Zoning & Licensing

Our attorneys have comprehensive experience and knowledge in representing real estate owners, corporations, not for profit institutions, homeowners, and developers on a wide variety of zoning, land use and related real estate issues. We regularly prepare and prosecute map amendments, administrative adjustments, variances, special use exceptions and appeals. Our licensing attorneys assist groups who want to purchase an existing licensed business and those who want to start a new licensed business sort through all of the issues they can expect to encounter, like; zoning, permits, inspections, finger printing, public way use approvals and also those no one could reasonably expect but inevitably come up in the process of acquiring licenses in the City of Chicago.

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

McCarthy Duffy manages civil litigation on behalf of its clients in both federal and state courts at all levels. In addition to trying cases at the trial court level, the firm also handles appeals.
Litigation and Disputes
Our attorneys have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of cases, including commercial and estate litigation, chancery and real estate disputes, insurance-related matters, and
commercial mortgage foreclosures.
Our firm is also experienced in handling appeals in both federal and state appellate courts. Our attorneys are licensed to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the United States Tax Court, and the Illinois Supreme and Appellate courts. We also handle appeals of the rulings of administrative agencies to the Circuit Court under the Administrative Review Act.

Estate Planning & Administration

McCarthy Duffy’s Estate Planning and Administration Practice aids clients in complexities of estate planning, from the drafting of wills to the creation of comprehensive business succession plans. In addition, our firm handles estate litigation involving will contests, trust disputes, and probate litigation.


Representative Estate Planning
Our firm aids clients in multiple areas of estate management, including drafting wills and related documents, trust solutions, and powers of attorney. In addition, we represent executors and personal representatives of estates, and help businesses with succession planning, structuring, and documentation.
McCarthy Duffy can also assist in the management of elder care matters, including nursing home planning, guardianships, and related issues.

Banking & Commercial Finance

McCarthy Duffy’s Banking and Commercial Finance Practice supports lenders in a full range of transactional, regulatory, collections, and workout activities. Clients include federally chartered national banks, state banking associations, and federal savings banks, as well as other institutional and individual lenders.

Financing Transactions
McCarthy Duffy’s attorneys regularly serves as outside counsel to state and federal banks and savings associations in structuring and documenting secured and unsecured lending transactions and credit facilities, including facilities in support of real estate and construction loans, asset-based credit facilities, stock and asset acquisitions, and municipal financing arrangements. Our attorneys are experienced in drafting and negotiating intercreditor and participation agreements and supporting other syndicated loan transactions.
Collections and Workouts
The firm provides representation in all phases of the workout and collection process, including negotiation and documentation of settlements, forbearance agreements, and debt restructurings. McCarthy Duffy attorneys have extensive representation of creditor clients in UCC sales and state and federal court litigation as well as garnishments, citations, check collection matters, and related defense work.
General Representation
The firm provides general and specialized representation of banks and savings banks. We counsel our commercial and banking clients on federal and state statutory lending requirements and compliance matters, including Uniform Commercial Code matters. McCarthy Duffy has also represented lenders and borrowers in a range of commercial litigation matters.

Private Investment

McCarthy Duffy LLP’s Private Investment Practice focuses on meeting the needs of privately-held, growth-oriented businesses and their investors, including institutions, family offices, and individuals. Our extensive experience as attorneys, investors, entrepreneurs, and small business owners gives us a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges facing our private company clients. McCarthy Duffy’s Private Investment Practice combines over 100 years of legal, executive management, operations, and private investment fund management experience.
McCarthy Duffy’s Private Investment Practice Group specializes in practice areas tailored to meet the needs of its privately-held corporate clients:

  • Business entity formation and organization
  • Shareholder agreements and equity incentive plans
  • Customer and supplier agreements, including development of standard forms and templates
  • Human resources and employment matters
  • Tax planning and support
  • Private equity, venture capital, and debt financing transactions
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Divestitures
  • Partnerships, joint ventures, and strategic alliances
  • Licensing transactions
  • Lease transactions and other real estate matters


McCarthy Duffy has provided day-to-day legal support and complex transaction management for numerous high-growth companies backed by national and regional private equity firms and venture capital funds. Our clients span a variety of industries and range from early-stage technology ventures to multinational manufacturing and distribution concerns. Many institutional investors refer their portfolio companies to McCarthy Duffy, recognizing the firm’s ability to provide timely, insightful, and cost-effective legal services.

