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Attorney at Law


Highly effective and professional real estate and transactional attorney and counselor

312-985-9387 (D)

312-523-7640 (M)

312-985-9387 (F)            

Download Donald A. Robinson's contact file.

Don Robinson concentrates his practice in representing clients in their commercial real estate, commercial real estate finance, LEED and other transactional matters. Nothing in life is without risk, but Don Robinson’s goal is to minimize risks to his clients while helping his clients accomplish their goals. Mr. Robinson developed his expertise in structuring, negotiating and documenting transactions and counseling clients through his representation of a wide range of clients – from individuals and small businesses to Fortune 50 NYSE listed companies – and his representation of clients in different aspects of transactions.

These matters include:

  • Representing real estate investors and developers in the acquisition, development, financing, management, leasing and disposition of real estate on a nationwide basis.

  • Representing institutional investors and lenders on a nationwide basis in their mortgage lending and joint venture investments in transactions ranging in size from $100,000 to in excess of $100M.  These investments include the financing of new construction and existing properties and the acquisition and disposition of income producing properties.  A unique sidelight is his representation of an institutional investor in financing the development and construction of several residential golf course communities.

  • Advising clients in the selection of types of entities for their transactions and forming corporations, partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability companies for his clients.

  • Representing individual investors in commercial secured and unsecured loans.

  • Representing residential cooperative buildings.

  • Creating not-for-profit corporations and obtaining tax-exempt status as an IRS Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

  • Advising clients on litigation strategy in pro-bono state and federal litigation relating to the Chicago Landmark Ordinance and housing discrimination.

  • Executor of estate and trustee of trust; determination and location of assets and liabilities, distribution of a portion of  the assets to beneficiaries and the continuing long-term operation of the remainder of the assets which will be contributed to a charitable foundation.


As a result of Mr. Robinson’s experience in representing a wide variety of clients in various sides of transactions and as well as his personal experience in business as a real estate broker representing clients in their commercial real estate investments, Mr. Robinson developed an understanding of both the legal and economic aspects of his clients’ transactions and is able to apply that understanding to assist his clients successfully achieve their goals at a reasonable cost while minimizing their risk.

Don Robinson understands issues concerning condominiums and community associations both from the legal point of view as an attorney having drafted condominium declarations and community association agreements as well as from a practical point of view: Mr. Robinson has been a member and officer of several condominium associations’ boards of directors.

In addition to representing clients in their transactional matters, Mr. Robinson revised a national law firm’s forms of commercial mortgage loan documents to comply with current Illinois law and custom, as counsel to several Chicago, Illinois residential cooperatives Don Robinson drafted an agreement that has since been adopted by a number of Chicago area banks as their “standard form” of recognition agreement to secure loans to owners of cooperative apartment units, Mr. Robinson acted as a consultant in evaluating prospective real estate investments from both legal and economic perspectives, Mr. Robinson advised a group of mortgage lenders and commercial real estate investors in connection with the possibility of contesting a judicial interpretation of Illinois mortgage law and, in a unique experience, Mr. Robinson assisted a client in resolving the legal and liability issues involved in removing a 50+ year old tree that had grown through the floor and out the roof of the client’s home cantilevered over a ravine.

Don Robinson created Girl Security, a not-for-profit corporation which was formed for the purpose of interesting girls and young women in issues of national security and encouraging them to study and enter related fields, and obtained its status as a 501(3) Tax Exempt Organization.

As pro bono counsel to a not-for-profit community development corporation, Mr. Robinson successfully negotiated and documented the creation of a joint venture to revitalize an economically depressed neighborhood and the donation of real estate to that community development association.

Harvard Law School, J.D., 1985

Thesis: Excluding Human Rights Violators and National Security Considerations,
submitted to the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and International Law of the

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, 99th Congress, First Session

The University of Michigan, B.A., with distinction, Economics and Philosophy, 1982


Chicago Bar Association, Real Property Law Committee

Topic: Real Estate Finance: Negotiating Loan Commitments

Presentation to the senior management of an international real estate finance, mortgage brokerage and real estate management

Topic: LEEDING the Way, A Discussion of Green Real Estate and LEED Certification


Bar of Illinois

Bar of Michigan

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


Chicago Bar Association
, 1985 - 1997, 2005 - Present

State Bar of Michigan, 1997 - Present

American Bar Association, 2022 - Present

Chicago Mortgage Attorneys’ Association,

          (President, 2020 - Present; Vice President, 2018-2020)

Michigan Real Estate Broker, 1997 - Present

Decalogue Society of Lawyers, 1985 - 1997, 2005 - Present

U.S. Green Building Council: LEED Green Associate
, 2010 - 2016

Appreciative of being the beneficiary of a mentor’s guidance throughout his career, Don participates in the Chicago Bar Association’s Mentoring Program to assist recent law school graduates establish their own careers.

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