Everett S. Ward, Partner


Everett S. Ward represents corporate, commercial, and not-for-profit clients in the acquisition, disposition, financing, and leasing of commercial, industrial, and residential real property, including hotels, industrial properties, mixed-use properties, manufactured housing developments, multifamily developments, senior living facilities, farmland properties, office buildings, and shopping centers. He also represents clients in the formation and financing of real estate joint ventures on both stabilized assets and development projects.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Everett has been using his extensive loan workout and amendment experience to help both lenders and borrowers succeed at this time.

His experience includes:

  • Representation of an S&P 500 real estate investment trust (REIT) that is one of the largest publicly traded owners, operators, and developers of multifamily housing in the United States.
  • Representation of a major life insurance company in the sale of a Class A office building in the Chicago, Illinois CBD for a sale price in excess of $250 million.
  • Representation of a syndicate of major life insurance companies in a $480 million multistate loan transaction secured by parking garage facilities.
  • Representation of pension and governmental plan sponsors and plan advisors on a variety of real estate financing transactions.
  • Representation of owners of senior housing facilities (including independent living, assisted living and memory care) in construction loan and term loan financing transactions on properties located throughout the United States.
  • Team leader for firm attorneys that serve as Midwest Regional Counsel for a major life insurance company on mortgage loan and loan sale transactions ranging in size from $3 million to in excess of $1 billion.
  • Representation of entities in the purchase and sale of farmland in the Midwestern United States.
  • Representation of a joint venture in the acquisition of a portfolio of multifamily housing assets located in the southeastern United States for a purchase price in excess of $130 million.
  • Representation of a university as ground lessor in a ground lease/real estate development transaction.
  • Representation of the seller of a portfolio of mortgage loans for in excess of $900 million.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, Certificate, Quarles & Brady Leadership Program (2016)
  • Harvard Law School (J.D., 1986)
    • Board of Student Advisors (Member, 1984–1986)
  • Princeton University (A.B., 1983)
    • The Princeton Club of Washington, D.C. Scholarship
      (Recipient, 1979–1983)

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1986

Professional and Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section, member
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), fellow
  • American College of Mortgage Attorneys (ACMA), fellow; board of regents, 2021-present
  • Economic Club of Chicago, member
  • The Field Museum of Chicago, member; board of trustees, 2009–present
  • Rush Oak Park Hospital, board member, 2019-present
  • State of Illinois Real Estate Administration and Disciplinary Board, member 2016-2022
  • Oak Park Economic Development Corporation (formerly known as the Oak Park Development Corporation), board member, member of the executive committee: 2013–2018
  • Lambda Alpha International, Ely Chapter, 2010-2018, member
  • Thresholds, board president, 2000–2002; member; board of directors, 1996–2008
  • Practising Law Institute (PLI) Chicago Real Estate Financing Program, co-chair, 2013-2017
  • American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Continuing Legal Education, member, 2014-2017
  • American Bar Association's Real Property, Trust and Estates Section, former vice chair; Real Estate Investment Trust Committee , former chair

Professional Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Real Estate, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Most Influential Minority Lawyer in Chicago by Crain's Chicago Business, 2017
  • Illinois Leading Lawyer - Law Bulletin Media, Real Estate: Commercial & Finance, 2008–present
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell's highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability
  • Illinois Super Lawyers®, Real Estate, 2006–present
  • Who's Who In Black Chicago, Chicago's Counselors at Law – 2006, 2007, 2010
  • Named a 2015 Business Leader of Color by Chicago United
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