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Tim Hammersmith is an experienced real estate lawyer and Chair of the firm’s Real Estate practice. He is focused on the sale, purchase, new construction and leasing of commercial, industrial, retail, multi-family dwelling and other types of real property. Tim also advises on real estate-related tax matters, litigation and dispute resolution. In his third decade of practice, he represents domestic and international businesses and individuals with a primary focus on supporting and facilitating their operational objectives and underlying business goals.

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Tim represents both landlords and tenants with respect to a variety of leasing matters, not only including lease negotiations, but also regarding complex construction/tenant build-out contracts. Additionally, Tim advises on real estate litigation involving disputes over title, property boundaries, easements, rights of ingress and egress, title insurance matters and landlord tenant contract disputes. Tim also provides tax counsel on real property tax matters, including contesting real estate tax assessments on commercial, industrial and multi-family investment grade properties and representing not-for-profit entities in the area of real estate tax exemptions, representing industrial use clients in obtaining real estate tax incentives, as well as advising on real estate tax leasehold issues.

Tim is consistently valued for his ability to get clients into the right property where they can quickly, efficiently and legally conduct their businesses. Clients also appreciate that Tim understands the importance of helping them maximize the return on assets in the event of a disposition. Because Tim has been involved in resolving a range of real estate litigation and disputes, he brings a wider viewpoint to real estate transactions and often better positions his clients throughout the negotiation process. Likewise, Tim’s depth of substantive knowledge and experience in real estate transactions allows him to better represent his clients in disputes and litigation matters concerning real property issues.

A frequent author and lecturer on real estate issues such as site selection and real estate development incentives, landlord/tenant matters and tax challenges, Tim has served as an adjunct professor for the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Prior to attending law school, Tim worked for almost three years for First Florida Bank in Tampa, Florida in cash management and treasury operations.

Practice Areas


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


  • Illinois
  • Florida
  • Wisconsin


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.

Represented the sole shareholder of a North American franchisor of supermarket-based food service counters in the sale of the company to a publicly-traded Japanese food service company for $257 million.

Represented clients in numerous transactions that included the negotiation and implementation of Development Agreements and other Infrastructure Agreements in Illinois and other jurisdictions related to the establishment, procurement and use of Tax Increment Financing (“TIF”) and other similar infrastructure financing/incentive programs for the development of industrial use property.  Represented clients in the procurement and negotiation of other jurisdiction specific incentives related to the development of industrial use property and infrastructure.

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 500,000 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.

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



Florida State Bar Association
Illinois State Bar Association
Real Estate Investment Association
Professional Activities
Legal Updates/Client Advisories
United States District Court in Texas Finds CDC Eviction Moratorium Unconstitutional
In a case just handed down a few days ago by the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Terkel et al. v. Center for…
Could the COVID-19 Pandemic Cause a Long-Term Shift in Lease Strategy and Opportunities?
The COVID-19 pandemic may very well change the outlook on the long-term use and configuration of office space in the United States. The…
UPDATE: Cook County Board Passes Ordinance Allowing Late Payment of Second Installment Real Estate Taxes Due to COVID-19
As a follow up to a prior advisory published on May 21, 2020, the Cook County Board passed Ordinance #20-2479 approving the delay in…
Illinois Legislature Contemplating Post Executive Order Action for Real Estate Matters
Given the changes we see on a daily basis to various States' relaxing of Executive Orders, legislatures are thinking about what happens…
Cook County Board Considers Waiving Late Fees on Second Installment Property Taxes
On May 21, 2020, the Cook County Board of Commissioners will consider a proposal to waive late fees (interest penalties) on the second…
Real Estate Considerations and the COVID-19 Virus
The quickly evolving events related to the COVID-19 virus, including the various Executive Orders now being issued by the Federal…
Title Insurance Coverage Changes that Relate to Declarations and Development Limitations
Court cases interpreting title insurance coverage originate in various jurisdictions around the United States and are typically relied on…
Recent Developments in Real Property Taxation
It is not very often that cases involving real estate taxation make the news. However, the Illinois Supreme Court recently held that a…
Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act ("FIRPTA") Update
Pending legislation, in the form of United States Senate Bill S. 915 and United States House of Representatives Bill H.R. 2128…
Bulk Sales Act in Illinois
The repeal of the Uniform Commercial Code provisions regarding bulk transfers of the assets of a business may have led purchasers of real…
Complimentary Webinar: Opportunities For Foreign Investment in U.S. Student Housing (Webinar in Japanese)
An area of opportunity for foreign investment in the U.S. is student housing near or on U.S. colleges and universities. Finding the right…
Complimentary Webinar: U.S. Real Estate Investment Strategies for Japanese Companies (Webinar in Japanese)
Whether you are a Japanese Company with experience investing in U.S. real estate or just a beginner, this webinar will cover not only the…
Tim Hammersmith Authored an Article in ISBA's Newsletter
The article "Case Note: Recent Illinois Appellate Court Analysis of Adverse Possession" is featured in the July 2020 Real Property Edition…
UPDATED MARCH 3, 2020: Cook County Board Suspends Affidavit Compliance Filing Until 2022
Recently, the Cook County (Illinois) Board of Commissioners voted to suspend the annual filing requirements for Class 6b Incentive…
Masuda Funai Represents Tigerflex Corporation in Sale of Prior Headquarters
Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. represented Tigerflex Corporation, a hose manufacturing company, in the $2.6 million sale of its…
"United States District Court in Texas Finds CDC Eviction Mortarium Unconstitutional" - BizBuddy, March 2021
Co-Authored "Could the COVID-19 Pandemic Cause a Long-Term Shift in Lease Strategy and Opportunities" - BizBuddy, August 2020
"A Checklist of Considerations in Construction Contracts" - BizBuddy, October 2019
Co-authored "No Surprises Allowed: Basics of Controlled Expert Witness Disclosure" - Illinois Supreme Court Rule 213(f)(3) in the Illinois Bar Journal, May, 2015 issue
Co-authored: "Real Estate Tax and Government Incentives" and "Site Selection" Chapters, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education's 2004 edition of Commercial Real Estate, updated and republished in 2011
"Survey of Illinois Law, Property" - Southern Illinois University Law Journal, 19 S. Ill. U. L. J. 923, 1995


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