Illinois - Real Estate Lawyers & Law Firms - USA - Chambers and Partners
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USA Guide

Real Estate — Illinois


Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Leading firm with enviable experience across the spectrum of real estate transactional issues, such as commercial leasing, construction and REITs. Acts for a broad array of clients such as investment trusts, real estate developers and institutional lenders.

Strengths Clients regularly describe the team as a high-quality outfit, noting: "We've worked with firms all over the world and these guys are the best." Another adds: "They're the best real estate lawyers in Chicago - sophisticated and detail-oriented."

Client service is repeatedly highlighted as a strength: "There is senior-level attention paid to each matter."

Significant clients American Realty Advisors, Bank of America, Ventas, DCT Industrial Trust, USAA Real Estate Company.

Notable practitioners

Dennis Ferrazzano's real estate practice is "excellent," according to one source. His work includes financing, restructuring and transactional matters connected to the acquisition and development of office, retail and industrial properties.

One client says Howard Kirschbaum is "the best lawyer I know," describing him as "thoughtful, smart and incredibly quick-thinking." He handles joint ventures, leasing and dispositions and real estate financings.

Mark Beaubien's practice covers complex commercial acquisitions and dispositions, as well as joint ventures and tax-deferred transactions. Clients acknowledge him as "very smart."

Suzanne Bessette-Smith cochairs the real estate group and has extensive experience dealing with publicly traded REITs. Her work also includes joint venture formations and a range of commercial development matters.

Howard Nagelberg has "a great reputation" for his work with REITs and handling international real estate transactions. Clients describe him as "a great resource."

Department profile by Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP

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Dentons - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Outstanding real estate practice that covers a broad range of areas, with particular strength in complex financings and tax-advantaged investments. Acts for an array of commercial clients, including institutional investors, hedge funds and lenders and developers.

Strengths Clients value that the firm "doesn't overcommit to the number of deals they are working on, so you know you will get their attention when working on transactions."

Clients recommend the team for its international reach, saying: "They are a global firm and have capital relationships globally."

Work highlights Assisted a commercial real estate company, HPI Group, in the sale of a ten-building portfolio worth $150 million.

Advised Citadel on the fund's 250,000 sq ft lease to anchor a new high-rise building in Chicago.

Significant clients KeyBank National Association, PNC Bank, Bank of America, Baxter Healthcare Corporation and Baxalta, Blackstone.

Notable practitioners

Eric Schiller is called a "fantastic lawyer," having practiced in real estate and commercial finance law for more than 30 years. His work covers joint ventures, real estate acquisitions, sales and financings.

Patrick Moran has a strong reputation for excellence in a broad array of real estate matters. He regularly advises on secured construction and term loans, as well as working with landlords and tenants in the leasing of office space.

Mark Mehlman is described as "an excellent lawyer" by one source. He acts on a wide range of real estate matters, including finance work, developments, transactions and joint ventures.

Linda White acts for both landlords and tenants in leasing and property management matters, as well as joint ventures and acquisitions. One client calls her "a very strong negotiator who really looks out for our best interests."

Steven Davidson is "very responsive" and "solution-oriented," according to sources. His practice focuses on real estate financing transactions including construction and term loans secured by real estate collateral.

Department profile by Dentons

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DLA Piper LLP (US) - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Experienced group of practitioners, active across the full spectrum of real estate matters and possessing a strong presence in zoning and land use. Frequently advises on high-value development work, primarily for banks and investors in the multifamily rental apartment area. Also assists with leasing, public financing and construction disputes.

Strengths "They do a good job at being efficient and minimizing the time required. They're always sensitive of the time and cost invested with their involvement."

"They are sophisticated and deep in terms of their talent pool," comments one source, adding: "They're responsive and have a wide breadth of experience in complicated projects."

Work highlights Represented Oxford Capital Group in obtaining the $175 million zoning approvals required for the redevelopment of the London Guarantee Insurance Company building on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

Assisted Paylocity securing the lease for its new corporate headquarters, a 300,000 sq ft plot in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Significant clients Roark Capital Group, Tegna, Brookfield Asset Management, Green Courte Partners, Restoration Hardware.

Notable practitioners

David Glickstein has a longstanding reputation for real estate development work. He also advises on financing transactions for lenders and borrowers.

Theodore Novak is an experienced land use attorney who represents property owners and developers in acquisitions, dispositions and development work. Sources acknowledge him as "well connected and very highly regarded."

Richard Klawiter is vice chair of the firm's national real estate practice. He is known for his expertise in land use and zoning matters, for which he is described as "top of the game." He also regularly handles financing transactions and preservation work.

Department profile by DLA Piper LLP (US)

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Dykema Gossett PLLC - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Full-service real estate practice, representing a range of clients such as developers, investors and owners. Draws on its impressive construction knowledge to advise on transactional real estate matters, covering property acquisition, leasing, restructurings and financings.

Strengths Interviewees value the firm's client service, saying: "The team is very responsive, extremely knowledgeable and willing to bring in other experts from around the firm when needed."

Work highlights Assisted National Electrical Benefit Fund in its position as the lender in the restructuring of a loan worth $79 million.

Acted for Newmark Merrill in the drafting and negotiating of a grocer lease with Mariano's in Bloomingdale, Illinois. The matter was valued at $30 million.

