James T. Mayer is a partner in Holland & Knight’s Chicago office and a director of the firm's Management Committee. Mr. Mayer has extensive experience in retail leasing transactions across the United States, including the representation of Teachers' Retirement System of the State of Illinois and Simon Properties, formerly known as Mills Corporation, in various retail leasing matters, including anchor tenant leasing. He was the co-chair of Holland & Knight's National Retail Leasing and Development Team. He concentrates his practice in commercial real estate law, including all aspects of real estate acquisition, development, leasing, operation, management and disposition. Mr. Mayer represents real estate pension funds, investment advisory groups (for their own account and unrelated third parties), real estate investment trusts, national and international franchisors, financial institutions, commercial and residential developers and office, retail and industrial landlords and tenants. He also has significant experience in acquisitions of hotels, sports facilities development and real estate finance. In particular, Mr. Mayer was one of the principal attorneys who represented Miami-Dade County in connection with the drafting and negotiating of the development, management and operating agreements for the American Airlines Arena. Mr. Mayer represented McDonald's Corporation as lead counsel in negotiating its lease and relocating its world headquarters from the Chicago suburbs to the City of Chicago.

Mr. Mayer is a frequent speaker on real estate related topics, in particular retail-related speeches and workshops for ICSC.


  • Emory University School of Law, J.D.
  • Emory University, Goizueta Business School, MBA
  • Emory University, B.A., with high honors
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Illinois
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Green Advantage, Board of Directors
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, Retail Subcommittee
  • International Council of Shopping Centers, Planning Committee 
  • Sustainability: The Journal of Record, Editorial Board
Honors & Awards
  • The Legal 500 USA, Real Estate and Construction: Real Estate, 2014
  • Top Rated Lawyer, Real Estate Law, The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine, 2013
  • Top Business Lawyers in Illinois, Real Estate Law: Commercial, Leading Lawyers Network Magazine, July 2012
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated


Speaking Engagements