Theodore I. Yi, Partner


Theodore Yi prides himself on understanding not just the salient laws but the many technical aspects of the complicated, large-scale real estate transactions on which he works. He views each lease in the context of the industry that will make use of the space, does his homework on how that industry uses space, and tailors the language of the lease to align with the specific needs of the tenant. Ted is adept at putting together major anchor tenant leases, serving clients in the retail, medical office, hospital, and professional services sectors, where he seeks to meet the objectives of all parties to the agreement while upholding his responsibility to be a trustworthy advocate for his clients.

Ted’s extensive and varied real estate experience includes a wide range of commercial real estate transactions, with a particular focus on commercial lease transactions representing both owners and users of office, retail, and industrial properties. He represents institutional landlords, such as insurance companies, pension funds, and real estate investment trusts (REITs), as well as users of properties, including users of technically complex space such as trading floors and data centers. In particular, he has represented a number of Fortune 250 corporations in connection with relocations of their corporate headquarters.

The total mechanics of legal practice — science and art, alike — are important to Ted. A voracious learner, he loves his profession because it requires the constant acquisition of new skill sets and industry experience. Ted offers his clients more than 30 years of experience, but he approaches each transaction with a determination to become even more of an authority than he already is.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • Harvard Law School Executive Education (Leadership in Law Firms Program, 2017)
  • University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business (Certificate of Executive Management, 2013)
  • Harvard Law School (J.D., 1982)
    • Harvard Environmental Law Review (Editor)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (B.A. and B.S., 1979)
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Professional and Civic Activities

  • Chicago Architecture Foundation, board member
    • Governance Committee, chair
  • Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, former board member
    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, former member
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers, fellow
  • Lambda Alpha International, Ely Chapter, member
  • Asian-American Bar Association of Greater Chicago, member, former officer, board member
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, member, former officer, board member
  • Chicago Bar Foundation, former board member
  • Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms, former board member
  • Cook County State's Attorney's Asian-American Advisory, former council member
  • Harvard Law Society of Illinois, former president
  • The John Marshall Law School, Real Estate Law LL.M. Program, former adjunct professor

Professional Recognition

  • Notable Minorities in Accounting, Consulting and Law in Chicago by Crain's Chicago Business, 2019
  • Most Influential Minority Lawyer in Chicago by Crain's Chicago Business, 2017
  • Illinois Leading Lawyer - Law Bulletin Media, Real Estate: Commercial & Finance, 2017-present
  • Chicago's Top Rated Lawyers, 2013
  • Named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Illinois by Super Lawyers®, 2012–2014
  • Chambers USA®, Real Estate, 2011–present
  • Business Leader of Color by Chicago United, 2011
  • Illinois Super Lawyers®, Real Estate, 2005–2013, 2015-present
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Real Estate
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated
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