Significant clients Invesco Real Estate, Hub Group, HSA PrimeCare, McDonald's, ProBuild.

Notable practitioners

Michael Kurtzon is a "very educated and experienced real estate attorney," according to one client. He is noted for his work in the lending arena, frequently advising banks on large construction loans and restructurings.

Robert Linton offers clients broad expertise, regularly advising on commercial transactions such as acquisitions and dispositions, as well as financings and real estate development matters. He has notable experience in the commercial leasing sector.

Department profile by Dykema Gossett PLLC

With one of the largest collections of practitioners in the Midwest, together with added depth from lawyers in its coast-to-coast network of offices, Dykema’s Real Estate practice is consistently recognized as one of the nation’s leading practices.

Dykema’s experienced real estate team fully understands the often complex and competing interests in real estate transactions and disputes. Clients benefit not only from our business-minded approach to handling these matters, but also from efficient and cost-effective representation. From planning to execution, Dykema's real estate practitioners apply new ideas and forward thinking techniques to solve the most sophisticated client issues. They carefully consider appropriate staffing in each matter—both by specialty and level of experience—to bring a diverse perspective to every engagement. Dykema also leverages the experience and insight of its colleagues who practice in other areas, such as in corporate, tax, construction, environmental and employment law, in a way that enhances efficiency while keeping clients’ objectives in mind.

Dykema's representation covers, in depth, all aspects of real estate law, including without limitation, the following highlighted areas: affordable housing and community development; development; land use and zoning; leasing and property management; finance; tax incentives and economic development; workouts and water rights.


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Freeborn & Peters LLP - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Broad practice that handles transactional real estate issues such as acquisitions and dispositions, zoning and construction, in relation to residential, retail, mixed-use and office properties, among other types. Provides additional strength in commercial leasing and matters relating to complex urban development projects.

Strengths Clients value the firm's efficiency, saying: "We pride ourselves on being able to close deals quickly, and that's the execution that Freeborn provides."

One observer remarks: "I think the world of the firm. They are extremely good, thoughtful and thorough."

Work highlights Served as outside counsel to Oak Street Real Estate Capital in relation to the purchase, sale and financing of various net-leased real estate assets.

Advised The Harlem Irving Companies as borrowers in a number of commercial loan transactions, reviewing and negotiating loan documents.

Significant clients AFIAA, Bourns, Tishman Speyer, Trump Organization, Zurich.

Notable practitioners

Mitchell Carrel is described by clients as "knowledgeable, efficient and timely," with one remarking that "he has done excellent and creative work on the zoning front." He is adept at assisting owners and developers with land use and zoning issues.

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Goldberg Kohn Ltd - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Robust real estate practice with vast experience on complex financings, representing financial institutions on loan restructurings and workouts. Advises on acquisitions and dispositions, garnering a strong reputation acting for commercial clients in the data center leasing space.

Strengths One client recommends the team for its customer service: "It's clearly a top priority for them and they provide tremendous value."

Clients reports: "They are very smart, attentive to detail and goal-oriented."

Work highlights Advised Chicago Mercantile Exchange in a sale-leaseback transaction involving the sale of its 428,000 sq ft data center for $130 million.

Acted for NXT Capital in the $43 million acquisition financing of 15 apartment buildings in Miami.

Significant clients CME Group, PNC Bank, BMO HarrisBank, MidCap Financial Trust, Wolters Kluwer.

Notable practitioners

James Rosenbloom is "one of the best lawyers I have ever worked with," according to one impressed client, who adds: "He sees the larger strategic business picture." His practice encompasses acquisitions, refinancings and restructurings for investors. He has notable experience advising on data center leasing and leaseback.

Department profile by Goldberg Kohn Ltd

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Greenberg Traurig, LLP - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Excellent real estate practice that acts for the full spectrum of parties to property transactions, such as REITs, lenders and private equity investment funds. Experienced in dealing with the acquisition, development and management of all property types, including condominiums, offices and retail units.

Strengths "It is difficult to imagine what real estate work they haven't done," enthuses one client, adding: "If I need the big guns then I would bring them in."

Business acumen is highlighted as a strength by commentators, who say: "The firm is very practical and easy to work with."

Work highlights Assisted Clearview Hotel Capital and AllianceBernstein, as a joint venture, on their sale of the $82 million Westin O'Hare Hotel.

Advised the Lynd Company on its sale of an apartment complex for $120 million.

Notable practitioners

Michael Fishman represents REITs, developers and institutional investors on a range of real estate finance and fund formation matters. Sources describe him as "excellent."

Corey Light handles complex real estate transactions including acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures and financings for property owners, developers and lenders. According to clients, "he can deal with difficult situations in a practical way."

Department profile by Greenberg Traurig, LLP

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Holland & Knight LLP - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Full-service real estate firm, highly experienced in transactional matters, often involving pension and private equity funds. Preeminent in the zoning and land use space, with notable representation of municipal clients and private sector entities.

Strengths Clients appreciate the department's broad expertise, saying: "Their strength is not simply one aspect of municipal law but rather all facets - you name it, it's available and good."

"They're excellent – smart, extremely competent, responsive – and have a broad array of expertise."

Work highlights Acted for McDonald's in the relocation of its headquarters, assisting on the $100 million 15-year lease.

