Donald Shindler provides strategic counseling and advice to clients on real estate, financing, and hospitality issues, including acquisitions and sales, operations, business entities and planning, and negotiation and documentation of these matters.
In addition to providing strategic counseling and advice to clients on matters including business formation, corporate governance, ownership succession issues, business planning, the preparation and negotiation of a variety of contracts and transactional documents, Don assists hospitality clients (hotels, resorts, restaurants, spas, and food service companies) in corporate and real estate transactions and counseling, focusing on acquisitions and sales, financing, restructuring and workouts, hospitality, leasing, construction and energy-related matters. Additionally, he has represented food and produce distributors and wholesale companies throughout the Chicago area in matters connected with real estate needs, leases, sales and developments of property specifically suited to their operations and applicable laws and regulations, including impacts of PACA, proper handling, storage, receiving and delivery of produce and food products. Further, he represented 18 of the most active and largest Chicago-area food and produce distribution companies in the development and acquisition of their build-to-suit industrial condominium property in the Pilsen area of Chicago due to dislocation caused by the expansion of UIC. He has represented numerous institutional corporate and entrepreneurial entities in connection with hospitality, corporate, real estate, and energy-related transactions; financing, development, leasing, construction and buildout, management and structuring of entities for investment in development, management and financing of real estate, and arbitration and mediation of real estate-related disputes.
Don has spoken extensively before Bar and industry groups in connection with hospitality and real estate matters and has written articles on the subject. He has been selected as an Illinois Leading Lawyer in the practice categories of Real Estate – Finance, Real Estate – Commercial and Closely & Privately Held Business Law. He has been named an Illinois Super Lawyer in Real Estate, as the result of research projects conducted jointly by Law & Politics and Chicago magazines and has been selected for listing in The International Who’s Who of Real Estate Lawyers. He is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) in Louisiana.
Don is involved with a number of community and charitable organizations. He is active in the American College of Mortgage Attorneys in which he is a Past President, having previously served as Chairman, President, President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary and as a member of ACMA’s Board of Regents. He served on the Board of Directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago and as outside general counsel (pro bono) of Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest) where he currently serves as a member of its Emeritus Board.
Prior to joining Clark Hill, Don was a Managing Senior Counsel with Brown, Udell, Pomerantz & Delrahim, Ltd. Prior to that, he was a partner in the Real Estate Department of DLA Piper LLP (US) and one of its predecessor firms, Rudnick & Wolfe. Before Rudnick & Wolfe, he was an associate at Pope, Ballard, Shepard & Fowle in Chicago. Following law school, he served on active duty as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps in Norfolk VA and Newport RI.
Named a Leading Lawyer in Illinois by Leading Lawyers℠ (2022)
State Bar Licenses
Professional and Community Activities
- American College of Mortgage Attorneys –Past President (2017-present), Chairman of Executive Committee (2016-2017), President (2015-2016) President Elect (2014-2015), Treasurer (2013-2014), Secretary (2012-2013), Board of Regents (2008-2012), Chair, Membership Development Committee (2005-2014)
- The Urban Land Institute (ULI); ULI Chicago District Council Steering Committee, 1992-2010
- International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate (AECRE) – Board of Directors, 2002-2008
- Emeritus Board, Feeding America, 2014-present
- Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, Board Member, 2008-2010
- Past General Counsel, Feeding America (formerly, America’s Second Harvest), 1998-2000
- Zoning Board of Appeals/Zoning Commission, Village of Glencoe, Illinois, 1992-1998
- Library Board, Village of Glencoe, Illinois, 1981-1987, President, 1986-1987
- Plan Commissioner, Village of Glencoe, Illinois, 1986-1987
- Trevian Soccer Club, Co-Founder, Director and Treasurer, 1984-1987
- Author, “Negotiating Comfort Letters in Hotel Loans,” Practical Guidance® Practice Note, LexisNexis®, March 2021
- Co-author, “Slicing the Rebate Pie – a Discussion and Suggestion,” Lodging, December 2000
- Presenter, “Corporate Counsel Symposium: Keeping It In-house – Protecting Privilege for Corporate Counsel,” ACMA 42nd Annual Meeting, October 15, 2015.
- Presenter, “Ethics and Use of Social Media: Why You Should Think Twice or Thrice,” Clark Hill Internal Program, September 16, 2015.
