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Michael J. Baum is Senior Vice President and Co-Chair of the firm's Global Real Estate Practice. His international practice includes the formation of real estate opportunity funds (private equity LP and/or GP funds, and debt funds), joint ventures, acquisitions, developments, financings, leasing and dispositions of multi-family (single family rental, including build-to-rent programs, student housing, and senior living), industrial, office, retail and resort properties. He also represents both financial institutions and borrowers in connection with construction, mezzanine and general secured real estate financings. Recently, Michael has advised on several developments within qualified opportunities zones through the U.S. Michael has advised these clients in relation to loan workouts, partnership restructuring and other business reorganizations.


  • Real estate
  • Private equity
  • Real estate finance
  • Asset-backed financing
  • Cross-border
  • Leasing
  • Single family rentals
  • Qualified opportunity zones



  • Representation of Core Spaces, through its affiliate, Core Champaign Daniel, LLC and partnered with Harrison Street Real Estate Capital through its affiliate, HSRE-CSP IIIA, LLC, to ground lease and acquire a fee simple interest in various parcels of land near the intersection of South 6th Street and East Daniel Street in Champaign, Illinois for the development of a mixed-use building with student housing, retail and office uses.
  • Representation of a real estate operator/developer in connection with its entry into a joint venture formed for the purpose of developing an assisted living and memory care facility located in Denver, Colorado.
  • Representation of American Finance Trust, Inc. (AFIN) and successfully completed a real estate financing transaction with Column Financial, Inc. for $715 million in commercial mortgage backed securities.
  • Representation of Walton Street Capital, through its affiliate, W Rickenbacker Investors VIII, L.L.C., partnered with CT Realty to jointly acquire (through a wholly owned subsidiary) the fee simple interest in 382 acres of vacant land within Rickenbacker Industrial Park in Columbus, Ohio for development of a 5,700,000 square foot logistics facility.
  • Representation of Global Net Lease, Inc., in connection with both a U.S. portfolio and Italian portfolio sale leaseback transaction with a Fortune 150 company. The purchase price for the U.S. portfolio was approximately $153,000,000 and consisted of six industrial distribution centers located in Ohio and Tennessee comprising approximately 2,903,990 square feet. The purchase price for the Italian portfolio was approximately $25,000,000 and consisted of two industrial properties located in Fabriano, Italy comprising approximately 196,474 square feet. 
  • Representation of a joint-venture led by MRP Realty in their acquisition of a controlling interest of the owners of a portfolio of office, retail and parking facilities in the Old City neighborhood of Center City, Philadelphia. The portfolio includes the Bourse building, a historic office and retail building which was formerly Philadelphia’s original trading floor, as well as the adjacent Bourse Garage and movie theater, and the 325 Chestnut Street and 400 Market Street office buildings.
  • Represented Walton Street Capital and its Brazilian partner, Banco BTG Pactual, in connection with the financing of the development of a regional shopping center in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
  • Represented Chicago developer in connection with acquisitions/dispositions, development and leasing of single tenant retail properties and shopping centers throughout Illinois and Florida.
  • Represented Walton Street Capital in connection with the acquisition, third-party financing, servicing and disposition of nonperforming loan portfolios, secured primarily by single family residential properties.
  • Represented Transwestern Investment Management, Inc. in connection with national asset management and leasing activities for several institutional platform domestic and foreign investors.
  • Represented consortium of Chilean and Columbian high net-worth investors in connection with the acquisition, financing, leasing and vertical subdivision of the office towers at 55 West Wacker Drive, LaSalle Wacker and 205 West Wacker Drive located in Chicago, IL, and 150 S. Rodeo Drive, 150/151 S. El Camino Drive (f/k/a William Morris Agency headquarters) located in Beverly Hills, CA.
  • Represented Walton Street Capital in connection with the formation of a joint venture with Grupo FINSA to acquire stabilized industrial portfolios and develop build-to-suit properties throughout Mexico.
  • Represented Walton Street Capital in connection with the formation of joint ventures with separate Mexican development partners and investors to develop a Fortune 50 Retailer or other “big-box” anchored retail shopping centers throughout Mexico.
  • Represented Walton Street Capital in connection with the formation of a joint venture with Mexican development partners and investors to develop luxury hotel and residential resort communities in Northern Baja, Cancun, Punta Mita, Los Cabos (El Dorado Country Club) and Puebla, Mexico.
  • Represented Walton Street Capital and its Mexican partner, Grupo Sadasi, in their acquisition of the Mexican subsidiary of Pulte Homes, Inc.
  • Represented the joint venture between Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds and The John Buck Company in connection with the sale of (i) the Shops at Northbridge to Westfield America, Inc. and (ii) ownership interests in the American Medical Association Building located in Chicago, IL.
  • Represented The John Buck Company in connection with the acquisition, financing, development and forward-sale of the mixed-use Palomar (Kimpton) hotel and corporate housing project at 505 N. State Street in Chicago, IL.
  • Represented Mexican high net worth family’s investment in the development, financing and operation of the Hotel Americano in New York City.
  • Represented The John Hancock Center Homeowners’ Association in connection with the negotiation of material building and life-safety system repair programs with the commercial unit owner.
  • Represented Corus Bank, N.A. in connection with the origination of several billion dollars of construction loans for residential condominium, office and hotel projects located in New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami and other U.S. municipalities.
  • Represented The Private Bank & Trust Company in connection with the construction financing of industrial and retail properties throughout the Midwest.
  • Represented Arbor Lodging Partners in connection with an approximately $135,000,00.00 acquisition, CMBS financing and joint venture for a portfolio of 6 hotels located in Texas, Massachusetts, California, Minnesota, and Utah.
  • Represented CEDARst Companies/Pilsen in connection with the acquisition of two contiguous parcels at 1488 S. Racine and 1488 S. Blue Island (cumulative $5.2M purchase price) from unrelated sellers and entered into a construction financing with Associated Bank, N.A. to develop the property.
  • Represented R2 Companies in the purchase of $61.3 million worth of historic buildings adapted to new uses, picking up two portfolios from Madison, Wisconsin- based Sara Investment Real Estate and bulking up its presence in Minneapolis and Milwaukee.
  • Represented The Ardent Companies in connection with construction financing involving three different TopGolf entertainment locations to be built in Schaumberg IL, Richmond VA and Cleveland, Ohio, respectively.
  • Represented Walton Street Capital in a joint venture with Trinity Investments LLC and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management in the acquisition of the Hilton Los Cabos Beach and Golf Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico.
  • Represented Walton Street Capital, LLC and its joint venture partner, Shapack Partners and Focus Development, for the acquisition and financing of a to-be-constructed class-A trophy office building in Chicago’s West Loop (corner of Lake and Halsted).
  • Represented Tucker Development Corporation and its joint venture partner, Acadia Realty, for the acquisition and financing of the mixed-use development retail and office development located at 900 West Randolph, Chicago.
  • Represented IDI Logistics (a subsidiary of Brookfield Investment) in connection with the $475M refinancing of a 27-property industrial portfolio in 11 States.
  • Represented Hubbard Street Partners in the acquisition and re-development of the former Marshall Fields’ Loft Apartments located at 4000 W. Diversey, Chicago.
  • Represented Transwestern Investment Management in connection with the acquisition and financing of 9 properties totaling 2.5M square feet in 3 states from Blackstone.
  • Represented CIBC Bank on the financing of the acquisition and construction financing for development of industrial properties within the Elk Grove Industrial Technology Park, in Elk Grove, Illinois.
  • Associate, Mayer Brown, LLP, Chicago, 2002-2005

