Illinois Land Use and Local Government

  • Our team provides value through hundreds of years of combined experience, daily representation of a broad and deep client base, and our practical knowledge of how government works.
  • We understand the needs and goals of both public and private sector clients.  With this understanding, we can find solutions to the complex challenges that are present in every significant land use matter.
  • Our clients benefit from our land use and local government experience and the cross-disciplinary capabilities of our firm in areas such as takings, telecommunications, public finance, taxation, federal budget and appropriations and public policy and construction law.


The Illinois Land Use and Local Government Team at Holland & Knight draws upon extensive experience in state and local government law and the related areas of land use law, environmental law, real estate law and litigation to efficiently manage your regional land use matters.

Broad Scope of Services Provides Thorough Guidance

Serving as a full-service Illinois municipal law firm, Holland & Knight’s Chicago office provides seasoned counsel on all aspects of local government law from planning to regulation to financing. Our team serves one of the largest municipal and local government client base of any firm in the state of Illinois, and represents more than 50 local Illinois municipalities in a general or special counsel capacity. We know and understand how local governments work, and regularly advise not only the elected officials and staffs of our municipal clients, but also all of their subsidiary municipal bodies as well. These include planning commissions, zoning boards of appeals, civil service commissions, fire and police commissions, library boards, design review commissions, and historic preservation commissions.

Our broad approach includes:

  • drafting cooperation agreements for sharing costs, services, and facilities with other units of state and local government
  • handling employment and labor relations matters including hiring and discipline, pension issues, and employee contract matters
  • structuring public finance transactions ranging from general obligation and revenue bond financings to financings involving public-private cooperation, such as special service areas, tax increment financing districts, tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds, and sales tax rebate arrangements
  • advising on all aspects of zoning, environmental, land use and annexation law, including drafting zoning and subdivision codes and regulations
  • negotiating complex annexation, development and redevelopment agreements; and providing project-level direction for a wide range of federal, state, county and municipal level entitlements
  • litigation in state and federal courts in Illinois and around the nation, including complex, multi-party, multi-issue land use disputes
  • Constitutional law litigation in federal courts including the First Amendment and RLUIPA, inverse condemnation, takings, and vested rights.
  • managing legislative and administrative issues – from personnel to environmental – including appearances before a variety of federal, state, regional, and intergovernmental agencies
  • counseling on environmental law issues such as sustainable and green development bonuses and certifications, contamination clean-up projects, underground storage tank removal projects, clean water issues and a variety of permitting issues

Informed Counsel From a Multisector Perspective

We can help assist you meet your land use goals by applying both practical know-how and an intimate, comprehensive knowledge of related local government and Illinois real estate law. Our representation of clients in both the private and public sectors statewide helps us understand varying perspectives. We can help work through the sensitivities of area land developers, as well as help protect local government policy objectives. From complex annexation and development agreements to new development and redevelopment agreements, our experienced team – including municipal attorneys and land use attorneys – is committed to serving your legal needs.

Benefit From Cross-Disciplinary Support

Governmental clients throughout the state tap on Holland & Knight’s strengths from across the firm, benefiting from the extensive resources of related practice areas including: eminent domain and inverse condemnation, taxation, telecommunications, federal appropriations and construction law, among others.

Industry Recognition

  • Holland & Knight’s Illinois Land Use and Local Government Team earned a No. 1 ranking in Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use in the Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers 2016 guide, including top rankings for Partners Peter Friedman and Steve Elrod.
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" 2016 guide selected several practice groups in the firm for national first-tier rankings, including Land Use and Zoning Law and Real Estate Law.
  • Best Lawyers in America recognized Holland & Knight as a top-listed firm in the U.S. in Land Use and Zoning Law.
  • The Land Use and Zoning Team secured a first-tier ranking by Legal 500 United States in its 2015 edition.

Statewide Representation

Holland & Knight's Illinois Land Use and Government Team represents numerous entities statewide, including the following:


  • Arlington Heights
  • Lake Bluff
  • Chicago
  • Lemont
  • Crystal Lake
  • Lincolnwood
  • Deerfield
  • Morton Grove
  • Des Plaines
  • Northbrook
  • Downers Grove
  • Palos Park
  • Galesburg
  • Park Ridge
  • Glencoe
  • Skokie
  • Gurnee
  • Warrenville
  • Highland Park
  • Wilmette
  • Kenilworth
  • Winnetka
  • La Grange

    State of Illinois

    • Office of the Governor
    • Illinois Division of Insurance
    • Office of the Comptroller
    • Illinois Emergency
      Management Agency
    • Illinois Board of Higher
    • Illinois Finance
    • Illinois Commerce
    • Illinois Historic
      Preservation Agency
    • Illinois Department of Central Management Services
    • Illinois State Board of
    • Illinois Department of Revenue
    • Illinois State Police
    • Illinois Department of
    • Illinois State Toll
      Highway Authority

    Counties and Other Local Agencies

    • Chicago Metropolitan
      Agency for Planning
    • McHenry County Public
      Building Commission
    • Illinois Medical District
    • Park District of Oak Park
    • Lake County
    • St. Clair County Public
      Building Commission
    • Cook County Forest
      Preserve District
    • Waukegan Port District
    • Northbrook Rural Fire
      Protection District


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