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Sidley prides itself on being at the forefront of breaking developments in the dynamic real estate arena. Our lawyers serve all major participants in every aspect of this industry, providing advice on a variety of complex transactional, regulatory and litigation matters—from those inherent in daily business to deals that are transforming the skylines of cities around the world.


The firm’s real estate lawyers, resident in the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific, possess decades of experience assisting domestic and foreign lenders, investors, owners, developers, and public and private Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) with all of their real estate-related issues. We leverage the global reach and wide range of legal disciplines of our full-service law firm and have both the knowledge and strategic vision to handle all types of matters involving commercial and residential real estate.

“They’ve established themselves as our go-to firm on a broad array of transactions. The level of service is remarkably good and the level of professional competence is everything we could ask for and more.”
Chambers USA 2020 

Specific areas of our industry experience include:

  • Global finance and capital markets leader. Our team features leading practitioners in real estate and capital market finance, with deep experience in the most diversified range of financing structures. These include commercial mortgage-backed securities, acquisition, construction and development loans, term loans, portfolio or balance sheet commercial real estate financings, syndicated, agented and participated credit facilities, secured and unsecured credit facilities, warehouse and repurchase lines, bridge financings, mezzanine loans, synthetic and leveraged leases and leasehold financings. We are a market and thought leader on loan splits, sales and participations, including A/B structures, multi-party intercreditor, subordination and participation arrangements, structuring loans for securitization, syndication, sale and portfolio investment, residential mortgage-backed securities and the creation of multi-tiered capital stacks. 
  • Workouts and restructuring experience. We are acknowledged in the industry for our involvement in the most high-profile and important commercial real estate workouts and restructurings of modern times (Chambers calls our experience in the area “legendary”). Our team represents numerous institutional and private equity lenders in restructurings, foreclosures, guaranty enforcement and the enforcement of other remedies. We represent leading special servicers of defaulted securitized mortgages, purchasers and sellers of individual loans and loan interests in complex tranched capital structures, and in the acquisition and disposition of portfolios of non-performing and underperforming loans. 

“Its knowledge of current market practices makes it invaluable to clients.”
Chambers USA 2020

  • Construction and development project capabilities. We handle a wide variety of real estate construction and development projects. Our clients include developers, homebuilders, REITs, multinational corporations, airlines and utility companies involved in the construction and development of manufacturing, distribution and other operational facilities, as well as banks and other financial institutions that originate construction loans secured by real property of all kinds.
  • Land development and local government insight. We assist industry clients in working through the complexities of the local regulatory process. Our land use lawyers have obtained governmental approvals and entitlements from scores of city and suburban jurisdictions, enabling clients to construct a variety of projects, both large and small. We routinely secure approvals for commercial and industrial projects and have unique experience in handling complex institutional initiatives and undertakings by public utility and public service clients. We counsel clients on the applicability of municipal zoning ordinances, as they impact proposed property transactions and development plans. Additionally, we assist clients in obtaining benefits under various state and local economic development and tax incentive programs and have experience in annexation, eminent domain, permitting, public way vacations and dedications, and property tax assessment and exemption initiatives.
  • First-tier REIT practice. For decades, our lawyers have represented some of the largest and most influential REITs, providing a comprehensive range of capital markets, M&A, fund formation, tax and structured finance legal services for clients involved in the real estate industry. The firm is consistently ranked by Thomson Reuters as one of the top counsels in public and private REIT securities offerings. We have participated in the IPOs of dozens of REITs and represented clients in joint ventures, strategic alliances, mergers, acquisitions and dispositions involving REITs or REIT portfolios. Our lawyers also have substantial experience in the formation of REITs and in all aspects of the taxation of REITs and their shareholders, as well as in conversions and business combinations.
  • Comprehensive bankruptcy and litigation support. By leveraging our top-rated Restructuring practice, we were among the first, and remain one of the strongest, real estate practices assisting clients with their distressed asset acquisitions, loan enforcement (including contested foreclosure), investments and commercial loan workouts. Our team also includes real estate litigators and trial lawyers well versed in the complexities of real estate transaction structures and experienced in the successful defense, prosecution and resolution of disputes in the courts and through alternative dispute resolution. 

Our team draws on the firm’s global capabilities and its talented practitioners from myriad legal disciplines, including banking and financial services, corporate, project finance and infrastructure, private equity, securities, investment funds, advisers and derivatives, tax, energy, litigation and financial restructuring, to serve our real estate clients in every segment and asset class. These projects include office buildings, shopping centers, retail developments, hotels and resorts, land development projects, affordable housing, hospitals, senior living and healthcare facilities, universities and colleges, industrial and warehouse facilities, mixed-use projects, condominiums, apartment buildings, brownfields and green buildings, energy and utility projects, franchise operations and automobile dealerships, among other real estate and business assets.

Recognition for our lawyers

The leaders of our Real Estate practice are among the most widely known, respected and sought-after practitioners anywhere. They are frequent speakers, authors and teachers and are lauded by the press, the real estate community and other lawyers as industry innovators. Strong leadership on behalf of clients has earned many of our real estate lawyers, including several acknowledged as among the best in the world and others as “rising stars,” recognition from numerous industry publications and rankings at the highest levels by such well-known authorities as Chambers USA, U.S. News & World Report, Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who Legal, The National Law Journal, Law360, Real Estate Weekly and The Legal 500