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law, 2016-2024
  • Listed, Chambers USA Guide, 2019-2023
    • "Recognised Practitioner," 2019
    Listed, Leading Lawyers Network, 2018-2023
    • "Emerging Lawyer," 2015-2017
  • Listed, The Legal 500 United States, Real Estate - Real Estate Finance, 2021-2022
  • Listed, The Legal 500 United States, Real Estate - Real Estate, 2021-2022
    •  "Other Key Lawyer," 2022
  • Listed, Crain’s Chicago Business, “Notable Gen X Leaders in Law,” 2022
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Illinois Super Lawyers, 2020-2022
    • "Rising Star," 2009-2017
  • Listed, Latin Lawyer, "Latin Lawyer 250 - Practice Recognition: Real Estate & Tourism," 2020-2024
  • Team Member, Chambers & Partners USA Real Estate Law Firm of the Year, 2010, 2013, 2017-2018 and 2022
  • Listed, Acritas Stars™ Independently Rated Lawyers, “Star Lawyers,” 2018-2021
  • Team Member, a U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, "Law Firm of the Year" in Real Estate Law, 2015
  • Team Member, a Law360 "Real Estate Practice Group of the Year," 2011-2013, 2015, and 2022
  • Team Member, The Legal 500 United States, "Top Tier" Firm in Real Estate, 2013 and 2014
  • Advisory Council, the Real Estate and Finance Center at UT Austin
  • Board Member, Digestive Health Foundation at Northwestern University
  • Co-Chair, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Annual Chicagoland Golf Tournament, 2012-2018
  • Co-Chair, "Dream Halloween" benefiting Children Affected by Aids, 2008 and 2009
  • Member, Illinois and Chicago Bar Associations
  • Member, Urban Land Institute


  • J.D., cum laude, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 2002
    • President, International Law Society
  • B.B.A., Finance, The University of Texas at Austin, 1999
  • Illinois
  • Spanish