Personal appearance did not include appearances that require video, optical, or similar technology....
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BrownWinick Law Firm Attorneys Featured in 2021 Great Plains Super Lawyers and Great Plains Rising Stars

08-20-2021 BrownWinick is excited to announce the following attorneys were selected for inclusion in the Great Plains Super Lawyers directory for 2021. Seven BrownWinick attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2021 Great Plains Super Lawyers online listing: William Brown - Tax Michael Dee – Business Litigation Thomas Johnson – Business/Corporate James...
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Chambers USA 2021 Recognizes BrownWinick Attorneys and Practices

05-25-2021 BrownWinick, a preeminent business law firm with offices in Des Moines and Pella, has once again been ranked among leading law firms in the exclusive Chambers USA 2021 Guide. The Chambers USA 2021 Guide is compiled through a research-based review that evaluates the multiple practice areas of hundreds of law firms through investigative research and...
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BrownWinick Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers in America List

08-21-2020 BrownWinick is pleased to announce that 26 lawyers have been included in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers® has published their list for more than three decades, earning the respect of the...
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BrownWinick Attorneys Named to 2020 Best Lawyers List

08-15-2019 BrownWinick is pleased to announce that 24 lawyers have been included in the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers® has published their list for more than three decades, earning the respect of the...
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BrownWinick Attorneys Featured in 2019 Great Plains Super Lawyers and Great Plains Rising Stars

07-11-2019 Eleven BrownWinick attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2019 Great Plains Super Lawyers online listing: William Brown – Tax Elizabeth Coonan – Employment and Labor Michael Dee – Business Litigation Alice Helle – Employee Benefits Thomas Johnson – Business/Corporate Ann Holden Kendell – Employment and Labor James Pray – Environmental Brian...
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Chambers USA Names BrownWinick Law Firm and 11 of its Attorneys "Leaders in Iowa"

04-30-2019 BrownWinick, a Des Moines based law firm, has been recognized as a “leading law firm” in Chambers USA 2019 — America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the areas of Corporate/M&A, Labor & Employment, and Litigation: General Commercial. Additionally, 11 BrownWinick attorneys were selected for inclusion in Chambers USA 2019, being recognized as...
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BrownWinick Attorneys Named to 2019 Best Lawyers® List

08-16-2018 BrownWinick is pleased to announce that 27 lawyers have been included in the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect of the...
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BrownWinick Attorneys Featured in 2018 Great Plains Super Lawyers and Great Plains Rising Stars

07-2-2018 Twelve BrownWinick attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2018 Great Plains Super Lawyers online listing: Ronni F. Begleiter - Employee Benefits William C. Brown - Tax Elizabeth A. Coonan – Employment & Labor Michael A. Dee - Business Litigation Alice E. Helle - Employee Benefits Thomas D. Johnson - Business/Corporate Ann Holden...
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BrownWinick Attorneys Named to 2018 Best Lawyers List

08-15-2017 BrownWinick is pleased to announce that 26 lawyers have been included in the 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect of the...
Read More

BrownWinick Attorneys Featured in 2017 Great Plains Super Lawyers and Great Plains Rising Stars

07-17-2017 Ten BrownWinick attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2017 Great Plains Super Lawyers online listing: Ronni F. Begleiter - Employee Benefits/ERISA William C. Brown - Tax Elizabeth A. Coonan – Employment & Labor Michael A. Dee - Business Litigation Alice E. Helle - Employee Benefits Ann Holden Kendell - Employment & Labor James L....
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Assistant

Mindy Krull

515-242-2486

Undergraduate

University of Iowa

B.A., with distinction, Communication Studies; Journalism & Mass Communication, 2003

Legal

Drake University Law School

J.D., with honors, 2008

Admitted

Iowa, 2008

Memberships & Associations

  • Polk County Bar Association
    Member
  • Iowa State Bar Association
    Member; Sections on: Business Law; Construction Law; Corporate Counsel; Real Estate and Title Law
    Co-Chair of the Professional Development Committee (Young Lawyers Division)
  • Polk County Women Attorneys
    Member
  • Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys
    Member
  • Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute
    Graduate Class of 2014-2015
  • Order of the Barristers, 2008
  • Delta Theta Phi