Retained by Triple Five Group to handle the leasing issues in relation to the development of the American Dream Meadowlands entertainment and shopping mall complex.

Significant clients Illinois Medical District, Lend Lease Corporation, Tucker Development, Washington Properties, Triden Sunbelt Portfolio.

Notable practitioners

Steven Elrod is regarded as "a phenomenal problem solver" by his clients. He assists clients on land use matters, as well as disputes involving eminent domain and inverse condemnation.

One client says Peter Friedman is "great to work with and sensitive to our concerns." He typically represents public and private sector clients in complex zoning and land use matters.

Department profile by Holland & Knight LLP

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Jenner & Block LLP - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Acts for the full range of parties pertaining to real estate transactions, including lenders, developers and owners on all aspects of sophisticated deals. Features notable expertise on structuring financing vehicles and handling complex acquisitions, dispositions and leases.

Strengths Clients value the department's depth of knowledge, saying: "They take pride in that they can help us in complex issues that we couldn't complete without them."

One client remarks: "They have great depth which other firms just can't afford - I would say the team is top-notch."

Work highlights Represented InvenTrust properties in a number of dispositions together worth over $230 million, allowing the company to invest in new properties.

Advised General Dynamics in relation to the purchase and development of the corporation's new 21-acre global headquarters.

Significant clients Equity Residential, Guggenheim Partners, Tishman Speyer, Jupiter Realty, Archer Daniels Midland.

Notable practitioners

Donald Resnick is a highly experienced attorney whom clients respect for his expertise in a wide range of real estate issues. "Without him the deal wouldn't have happened," says one interviewee. "He was analytical, had a calm demeanor and had a great grasp for real estate law."

Department profile by Jenner & Block LLP

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Jones Day - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Strong real estate team drawing on its international presence to offer clients expertise in a variety of transactional matters including deals involving private equity, joint ventures and leasings. Notable adeptness at handling multifamily and senior housing matters for a range of domestic and multinational clients.

Strengths Clients say it is "a professional and strategic firm," adding: "They have been invaluable to my company and I enjoy working with them all very much."

The team is praised for its service, with sources saying: "The department's client service is top-class. They are efficient and timely, and their commerciality is very good."

Work highlights Represented Hyatt Hotels in two financing transactions worth $185 million.

Advised Meyer Bergman on the UK-France cross-border sale of 65-67 Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Significant clients RR Donnelley & Sons, Wells Fargo, Henderson Park Capital, Stepstone Group, Navistar.

Notable practitioners

Robert Lee is an accomplished real estate practitioner with an impressive practice encompassing private equity transaction and fund formation, joint ventures and distressed asset work. He recently advised Meyer Bergman on a $619 million cross-border joint venture negotiation.

Michael Austin is a talented associate who acts for real estate clients on leasing, acquisitions and dispositions and other matters. Clients describe him as "skilled and responsive" and praise his ability to "move the deal along."

Department profile by Jones Day

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Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Prominent department representing owners, developers, lenders and investors on complex transactional matters, such as joint venture and loan negotiations. Utilizes its global footprint to offer multidisciplinary and cross-border expertise across areas such as tax, bankruptcy and litigation.

Strengths "They are thoughtful, smart and focused on solutions. This is a group I would turn to for challenging and difficult matters."

The firm's knowledge is repeatedly highlighted as a strength, with one client noting: "They are very thorough, with broad knowledge in a lot of different areas." Another adds: "Overall, they are a really good firm with a great depth of knowledge."

Work highlights Acted for GE Capital and its affiliates in relation to the sale of two mortgage loan pools, worth $1.56 billion and $560 million.

Advised the Milwaukee Bucks on all real estate issues relating to the construction of the team's new arena.

Significant clients iStar, Blackstone, Greenfield, MetLife, Morgan Stanley.

Notable practitioners

Chair of the firm's Chicago real estate practice David Dlugie is praised for his "client focus." He represents lenders and borrowers in an array of transactions, including workouts of distressed assets from commercial mortgage and mezzanine loan programs.

Alvin Katz is "extremely empathetic, personable and detail-oriented," according to his clients. He primarily represents equity capital providers and sponsors in real estate joint ventures and other transactions.

Mark Simon earns praise from clients for his "skillful" negotiating skills. He acts for investors, pension fund advisers and development companies in real estate financing and investment matters.

The "phenomenal" Seth Madorsky is a commercial real estate attorney with a strong client base comprising real estate investors, developers and operators. He regularly advises on acquisition, sales and leasing work, as well as capital investment and joint ventures.

Department profile by Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

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Kirkland & Ellis LLP - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Offers deep expertise in an extensive array of real estate matters, encompassing acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures and portfolio-based deals. Notable for its impressive experience representing clients in financing transactions, such as REIT formations and complex debt restructurings.

Strengths "They have knowledge of the industry across several US jurisdictions and they bring a commercial approach to matters."

"They have an extremely deep bench and can commit a large amount of resources to a project on short notice. The quality of their work is very good."

Work highlights Assisted Starwood Capital in the $5.365 billion acquisition of a property portfolio consisting of 23,262 apartments.

Acted for LaSalle Investment Management in the $1 billion recapitalization of a retail portfolio in New York City.

