Timothy J. Hammersmith

Principal, Chicago
Phone: 312.245.7500

Tim Hammersmith's practice includes a broad spectrum of real estate disciplines with particular focus on the sale, purchase, new construction and leasing of commercial, industrial, retail, multi-family dwelling and other type properties. Mr. Hammersmith represents both landlords and tenants with respect to various leasing matters, not only including lease negotiations but also negotiating complex construction/tenant build-out contracts. Mr. Hammersmith also handles various real estate litigation matters related to disputes over title to real estate, property boundary disputes, easements rights and rights of ingress and egress, landlord-tenant contract disputes and title insurance claims.

A further significant area of focus of Mr. Hammersmith's practice concerns real estate taxation matters. This work includes contesting real estate tax assessments on commercial, industrial and multi-family investment grade properties, representing not-for-profit entities in the area of real estate tax exemptions, representing industrial use clients in obtaining real estate tax incentives, tax increment financing, as well as real estate tax leasehold issues.

Mr. Hammersmith is a frequent author and lecturer on real estate issues such as taxation, site selection and real estate development incentives, and landlord/tenant matters. For two years, he also served as an adjunct professor for the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

Prior to attending Law School, Mr. Hammersmith worked for approximately three years for First Florida Bank, in Tampa, Florida, in cash management and treasury operations.

Representative Matters

  • Represented numerous companies in the leasing and build out of office use property in the states of Illinois, Ohio, New York and California, among others, ranging in size from 10,000 to 200,000 square feet.

  • Procured economic development assistance, job training assistance and real and personal property tax abatements and other incentives in Indiana, Tennessee and Illinois for industrial manufacturing and wholesale warehouse/distribution companies.

  • Seller representation in the disposition of a premier public and private golf course property in California.

  • Assisted numerous sellers of industrial use property throughout the U.S.

  • Seller representation of 40 acres of land encumbered with a long-term ground lease and used in connection with a nationally recognized amusement facility.

  • Guided numerous manufacturing and warehouse/distribution companies in the purchase, development and leasing of facilities ranging in size from 10,000 to 50,000 square feet.

  • Major international corporation representation in the sale of a 275,000-square-foot office building in California.

  • Nationwide food processing company representation in the acquisition of a 25,000 square-foot cold storage facility in New Jersey.

  • Owner representation of commercial, industrial and multi-unit residential properties in real estate tax assessment reduction matters throughout Illinois.

  • Assisted an industrial user in obtaining bulk-restriction and height zoning variances for a major manufacturing facility in Illinois.

  • Advised national and international shippers, freight forwarders and carriers in leasing matters.

  • Handled numerous real estate-related litigation matters, including, but not limited to, title disputes, property boundary and easement disputes, landlord-tenant disputes, forcible entry and detainer and condemnation.


    • Authored "Your tenant just exercised its option to purchase – where did your cash flow go until closing? Illinois State Bar Association Section on Real Estate Law, March, 2017 Vol. 62 No. 8
    • Co-authored "No Surprises Allowed: Basics of Controlled Expert Witness Disclosure" under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 213(f)(3) in the Illinois Bar Journal, May, 2015 issue
    • Co-authored the "Real Estate Tax and Government Incentives" and "Site Selection" chapters for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education's 2004 edition of Commercial Real Estate, updated and republished in 2011
    • Authored "Survey of Illinois Law, Property" Southern Illinois University Law Journal, Summer, 1995, 19 S. Ill. U. L. J. 923

Practice Areas


  • The John Marshall Law School, J.D., 1993; Member Law Review
  • University of South Florida, B.S. Finance, 1987


  • Illinois
  • Florida
  • Wisconsin

Professional Activities

  • Association of Industrial Real Estate Brokers
  • Chicago South Chamber of Commerce
  • Florida State Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Real Estate Investment Association


  • Leading Lawyers, 2012-2018