In addition, McCarthy Duffy’s Private Investment Practice attorneys have expertise in:

  • Domestic and foreign hedge funds, including long/short equity funds, distressed and high-yield funds, quantitative strategy funds, and sector funds, including real estate, technology, health care, and energy
  • Investment adviser and proprietary trading organizations and regulations
  • Domestic private equity funds, including leveraged buyout, venture capital, distressed asset, and real estate, as well as new innovative fund products

Real Estate

McCarthy Duffy LLP’s Real Estate Practice encompasses the sale, purchase, leasing, managing, and financing of all types of commercial properties, including office, industrial, retail, and multi-family assets. Our extensive nationwide experience in a variety of practice settings provides us unique insight into the opportunities and complexities facing our clients in this ever-evolving real estate climate.


Real Estate Acquisitions and Dispositions
Our real estate acquisition and disposition practice includes representing individuals, developers, private equity funds, and institutional investors in the purchase and sale of real estate assets, including multi-state industrial portfolios, office buildings and projects, planned unit developments, residential and commercial condominium developments, retail spaces, and undeveloped land. We also represent institutional investors, including banks and insurance companies, in connection with the disposition of recovered collateral properties.

Leasing and Property Management
Our leasing and management practice involves representing commercial landlords and property managers, including private equity funds and trusts, in connection with the tenancy and operation of millions of square feet of space throughout the Midwest, including a vast array of properties in the central business district of Chicago and its suburbs and over 1.5 million square feet of industrial and office space in the Indianapolis area. In addition to negotiating leases, occupancy licenses, and management and service contracts, we have prepared numerous declarations and reciprocal easement agreements. We also represent tenants on a national basis with respect to office, industrial, and retail leases.

Real Estate Financing
Our real estate financing practice includes representing borrowers and lenders in obtaining and making secured and unsecured construction loans, revolving and non-revolving lines of credit, syndicated loans, and term loans. We also represent institutional investors, including banks and insurance companies, in connection with documenting and perfecting their security interests against real estate as well as other asset classes.

We are also fluent in a range of ancillary matters, such as tax advice and litigation, including the defense of eminent domain actions, which allows us to add exceptional value to our real estate clients’ businesses.


Corporate & Transactions

McCarthy Duffy LLP’s Corporate and Transactions Practice provides experienced legal support for companies, investors, and executives engaged in a broad range of corporate activities and transactions. We bring solid transaction management skills and the ability to integrate numerous practice disciplines to navigate the complexities of a corporate transaction to achieve a successful closing.


Transactions and Acquisitions
McCarthy Duffy brings a breadth of experience to the management of company and asset acquisitions, leveraged and management buyouts, mergers and other corporate consolidations, sales and divestitures, partnerships, joint ventures and strategic alliances, licensing transactions, and restructurings. In addition, our commercial lending and finance, real estate, tax, and general regulatory capabilities give McCarthy Duffy the ability to bring an interdisciplinary approach to each transaction.
Several of our attorneys have served as small business owners, operators, and executives or have been investors in these types of businesses. This background gives McCarthy Duffy a unique perspective on the needs and interests of privately-held clients approaching strategic transactions. While many of our clients regularly engage in deal activity as part of their corporate strategies, we also provide support in “one-off” situations.


Employment and Due Diligence
Many of our clients, as companies, business owners and executives, routinely encounter employment issues in their day-to-day business operations. We leverage our experience to counsel our clients on developing legally compliant policies and navigating complex employment-related issues, including claims of discrimination, non-compete and non-solicit agreements, hiring and termination, and more.


Developing Intellectual Property
We also have extensive experience helping companies develop effective portfolios of intellectual property. While we do not engage in patent prosecution work, we help clients develop quality intellectual asset management plans and also help companies create competitive advantages with their intellectual property, whether through developing (or acquiring) the technology to protect their own products’ market positions or monetizing the intellectual property they have created that is not germane to their strategic plans or product development road maps.