Significant clients Equity Group Investments, Lennar Corp, Garrison Investment Group, Commonwealth REIT, AllianceBernstein.

Notable practitioners

Daniel Perlman handles real estate fund formations for private equity investors and represents REITs in acquisitions and secured and unsecured financings. He is praised for his "extremely deep knowledge" and "smart, calm advice."

Andrew Small is an experienced commercial real estate lawyer who advises clients on private equity capital raisings and the formation of joint ventures. Clients praise his "absolutely terrific" technical skills.

Rachel Brown represents both lenders and borrowers in real estate finance transactions. One impressed client praises her "fortitude, wisdom and compassion," and she is elsewhere commended for her "extraordinary" management skills.

Joshua Hanna advises a broad range of domestic and international clients on complex real estate transactions relating to industrial, retail and multifamily properties. Clients say he is "commercial and knowledgeable."

Department profile by Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Modern real estate practice requires lawyers experienced in the application of real estate, corporate, securities, partnership and tax law to complex business transactions involving the acquisition, ownership, financing and operation of commercial real estate. The members of the Real Estate Practice Group at Kirkland pursue an inter-disciplinary approach to sophisticated real estate transactions to offer our clients flexible and creative solutions to difficult problems across a broad range of transactions in the commercial real estate industry. Through extensive interaction between members of the Real Estate Practice Group and lawyers in other areas of the Firm's practice, we offer focused, multi-disciplinary counsel on a cost-effective basis. Kirkland regularly advises real estate clients on a variety of matters including the following:

  • Acquisitions and dispositions of single assets, portfolios, majority and minority equity positions, and performing and non-performing loans;

  • Joint ventures (both one-off partnerships and platforms) involving all asset classes;

  • Complex debt restructurings and workouts and equity recapitalizations, including loan to own transactions;

  • Real estate private equity fund formations and investments including institutional and principal lead funds with particular experience in cross-border structuring;

  • First mortgage and mezzanine financing transactions; and

  • REIT formation, qualification and transaction structuring.



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Latham & Watkins LLP - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Strong real estate practice with vast expertise advising investors, lenders and operators on acquisitions, finance and restructuring matters. Accomplished at handling matters involving industrial, retail and hospitality property. Noteworthy experience undertaking complex joint venture, portfolio and financing transactions.

Strengths One client reports: "We found their work to be very good," adding: "They were very thorough and have a great team."

Work highlights Represented Starwood Hotels in the sale of Vistana Signature Experiences for $1.5 billion.

Advised Phillips Edison in its $250 million joint venture with TPG in relation to its investment in grocery-anchored shopping centers.

Significant clients Apollo Global Real Estate, Highgate Hospitality, Loews Hotels, Walton Street Capital, GEM Realty Capital.

Notable practitioners

Gary Axelrod serves as global cochair of the firm's hospitality, gaming and leisure practice. He represents investors including REITs and private equity funds on significant transactions. One impressed client enthuses that "he knows the ins and outs" of real estate law, adding: "I felt that my interests were being protected but that he also knew how to get a deal done."

Robert Buday "does an outstanding job at managing clients," according to sources. He regularly handles joint ventures and other transactional work for REITs, pension funds and other investors.

Department profile by Latham & Watkins LLP

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Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Possesses a fine reputation in the real estate market for its expertise in transactional work, advising owners, lenders and borrowers on acquisitions and dispositions, construction and leasing matters. Possesses notable experience handling deals involving condominiums and manufactured housing communities.

Strengths One impressed client remarks: "They've been one of the best business partners for many years. We cannot think of a time that Levenfeld Pearlstein has not produced great service for us."

Client service is repeatedly highlighted by sources, who say: "We couldn't ask for more from them - they are professional and interested in what our business is."

Work highlights Assisted Piedmont Office Realty Trust as landlord of the Aon Center. The firm advised on lease negotiations for Kraft/Heinz Foods headquarters following its relocation.

Advised Ares Management on four separate sales encompassing a portfolio of 20 industrial assets across 12 states.

Significant clients Harbor Group, Columbia Property Trust, Trilogy Real Estate, First Capital Advisors, Next Realty.

Notable practitioners

Tom Jaros has expertise advising on financings, acquisitions and leasing. "He has the ability to get deals done," says one client. Another adds: "He is extremely competent on law and extremely efficient with time and cost. I wish there were more Toms."

Clients describe Brian Kozminski as "technically very competent" and an "excellent transaction attorney who protects our interests while getting the transaction done." He frequently advises both landlords and tenants on leasing, as well as corporate clients on acquisitions and dispositions.

David Berzon is "extremely detail-oriented" and "experienced," according to clients. He has a wide practice, regularly undertaking acquisition and disposition, complex structuring and joint venture work.

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Locke Lord LLP - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Respected commercial real estate practice with significant expertise in the Chicago market. Frequently handles financial and transaction matters such as leasing, acquisitions, financing and development for clients ranging from national institutional lenders to pension funds.

Strengths One observer remarks that they are "easy to work with, reasonably priced and very experienced."

One client reports: "I love them - they are incredibly responsive, knowledgeable and hard-working. They always have our back."

Significant clients AEW Capital Management, China Cinda Asset Management, Hilco Real Estate, The John Buck Company, New York Life.

