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, along with landlord tenant contract disputes.

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, 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. He 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. Mr. Hammersmith 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. He served as part of the Civic Federation Task Force II to assist in reshaping the Illinois real estate tax assessment appeal process. Mr. Hammersmith has served on the Illinois State Bar Association's State and Local Taxation Section Council, and he was Chair of the Section Council from 1997 to 1998. 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 5,000 to 200,000 square feet.

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

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

  • Represented the seller of 40 acres of land encumbered with a long term ground lease and used in connection with a nationally recognized amusement facility.

  • Represented 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.

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

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

  • Represented owners 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.

  • Represented 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, landlord-tenant disputes, forcible entry and detainer and condemnation.

  • Represented the seller in the disposition of a premier public and private golf course property in California.

Practice Areas


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


  • Illinois
  • Florida

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


  • Recognized as a Leading Lawyer, 2012-2017