Achieving Results, Exceeding Expectations

Practice Areas

Real Estate

Dawda Mann works with retailers, developers, owners, property managers and investors for some of the world’s largest retail companies, Fortune 500 enterprises, financial institutions, hospital groups, Real Estate Investment Trusts, automotive manufacturers and dealerships and mid-size and emerging businesses on all types of real estate transactions. Our commercial real estate experience exceeds that of most law firms, and Dawda Mann has one of the largest residential development practices in the Midwest.

Despite this unrivaled success, we are committed to providing each and every Dawda Mann client with the individual attention and dedicated hands-on care they deserve—which is why some of our clients have been with our firm for decades.

We have the expertise to handle all legal matters related to complex commercial real estate from inception to conclusion, including:

  • Purchase and sale agreements
  • Lease agreements
  • Financing issues
  • Shopping center documentation
  • Development (commercial and residential)
  • Construction contract issues and litigation
  • Contract negotiations
  • Tax planning
  • Debt restructuring
  • Environmental land work
  • Environmental remediation
  • Foreclosures
  • Project finance, including mortgages, sale-leasebacks, like-kind exchange and non-traditional financing sources
  • Due diligence
  • Local zoning issues
  • Land contracts


From ground-up developments and the leasing of new commercial, retail (including single or multi-tenant triple net leases), office, industrial, flex or mixed-use projects, to the acquisition and leasing of existing projects, Dawda Mann’s attorney’s possess unparalleled experience in handling all aspects of commercial lease transactions. As a result, in the negotiation and drafting of leases and related documents, such as estoppel certificates and subordination, attornment and non-disturbance agreements, our attorneys clearly see the intersection of legal and business concerns and can understand and articulate the impact upon our clients. Our objective is to evaluate and mitigate risk, bring clarity to leases and to create value for our clients, whether they are landlords or tenants.

Land Use, Zoning, Planning and Economic Incentives

Our attorneys represent landlords, property owners and developers in navigating the oftentimes complicated governmental entitlement process from start to finish. We assist clients with issues ranging from negotiating, drafting and reviewing public development-related agreements, such as planned unit developments or tax increment financing, to site plan approval, zoning variances and the complicated permitting process along the way. Our practice group attorneys can also assist clients in selecting key economic incentives at the local, state and federal levels, through mechanisms such as tax abatements, brownfield funding, grants, tax credits and loans. Our attorneys work with multiple units of the state and federal government to process incentive applications effectively and efficiently. Years of experience working with local planning boards and state and federal regulators allow our attorneys to simplify and expedite the land use permitting process wherever possible. When administrative and judicial appeals are necessary, our attorneys will zealously and assertively represent clients to obtain a successful result. In addition, our experience with land development and subdivision matters includes representation on planned unit developments, lot splits, combinations and creation of condominium developments.


The construction law attorneys at Dawda Mann understand the multi-faceted needs and considerations of the construction industry. Our experienced lawyers routinely help clients address the legal challenges of engaging in the planning and implementation of construction projects, as well as the resolution of disputes, claims and litigation. We handle all types of construction-related legal considerations, including:

  • Property acquisition
  • Project financing
  • Contract document preparation
  • Environmental permits
  • Structuring of development arrangements
  • Employment issues
  • Construction defect claims
  • Construction delay claims
  • Construction liens, mechanics liens and bond claims
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and United States Green Building Council (USGBC) compliance
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance and workplace safety issues
  • Land use matters

Dawda Mann’s attorneys also represent clients in both state and federal courts, and are skilled at handling arbitrations and mediations.

The construction practice group works closely with other attorneys in the firm specializing in real estate, business planning, employment law, land use and environmental law to strategically and holistically address any and all potential legal concerns related to construction in a coordinated and cost-efficient manner.

Retail and Shopping Centers

Our firm’s experienced retail and shopping center attorneys assist clients with the implementation of successful strategies for the development and occupancy of retail spaces, including:

  • Site acquisition and development
  • Financing
  • Leasing, including ground leases, in-line junior box and small shop leases and absolute net leases
  • Land use and entitlements
  • Environmental law and regulations
  • Brownfield redevelopment
  • LEED sustainability and USGBC
  • Economic development incentives
  • Absolute net leased properties
  • Partnerships and joint ventures
  • Litigation