Notable practitioners Sam Stempel is the chair of the firm's real estate transactions group and a key contact.

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Mayer Brown LLP - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Quality practice noted for its ability to handle a wide range of domestic and cross-border real estate transactions, covering acquisitions and dispositions, and financings. Advises a broad spectrum of public and private companies, REITs, private equity firms and joint venture clients on high-value matters.

Strengths "Their deal people are excellent and know what they're doing. They have a depth of experience that is hard to find."

Clients report that "they are persistent, knowledgeable and strong when it comes to negotiating."

Work highlights Advised Prologis in the $5.9 billion cross-border acquisition of KTR Capital Partners' real estate assets.

Acted for Heitman LLC in its $2.3 billion acquisition of eight retail properties from across the USA.

Significant clients Alinda Capital, Belmont Village, Grosvenor, RREEF, Walton Street.

Notable practitioners

Practice leader Jeffrey Usow is praised for the "calming influence" he has on transactions. He has significant experience handling a broad range of real estate financing matters including acquisitions, joint ventures and asset management activities.

Paul Meyer represents a global client base on US and cross-border real estate transactions, including complex joint ventures and financing involving office, retail and residential properties. Sources describe him as "extremely thoughtful" and a "really sharp lawyer."

Ivan Kane is an experienced practitioner who acts for developers, corporations and individuals in a wide array of commercial real estate transactions. He also handles various real estate financing matters for banks and other financial institutions.

John Gearen has a strong and longstanding reputation in the market, representing financial institutions in acquisitions and real estate financing, as well as tenants and landlords on a range of leasing matters.

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Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Proficient across the full range of real estate transactions, with experience advising the complete roster of commercial clients on acquisitions, dispositions and financings. Accomplished at handling complex joint ventures, leasings and matters involving REITs.

Strengths "They have practical business sense and the ability to make things happen in their firm's real estate department without having to deal with the bureaucracy prevalent in some large firms."

One impressed client enthuses: "They are efficient, hard-working and respected by all parties to the transaction."

Work highlights Assisted Equity Residential on the complete process of the client's $5.365 billion sale of 72 properties consisting of more than 23,000 apartment units across the USA.

Acted for the real estate investment firm M & J Wilkow in its $190 million acquisition of East Gate Square Shopping Center.

Significant clients DW Partners, O' Connor Mall Partners.

Notable practitioners

Clients comment that Douglas Lubelchek is "very practical" and "has done so many transactions, it seems like he's seen everything." As chair of the real estate group, he regularly advises clients on the full spectrum of real estate and finance transactions.

Department profile by Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP

We help commercial real estate owners untangle the dense legal issues enveloping complex real estate transactions. The firm’s real estate practice understands how these issues intersect and leverages its knowledge and experience to deliver the seamless support necessary to execute our clients’ growth strategies and manage their real estate risks.

Our attorneys have achieved smooth and efficient real estate transactions for our clients, including negotiating acquisitions and divestitures and confronting complex environmental, structuring and tax matters. Our entrepreneurial mindset and broad-based skills have helped us build long-standing relationships with some of the nation’s largest owners of commercial real estate.

Our diverse client base includes REITs, local and national corporations, partnerships, entrepreneurs, financial institutions, builders, management companies, operators, developers and individuals with significant real estate holdings.

In addition to our legal skills, we create additional value by applying our well-cultivated understanding of current real estate and business trends to protect and advance our clients’ interests. Our real estate attorneys pair their experience in handling particular property types with a keen understanding of how to structure the ownership and management of real estate entities.

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Paul Hastings LLP - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Trusted team assisting private equity and joint venture clients with transactional real estate matters, including acquisitions, dispositions and financings. Possesses a burgeoning practice handling data center transaction work and hospitality-related matters.

Strengths The team is praised for its client service, with sources saying: "They are very well organized and able to respond quickly with a detailed knowledge. On a number of occasions they have worked around the clock to complete deals within very tight timelines."

Clients recommend the team for its experience of "complex transactions and deals that require a lot of manpower," adding: "I know my interests are well protected."

Work highlights Has acted for SoftLayer Technologies, a private and hybrid cloud solutions company, in developing and leasing data center facilities across the world.

Advised Henry Street Partners on the purchase of a property for development of a 200-unit mixed-use apartment and retail property.

Significant clients Acadia Realty Trust, Aterian Partners, Doral Financial, Balboa Retail, Victory Park Capital.

Notable practitioners

Gregory Spitzer is "very commercial with excellent negotiation skills," enthuses one client, adding: "He maintained composure and control throughout the negotiation process." Spitzer has a diverse real estate practice, with a focus on data center, private equity and joint venture-related matters.

Department profile by Paul Hastings LLP

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Pircher, Nichols & Meeks LLP - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Broad-based practice that offers clients a plethora of services, most notably in the real estate investment space. Represents a range of private and institutional investors including REITs and pension funds. Involved in various development, leasing and joint venture matters, as well as bankruptcy and restructuring issues.

Work highlights Acted as local counsel for Blackstone in relation to the group's $1.3 billion purchase of Willis Tower.

Represented Zeller Realty in the leasing arrangements with Apple for the plaza of 401 North Michigan Avenue.

Significant clients Starwood Capital, Oaktree Capital, Equity Office Properties, PIMCO, Farallon Capital.

