Cara M. Houck is an experienced litigation attorney and a member of Holland & Knight's Real Estate Capital Markets Practice Group, with a particular practice emphasis on commercial real estate workouts and foreclosures. With more than two decades of litigation experience in various legal areas, her knowledge lies in providing legal counsel and representation to a diverse clientele, including lenders, special servicers, financial institutions, receivers, private investors and other businesses.

Ms. Houck's approach to legal matters is characterized by her ability to blend her business acumen with legal strategies, aiming for amicable resolutions that align with her clients' business objectives. Nonetheless, she is also well prepared to engage in litigation when necessary. Her extensive litigation background includes trying lawsuits, conducting arbitrations and making appearances in state and federal courts across the United States.

Before her tenure at Holland & Knight, Ms. Houck was a principal at an international law firm based in Chicago, where she led the the firm's Commercial Real Estate Workout Team. Additionally, her career is marked by a commitment to social causes, evidenced by her participation on various not-for-profit boards focused on helping the disadvantaged obtain free legal services and aiding underprivileged children. This blend of professional experience and social commitment highlights her multifaceted career and her dedication to both her field and community.


  • Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, MBA
  • Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, J.D.
  • Northwestern University, B.S.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Illinois Supreme Court
  • American Bar Association (ABA)
  • Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA)
  • The Chicago Bar Association (CBA)
  • Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF), Board Member, 2015-2021; Advocacy Committee, 2020-Present
  • Awassa Children's Project, Volunteer, 2011; Board Member, 2012; President, 2013-Present
  • The Chicago Challenge, Board Member, 2000-2005
Honors & Awards
  • Marquis Who's Who for Excellence in Law, 2017
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2024
  • American Bar Foundation (ABF), Fellow, 2018-Present
  • Leading Lawyers, Top Women Leaders in Illinois, 2018
  • Leading Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2018
  • Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, Business Litigation, 2012-2016

Speaking Engagements