- Presenter, 2015 Current Trends and Business Outlook Roundtable, sponsored by Ravinia Capital, Chicago, April 14, 2015.
- Moderator & Panelist, “Don’t Be The Defendant: Understanding the Complexities of Seemingly Simple Ethical Situations,” American College of Mortgage Attorneys, Fall Conference, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, Sept. 18-20, 2014.
- Panelist, “A Tale of Two Cities – What is the Future of Office Space,” AECRE Fall Forum, Chicago, Illinois, November 15, 2013.
- Co-Speaker, “A Potpourri of Ethical Matters,” Seminar presented by Brown, Udell, Ponerantz & Delrahim, Ltd., Chicago, Illinois, June 7, 2013.
- Moderator & Panelist, “Handling Ethical Issues in Foreclosure, Title Disputes & Opinions,” American College of Mortgage Attorneys, Fall Conference, Kohler, Wisconsin, October 2012.
- Speaker, “Ethics and Multi-Jurisdictional Practice,” Chicago Mortgage Attorneys Association, Chicago, Illinois, May 16, 2012.
- Moderator & Panelist, “Ethics And Multi-Jurisdictional Practice Issues In A Changing and Challenging Economy,” American College of Mortgage Attorneys, Fall Conference, Del Mar, California, September 2011.
- Panelist, “Ethical Pitfalls When Negotiating Workouts in Distressed Times,” American College of Mortgage Attorneys, Fall Conference, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, September 2010.
- Moderator, Practicing Law Institute Webinar “Hotel Management Agreements in a Distressed Economy,” June 16, 2010.
- Moderator, Practicing Law Institute Webinar “Hotel Workouts and Restructures,” February 22, 2010.
- Speaker, 2010 National CLE Conference January 6-10, 2010, Vail, CO “The Landlord and Tenant in These Difficult Economic Times and the Call for Green Leases”, Vail Colorado, January 6-10, 2010.
- Panelist “Conflicts in Practice – An Historical Perspective” and Panelist “Checking in and Out: Special Issues in the Origination and Workout of Hotel Loans,” American College of Mortgage Attorneys, Fall Conference, Scottsdale, AZ, October 2009.
- Co-chair, Moderator and Speaker, Practicing Law Institute Annual Hotels Seminars, 2006-2009, New York City.
- Participant, 2009 Management Contracts Roundtable, The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Ithaca, New York, May 3 and 4, 2009.
- Panelist, “An Ethics Triumvirate: Cicero, Sir Thomas More and Abraham Lincoln,” American College of Mortgage Attorneys, Fall Conference, New Orleans, October 2008.
- Speaker, “Acquiring, Financing, and Converting a Hotel to a Hotel Condominium,” LEI National CLE Conference, Snowmass Village, Aspen, CO, January 2006.
- Speaker, “The Latest Trend in Lodging – The Condominium Hotel,” LEI National CLE Conference, Snowmass Village, Aspen, CO, January 2005.
- Panelist, “Ethics Involving Financial Crisis Negotiations,” American College of Mortgage Attorneys Annual Meeting, October 2005.
- Guest Lecturer, “Legal, Regulatory and Funding Tools and the Role of an Attorney in Advising Real Estate Developers,” Chicago School of Real Estate, Walter E. Heller Graduate School of Business at Roosevelt University.
- Panelist, “Fiduciary Duty in Purchasing,” Winter Meeting of the American Hotel and Motel Association, Chicago, IL, 2001.
- Seminar Speaker, presentation entitled “Succession Planning for Real Estate Entrepreneurs,” Fall Meeting of the Urban Land Institute.
- Seminar Speaker, presentations on Loan Documentation, Closings, and Due Diligence and Legal Opinions for seminar on Commercial Lending Requirements and Loan Documentation in Illinois, Lorman Education Series.
- Seminar Speaker, presentation entitled “Problem Solving re: Mold and Indoor Air Quality,” International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate (AECRE).
- Seminar Speaker, presentation entitled “Illinois Land Trusts: Litigation, Contracts and the Magic Words,” for Real Estate Committee of the Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association.
- Columnist, Real Estate News, Merrill’s Illinois Legal Times, and Corporate Legal Times.
- Seminar Speaker: Practicing Law Institute, Chicago Bar Association, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, American Bar Association, ULI, NACORE, AECRE, BOMA, Lorman Education Services and PESI.