Notable practitioners

Eugene Leone is described by one client as "very savvy, positive and responsive to questions." Another remarks: "His advice and execution have always met or exceeded expectations." His commercial real estate practice comprises joint venture, financing and acquisition and disposition work.

Department profile by Pircher, Nichols & Meeks LLP

Pircher, Nichols & Meeks LLP is nationally recognized as one of the premier real estate law firms in the country, with a diversified practice built upon the collective knowledge of our attorneys. We believe that our people are our greatest asset, and in keeping with that philosophy, we invest in them by providing ongoing training, such as twice-weekly continuing education sessions on current trends in real estate transactions, documents and related legal issues, where many of the associates participate in and most partners attend at least 25 sessions per year. In order to recruit the very best talent, we pay our associates competitive salaries. Because, in the end, we believe it is our intellectual capital that not only sets us apart, but enables us to grow and build on the foundation that was established over three decades ago.


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Quarles & Brady LLP - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Well-established commercial real estate team providing advice to such clients as landlords, investors and financial institutions in Illinois and across the USA. Recognized for its strong leasing practice and its experience in the acquisition and disposition of a wide variety of buildings and premises.

Strengths The team is praised as "very willing to take on new areas of business and commit resources to become helpful," adding: "They pay excellent attention to detail and are very responsive."

Work highlights Advised 151 Franklin LLC as a developer in relation to the negotiation and administration of a pre-construction lease agreement worth $65 million.

Acted for FCA Partners, as landlord, with regard to a lease agreement with United States Cellular Corporation worth in excess of $100 million.

Significant clients Millbrook Properties, John Hancock Life Insurance, TIAA-CREF, City of Chicago, Union Investment Real Estate.

Notable practitioners

Ted Yi has a strong real estate practice, regularly acting for property owners on commercial lease transactions. "He is always professional, responsive and creative. He makes deals without sacrificing our position," says one client.

Robert Messerly provides clients with "an excellent second opinion on more complex legal matters." He has impressive experience advising on real estate joint ventures and investments, as well as acquisitions and dispositions.

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Seyfarth Shaw LLP - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for A highly regarded and wide-ranging commercial real estate practice. Advises on an array of development projects, as well as issues concerning REITs, joint ventures and pension funds. Represents a combination of Chicago-based, national and international clients.

Strengths One impressed client remarks: "They offer a great client service," adding: "They're very commercial, easy to talk to and I've had no issues with the billing process."

One interviewee values the team's national footprint: "They have offices throughout the US, which is helpful when local counsel is needed for a particular transaction."

Work highlights Represented Los Angeles Football Club in the redevelopment of the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, valued at $280 million.

Notable practitioners

Joel Rubin is "a business-minded attorney," remarks one client, who continues: "He's one of the lead real estate lawyers in Chicago." He has vast experience acting for investors, developers and REITs.

The "phenomenal" Alvin Kruse has "great attention to detail and can quickly summarize risk points when negotiations become complicated," say clients. He has a broad practice, frequently advising institutional lenders on loan transactions and owners on M&A and structuring work.

Department profile by Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Seyfarth’s Real Estate practice is unrivaled in its knowledge and experience in the industry.  As one of the five largest real estate practices in the U.S., our team of over 140 attorneys has helped clients close some of the largest, most notable transactions over the last several years, and is recognized for bringing creative structures to highly complex, sophisticated commercial real estate transactions, helping our clients maximize the value of each deal. 


With offices strategically located in key urban and real estate centers throughout the country - Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. - we offer clients a premier group capable of providing consistent and seamless service across our platform.
In addition, our global footprint means that we can assist our clients in real estate transactions all over the world.


Please visit our website for more information: http://www.seyfarth.com/Real-Estate.

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Sidley Austin LLP - Real Estate

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Impressively diverse real estate practice, handling complex financing transactions, including commercial mortgage-backed securities deals, construction loans and portfolio financing. Primarily advises lenders but has stellar experience acting for a range of other clients on loan workouts, restructurings and foreclosures.

Strengths "The team is very professional. Even when other partners are working on different aspects of the transaction, they all come together to make it a very smooth process."

The team's responsiveness is repeatedly highlighted as a strength, with one source saying: "One thing that stuck out was how amazingly responsive they were. I could write to them 24/7 and they'd respond in a very short amount of time."

Work highlights Represented Deutsche Bank in numerous high-value matters including its $445 million mortgage loan to IO Data Centers.

Advised Forterra in the sale-leaseback of a four million sq ft portfolio across the USA and Canada in a matter worth $217 million.

Significant clients Bank of America, Care Capital Properties, Goldman Sachs, Starwood Property, Ventas.

Notable practitioners

Charles Schrank has significant experience in a wide range of real estate financing matters, including securitizations, equity investments and joint ventures. Clients praise his ability to approach matters from a commercial perspective.

Anthony Aiello heads the Chicago real estate group and is described as a "seasoned veteran with experience in all aspects of real estate law." He represents borrowers and lenders in structured finance work, as well as landlords and tenants in leasing transactions.

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Senior Statesmen

Dennis Ferrazzano

Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Dennis Ferrazzano's real estate practice is "excellent," according to one source. His work includes financing, restructuring and transactional matters connected to the acquisition and development of office, retail and industrial properties.

