James S. Gray


[email protected]

Phone: (312) 360-6625

Fax: (312) 360-6520

The advantage of a successful mid-sized firm is its combination of commitment and hard work of each attorney, high-quality and efficient service.



Jim Gray is a Partner in the Real Estate Practice Group and also focuses on Commercial Finance.

Jim's practice covers a broad range of real estate and financing transactions on a regional and national basis. Jim represents lenders, borrowers, developers, landlords, tenants, and managers and clients include individuals, investment entities, retailers, real estate companies and corporate real estate users.

A significant portion of Jim’s practice involves:

Financing and Loan Workouts – representing lenders and borrowers in loan initiations, loan workouts and deed in lieu agreements. Loan workouts involve interdisciplinary contributions, not only real estate and finance but also understanding and coordination of analysis regarding tax and accounting, creditor's rights, real and potential litigation, and entity and ownership structure and planning.

Retail – representing entities acquiring and developing mid- to large-size retail properties. This work includes acquisition agreements, complex leasing; REA's, construction architectural and engineering agreements and negotiation of financing.

Corporate Real Estate – representing corporations and real estate that is owned by or leased to them. Jim’s services include representing companies with large real estate portfolios and counseling them on different ways to structure the manner in which the delivery of legal real estate services are met by in-house counsel and outside counsel, including coordination among in-house personnel and outside vendors, and the use of transaction tracking and data base systems.

Honors & Awards

Honors & Awards

  • Illinois Super Lawyers - 2015 (cited in multiple years)
  • Leading Lawyers Network Magazine - Top 100 Real Estate-Related Lawyers - 2014
  • Martindale-Hubbell legal ability/ethical standards rating (“A-V”) - Highest possible rating
  • Illinois Leading Lawyers - 2020 (cited in multiple years)

Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Founding Member, Past Chair and Member of the Board of Directors of The International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate (AECRE)
  • International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
  • CoreNet Global
  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois Bar Association

Speaking Engagements

Jim has served as a speaker and panelist at many bar association and other professional programs and seminars on topics including:

  • "Leases and Purchase Agreements: Protecting the Corporation from Liability"
  • "National Real Estate Taxation"
  • "Government Finance"
  • "Structuring Leases"
  • "Upstream and Cross-stream Guarantees – The Issue of Corporate Authority"
  • "Unique Issues of Power Centers, Factory Discount Outlet Centers and Entertainment Centers"
  • "Repositioning Retail Centers for the Millennium"
  • "Fundamental Lease Issues"
  • "Insurance and Risk Management"
  • "REA's"
  • "Construction Financing"
  • "Corporate Outsourcing"
  • "Lifestyle Centers"
  • "Real Estate Financing"