We offer the depth of legal service and extensive business and legal experience needed to successfully represent real estate clients in projects and transactions including land development, regulatory challenges, public/private financing, title clearance, commercial sales transactions, commercial leasing, closings, and much more.
Our attorneys represent public and private clients, including land developers, residential and commercial builders, developers specializing in new urbanism and mixed-use projects, investors in real estate, banks and financial institutions in real estate lending transactions, as well as special purpose taxing districts. Real estate dispute resolution, including litigation and arbitration of contract disputes, construction defect cases, zoning matters, eminent domain, and representation in title disputes arising from adverse possession claims and other title matters, are all part of the variety of litigation services offered to our real estate clients.
Our attorneys have extensive experience working with real estate clients on transactional matters. Recent representative matters include:
- Subdivision development from acquisition of the underlying property through construction; drafting of subdivision declarations or indentures; sale of homes; business entity formation for developers and homeowners associations, including advisory representation regarding administration and elections; addition of future phases to subdivisions; trademark and licensing issues related to real estate developments; use or sale of display homes; and management of common ground and subdivision amenities including water features, swimming pools and lakes, and drafting of documents related to liability issues arising from development amenities.
- Negotiation of annexation of property and development agreements with municipalities including zoning, development incentives and municipal services, as well as public/private development projects, redevelopment projects and tax incentive projects, including TIF, CID, TDD and TAD projects.
- Preparation and negotiation of easements required for purchase of real estate for development and for construction related to subdivision development and easements related to permitting limited use of client/owner’s real property by others.
- Condominium development, including initial acquisition of underlying property, drafting Declarations of Condominium, certification of condominium projects for HUD approved (FHA) financing by purchasers, management and/or amendment of common elements or limited common elements during development of additional phases, and the design and formation of business entities for the management of condominium homeowners associations.
- Zoning and entitlement representation.
Purchase and Sale Transactions
- Negotiation and preparation of contracts of purchase and sale, with due diligence investigation and inspection for investments.
- Closing of investment transactions, including commercial (industrial and mixed-use) and residential properties.
- Representation of clients in the purchase and sale of agricultural, mixed-use, commercial, and residential property and subsequent leasing and management.
- Handling of IRS Code Section 1031 exchange transactions, Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer and Distress for Rent statutes, and Illinois Cook County and City of Chicago security deposit laws and ordinances.
- Representation of purchasers of real property at real estate tax sales, including subsequent perfection and clearance of title.
Property Management and Leasing
- Property rental contracts and property management, including extensive experience with complex lease negotiations with office and commercial tenants.
- Representation of both shopping center owners and retailers in lease negotiations, including percentage rent, expense stop, and other forms of lease transactions.
- Advice on risk assessment and management of property liability issues for a wide array of property types and users.
- Representation of clients in Missouri and Illinois in real estate taxation appeals.
- Preparation and negotiation of terms of commercial building contracts for office, restaurant, retail and mixed-use projects.
- Preparation and negotiation of terms of residential building construction contracts for both custom and residential tract builders.
- Preparation and negotiation of traditional design build contracts.
- Management of construction loan disbursements for purposes of title, including obtaining mechanics lien waivers and making disbursements.
- Preparation, filing and enforcement of mechanics liens in Illinois and Missouri.
Workouts, Foreclosures, and Enforcement Actions
- Negotiation and preparation of workout and forbearance agreements on behalf of both debtors and creditors in commercial transactions.
- Representation of debtors and creditors in foreclosure of real property related to deeds of trust, enforcement of judgments, and mechanics liens.
- Representation of lien holders in various enforcement actions, including judicial and non-judicial foreclosures, mechanics lien foreclosures, contract for deed enforcement actions and creditor proceedings including Chapter 11 reorganizations.
- Title examination and chain of title review for the purpose of issuing title commitment and policies for a title insurance company in Illinois.
- Examination of real estate title insurance commitments and policies in Illinois.
- Preparation and review of closing documents and conduction of closings of real estate transactions in Illinois and Missouri and issuance of title insurance policies in Illinois.
- Title examination in connection with representation of banks in foreclosure of commercial properties (some residential).
- Negotiation, review, and analysis of issues related to clearing real estate title, including purchase and sale, contracts, inheritance matter, estate and trusts transfers, easements, encroachment, and other title-related disputes.
Our diverse and experienced real estate attorneys have represented clients in both traditional litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings including mediation and arbitration relating to the following types of real property disputes on behalf of commercial, residential, and public clients:
- Breach of contract
- Fraud and misrepresentation
- Unlawful Merchandising Practices Act violations
- Construction and property defect cases
- Boundary disputes
- Adverse possession and prescriptive easements
- Title defects
- Covenant violations
- Eminent domain and valuation
- Commercial lease disputes (rent, premises violation, maintenance disputes)
- Brokerage commission disputes
- Housing discrimination
- Environmental contamination
- Zoning and subdivision disputes
News & Press Releases
- SmithAmundsen, January 26, 2017
- January 20, 2017
- SmithAmundsen, November 3, 2016
- Crain's Chicago Business, September 10, 2016
- The American Lawyer, August 2016
- Equality Illinois, July 8, 2016
- Above the Law, April 18, 2016
- Above the Law, April 13, 2016
- February 25, 2016
- August 22, 2013
- Illinois State Bar Association’s Bench & Bar Newsletter, June 2016, June 2016
- ISBA Real Estate Newsletter, April 1, 2016
- Builder News, June 2015
- Builder News, June 2013
- Builder News, January 24, 2013
Presentations & Events
- National Business Institute; Webinar, April 7, 2017
- National Business Institute, Webinar, August 15, 2016
- National Business Institute, Webinar, June 24, 2015
- National Business Institute, Naperville, IL, June 15, 2015