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Senior Statesmen

Mayer Brown LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

John Gearen has a strong and longstanding reputation in the market, representing financial institutions in acquisitions and real estate financing, as well as tenants and landlords on a range of leasing matters.

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Senior Statesmen

Dentons

From the Chambers USA guide

Eric Schiller is called a "fantastic lawyer," having practiced in real estate and commercial finance law for more than 30 years. His work covers joint ventures, real estate acquisitions, sales and financings.

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Band 1

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Alvin Katz is "extremely empathetic, personable and detail-oriented," according to his clients. He primarily represents equity capital providers and sponsors in real estate joint ventures and other transactions.

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Band 1

Howard Kirschbaum

Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

One client says Howard Kirschbaum is "the best lawyer I know," describing him as "thoughtful, smart and incredibly quick-thinking." He handles joint ventures, leasing and dispositions and real estate financings.

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Band 1

Dentons

From the Chambers USA guide

Patrick Moran has a strong reputation for excellence in a broad array of real estate matters. He regularly advises on secured construction and term loans, as well as working with landlords and tenants in the leasing of office space.

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Band 1

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Joel Rubin is "a business-minded attorney," remarks one client, who continues: "He's one of the lead real estate lawyers in Chicago." He has vast experience acting for investors, developers and REITs.

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Band 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Gary Axelrod serves as global cochair of the firm's hospitality, gaming and leisure practice. He represents investors including REITs and private equity funds on significant transactions. One impressed client enthuses that "he knows the ins and outs" of real estate law, adding: "I felt that my interests were being protected but that he also knew how to get a deal done."

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Band 2

Michael T Fishman

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Michael Fishman represents REITs, developers and institutional investors on a range of real estate finance and fund formation matters. Sources describe him as "excellent."

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Band 2

Michael S Kurtzon

Dykema Gossett PLLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Michael Kurtzon is a "very educated and experienced real estate attorney," according to one client. He is noted for his work in the lending arena, frequently advising banks on large construction loans and restructurings.

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Band 2

Jones Day

From the Chambers USA guide

Robert Lee is an accomplished real estate practitioner with an impressive practice encompassing private equity transaction and fund formation, joint ventures and distressed asset work. He recently advised Meyer Bergman on a $619 million cross-border joint venture negotiation.

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Band 2

Eugene J. M. Leone

Pircher, Nichols & Meeks LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Eugene Leone is described by one client as "very savvy, positive and responsive to questions." Another remarks: "His advice and execution have always met or exceeded expectations." His commercial real estate practice comprises joint venture, financing and acquisition and disposition work.

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Band 2

Douglas J Lubelchek

Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Clients comment that Douglas Lubelchek is "very practical" and "has done so many transactions, it seems like he's seen everything." As chair of the real estate group, he regularly advises clients on the full spectrum of real estate and finance transactions.

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Band 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Daniel Perlman handles real estate fund formations for private equity investors and represents REITs in acquisitions and secured and unsecured financings. He is praised for his "extremely deep knowledge" and "smart, calm advice."

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Band 2

Jenner & Block LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Donald Resnick is a highly experienced attorney whom clients respect for his expertise in a wide range of real estate issues. "Without him the deal wouldn't have happened," says one interviewee. "He was analytical, had a calm demeanor and had a great grasp for real estate law."

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Band 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Andrew Small is an experienced commercial real estate lawyer who advises clients on private equity capital raisings and the formation of joint ventures. Clients praise his "absolutely terrific" technical skills.

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Band 2

Mayer Brown LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Practice leader Jeffrey Usow is praised for the "calming influence" he has on transactions. He has significant experience handling a broad range of real estate financing matters including acquisitions, joint ventures and asset management activities.

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Band 2

Quarles & Brady LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Ted Yi has a strong real estate practice, regularly acting for property owners on commercial lease transactions. "He is always professional, responsive and creative. He makes deals without sacrificing our position," says one client.

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Band 3

Sidley Austin LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Anthony Aiello heads the Chicago real estate group and is described as a "seasoned veteran with experience in all aspects of real estate law." He represents borrowers and lenders in structured finance work, as well as landlords and tenants in leasing transactions.

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Band 3

Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Mark Beaubien's practice covers complex commercial acquisitions and dispositions, as well as joint ventures and tax-deferred transactions. Clients acknowledge him as "very smart."

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Band 3

Suzanne Bessette-Smith

Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Suzanne Bessette-Smith cochairs the real estate group and has extensive experience dealing with publicly traded REITs. Her work also includes joint venture formations and a range of commercial development matters.

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Band 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Rachel Brown represents both lenders and borrowers in real estate finance transactions. One impressed client praises her "fortitude, wisdom and compassion," and she is elsewhere commended for her "extraordinary" management skills.

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Band 3

Latham & Watkins LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Robert Buday "does an outstanding job at managing clients," according to sources. He regularly handles joint ventures and other transactional work for REITs, pension funds and other investors.

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Band 3

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Terrence Budny of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is "knowledgeable and experienced across all lease-related areas and issues," according to one client. He has a broad practice, with significant experience advising lenders on mortgage loans.

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Band 3

Steven R Davidson

Dentons

From the Chambers USA guide

Steven Davidson is "very responsive" and "solution-oriented," according to sources. His practice focuses on real estate financing transactions including construction and term loans secured by real estate collateral.

