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Everett S. Ward featured in “Business Leaders of Color 2015”

Chicago United

Everett Ward, a partner in Quarles & Brady’s National Real Estate Group, is working with others in the group spearheading the formation of the firm’s Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) Practice Group, an interdisciplinary team of attorneys who seek to represent REITs in all aspects of their businesses.

While his practice is predominantly national in scope, he has done transaction work in Japan and the Ukraine. Types and sizes range from single-site transactions having a value of less than or more than $3 million, to multi-site/multi-state portfolio transactions valued in excess of $2 billion.

In December, 2014, Ward led a team in representing John Hancock Real Estate, the U.S. real estate unit of Manulife, in the sale of an office building in Chicago to a joint venture between Manulife Asset Management Private Markets and Allianz. The transaction was the first step in creating an investment vehicle and structure to purchase up to $1 billion in U.S. real estate.

Ward takes a cerebral approach to mentoring, believing it is important to help his mentees become critical thinkers. “You need to get used to stretching yourself intellectually, thinking about things and figuring out how to make them better.” Then, says Ward, you have to take it to the next step. “You need to be able to speak up when things aren’t going the way you think they should.”

For Ward, this kind of mentoring is crucial for organizations to empower their people and create foundational value. “The ability to push down decisions to a level where they can be analyzed and improved by the people who are going to be implementing them, without going through a ton of corporate process, will drive how we perform in the future.”

Through his “first Tuesdays” monthly lunch meetings, Ward created an elegant way for his team to leverage their collective ideas and expertise. Ward also encourages lawyers to volunteer and participate outside of the office in charitable, civic, and private organizations. “It provides perspective and makes you unafraid of change.”