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Band 3

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Chair of the firm's Chicago real estate practice David Dlugie is praised for his "client focus." He represents lenders and borrowers in an array of transactions, including workouts of distressed assets from commercial mortgage and mezzanine loan programs.

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Band 3

Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Tom Jaros has expertise advising on financings, acquisitions and leasing. "He has the ability to get deals done," says one client. Another adds: "He is extremely competent on law and extremely efficient with time and cost. I wish there were more Toms."

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Band 3

Mayer Brown LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Ivan Kane is an experienced practitioner who acts for developers, corporations and individuals in a wide array of commercial real estate transactions. He also handles various real estate financing matters for banks and other financial institutions.

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Band 3

Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Clients describe Brian Kozminski as "technically very competent" and an "excellent transaction attorney who protects our interests while getting the transaction done." He frequently advises both landlords and tenants on leasing, as well as corporate clients on acquisitions and dispositions.

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Band 3

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

The "phenomenal" Alvin Kruse has "great attention to detail and can quickly summarize risk points when negotiations become complicated," say clients. He has a broad practice, frequently advising institutional lenders on loan transactions and owners on M&A and structuring work.

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Band 3

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Corey Light handles complex real estate transactions including acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures and financings for property owners, developers and lenders. According to clients, "he can deal with difficult situations in a practical way."

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Band 3

Dentons

From the Chambers USA guide

Mark Mehlman is described as "an excellent lawyer" by one source. He acts on a wide range of real estate matters, including finance work, developments, transactions and joint ventures.

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Band 3

Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Howard Nagelberg has "a great reputation" for his work with REITs and handling international real estate transactions. Clients describe him as "a great resource."

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Band 3

Charles E Schrank

Sidley Austin LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Charles Schrank has significant experience in a wide range of real estate financing matters, including securitizations, equity investments and joint ventures. Clients praise his ability to approach matters from a commercial perspective.

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Band 3

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Mark Simon earns praise from clients for his "skillful" negotiating skills. He acts for investors, pension fund advisers and development companies in real estate financing and investment matters.

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Band 3

Paul Hastings LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Gregory Spitzer is "very commercial with excellent negotiation skills," enthuses one client, adding: "He maintained composure and control throughout the negotiation process." Spitzer has a diverse real estate practice, with a focus on data center, private equity and joint venture-related matters.

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Band 4

Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC

From the Chambers USA guide

David Berzon is "extremely detail-oriented" and "experienced," according to clients. He has a wide practice, regularly undertaking acquisition and disposition, complex structuring and joint venture work.

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Band 4

DLA Piper LLP (US)

From the Chambers USA guide

David Glickstein has a longstanding reputation for real estate development work. He also advises on financing transactions for lenders and borrowers.

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Band 4

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Joshua Hanna advises a broad range of domestic and international clients on complex real estate transactions relating to industrial, retail and multifamily properties. Clients say he is "commercial and knowledgeable."

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Band 4

Dykema Gossett PLLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Robert Linton offers clients broad expertise, regularly advising on commercial transactions such as acquisitions and dispositions, as well as financings and real estate development matters. He has notable experience in the commercial leasing sector.

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Band 4

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

The "phenomenal" Seth Madorsky is a commercial real estate attorney with a strong client base comprising real estate investors, developers and operators. He regularly advises on acquisition, sales and leasing work, as well as capital investment and joint ventures.

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Band 4

Quarles & Brady LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Robert Messerly provides clients with "an excellent second opinion on more complex legal matters." He has impressive experience advising on real estate joint ventures and investments, as well as acquisitions and dispositions.

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Band 4

Mayer Brown LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Paul Meyer represents a global client base on US and cross-border real estate transactions, including complex joint ventures and financing involving office, retail and residential properties. Sources describe him as "extremely thoughtful" and a "really sharp lawyer."

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Band 4

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Nancy Olson of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is "extremely responsive to requests and produces consistently superb work under short timeframes." She is a member of the firm's REIT group and handles real estate finance matters for both lenders and borrowers.

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Band 4

James B Rosenbloom

Goldberg Kohn Ltd

From the Chambers USA guide

James Rosenbloom is "one of the best lawyers I have ever worked with," according to one impressed client, who adds: "He sees the larger strategic business picture." His practice encompasses acquisitions, refinancings and restructurings for investors. He has notable experience advising on data center leasing and leaseback.

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Band 4

Dentons

From the Chambers USA guide

Linda White acts for both landlords and tenants in leasing and property management matters, as well as joint ventures and acquisitions. One client calls her "a very strong negotiator who really looks out for our best interests."

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Up and Coming

Polsinelli PC

From the Chambers USA guide

Eric Greenfield of Polsinelli PC is "an outstanding practice manager, team leader and client-focused professional," according to one client. Another highlights him as "extremely business-minded, fair and ethical." He represents lenders, investors and joint venture partners on all aspects of real estate transactions, with a particular focus on campus housing.

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Associates to watch

Jones Day

From the Chambers USA guide

Michael Austin is a talented associate who acts for real estate clients on leasing, acquisitions and dispositions and other matters. Clients describe him as "skilled and responsive" and praise his ability to "move the deal along."

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