Craig D. Jeffrey

Partner ( Chicago )

Direct 312.471.8735 Fax 312.471.8701 LinkedIn


Craig D. Jeffrey is a down to earth, driven, and intuitive problem solver. His genuine desire, empathy, and commitment to help and serve his clients and community stem from his upbringing. His parents focused on education, entrepreneurship, and service. Their efforts inspired him to be an engaged and attentive business lawyer of high personal integrity, who empowers clients large and small.

Craig concentrates his practice on real estate and finance. Specifically, he focuses on land acquisition, disposition, and leasing. He counsels developers, property owners, and tenants in the negotiation and preparation of purchase and sale agreements, operating agreements, easement agreements, and commercial leases. He has worked with many large real estate, private equity, and REIT clients.

He counsels lenders and borrowers on secured and unsecured credit facilities, tax credit transactions, and related opinion matters. He has deep experience with unique collateral such as arts and antiquities. Craig has been involved in projects across the country and has represented clients in a wide range of industries, including higher education, hospitality, food and beverage, among others.

Craig treasures engaging experiences with his wife and sons in his spare time. Whether playing sports in the backyard, exploring the city, or completing an art project, it is time well spent. He is incredibly focused on improving the city of Chicago and supporting its youth and its economic development, devoting substantial time to two non-profits, Quad Communities Development and Chicago Youth Centers.


Representative Engagements

Real Estate Finance

  • Illinois real estate counsel to a lender in connection with a $300 million credit facility for a bio-energy company.
  • Representation of a lender in connection with real estate aspects of $250 million acquisition and construction credit facilities for a multi-state, four hotel acquisition.
  • Illinois real estate counsel to a borrower in connection with a $55 million credit facility.
  • Representation of a commercial bank as senior lender in connection with an $8 million mortgage loan relating to mixed-use property.
  • Local counsel to privately held portfolio lender with a capital base of more than $4.0 billion in connection with loans secured by a portfolio of commercial properties in Chicago.
  • Counsel to a real estate private equity firm.
  • Local counsel to lender Aareal Bank on several projects ranging from $20 million to in excess of $100 million.
  • Local counsel to lender Aareal Bank on numerous city class A office properties, multi-unit residential and mixed use assets ranging from $20 million to in excess of $100 million.
  • Representation of a lender in connection with new markets tax credit financing for a transportation company.
  • Representation of a lender in connection with a bridge facility for low income housing tax credit and historic tax credit transactions.

Commercial Finance

  • Represent lender in connection with acquisition financing for logistics company.
  • Represent lender in connection with financing of buy-out of equity holders to transfer business to owners.
  • Represent lender in connection with financing of multiple affiliate borrowers in the copper cable and wire manufacturing, resale, and storage business.
  • Represent lender in connection with working capital and permanent financing of protein (meat) processor and distributor.
  • Represent syndication agent in connection with multi-tranche working capital line for manufacturer.
  • Represent lender in connection with syndicated multi-tranche facility for high-end appliance manufacturer.
  • Represent lender in connection with syndicated multi-tranche facility for convenience stores and gas station operators.

Specialty Collateral

  • Represent multiple lenders in connection with revolving lines of credit, acquisition lines, term loans, and other facilities secured by fine art and antiquities.

Acquisition & Disposition

  • Representation of national industry leader in ground lease transactions in connection with its acquisition of approximately 4,000 acres of land in California underneath utility-scale solar photovoltaic projects developed by one of the world's largest solar power companies, for a total purchase price of approximately $73 million.
  • Representation of a national retail chain in connection with real estate due diligence for a first of its kind REIT conversion.
  • Local counsel to a leading global real estate and investment management firm for the acquisition of property in Illinois.
  • Representation of a publicly traded REIT as capital partner in a joint venture for the acquisition of a multifamily property.
  • Representation of non-traded REIT in disposition and sale of multifamily property in Illinois.
  • National real estate counsel to an international food manufacturer; oversee land acquisition, construction, and office leasing for company headquarters.
  • National real estate counsel (primarily leasing and acquisitions) to a food processing company and handling enterprise with properties in seven states.
  • Representation of a Chicago residential developer in land assemblage in Chicago, IL.
  • Counsel to purchaser of a nine apartment building acquisition in Cook County, IL.
  • Representation of a national fitness center chain in numerous acquisition transactions, including addressing title and easement matters, negotiations and closing for multiple sites in Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan.
  • Representation of National-Louis University in review and disposition of real property in several states.


  • Representation of a university in connection with a new 30,000 sf campus lease in the New Orleans metro area.
  • Representation of an office tenant in multiple lease and sublease agreements throughout the U.S. and Canada.
  • Representation of an international fresh food manufacturer and restaurant operator in leasing activity in New York and Illinois.
  • Representation of a technology company tenant in a long-term lease of new headquarters in Chicago, IL.
  • Representation of a food processing company in negotiating the lease of its headquarters in Illinois, analysis of all existing leases, and temporary space arrangements.
  • Representation of a retail technology company in retail leases, including flagship locations in New York, San Francisco, and Virginia.



University of Iowa College of Law, J.D., 2000
Baruch College of the City University of New York, B.A., 1997

Bar Admissions

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

Professional Memberships

American Bar Association
Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law
Editorial Board, Committee on Legal Opinions in Real Estate Transactions

Chicago Bar Association
Cook County Bar Association
Real Estate Editorial Advisory Board (2020)

Missouri Bar Association
Commercial Law Committee

Mound City Bar Association 

Honors & Awards

Illinois Leading Lawyer in Real Estate Law: Commercial and Finance
Law Bulletin Media Leading Lawyers (2018-2021)

Illinois Emerging Lawyer in Real Estate Law: Commercial and Finance
Law Bulletin Media Leading Lawyers (2015)

Leadership Council on Legal Diversity

Fellow (2012)

40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty
Law Bulletin Media (2010)

Publications & Presentations

“Real Estate, Construction + Insurance,” (speaker) Chicago State University Rebuilding Chicago Small Businesses Symposium, Chicago, IL (July 8, 2020)

“Real Estate Ethical Dilemmas:  A Practical Approach,” 21st Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute, Practising Law Institute, Chicago, IL (October 24, 2019)

“Craig Jeffrey, Mapping Out Clients’ Customized Solutions in Real Estate, Finance,” (editorial profile) Leading Lawyers Magazine—Real Estate, Construction & Environmental Edition (January 2019)

“Location, Location, Location:  Keys to Selecting the Right Commercial Space,” (moderator) Crain's Small Business Week, Quad Community Development Corporation, Chicago, IL (May 3, 2018)

“The Truth about Big Law,” University of Iowa College of Law’s Back to Iowa (March 2017)

“Building Your Brand; What Is Your Unique Value?,” The Cook County Bar Association (April 2016)

“Best Practices For Managing In-House Lawyers and Outside Counsel,” (panelist) Information Management Network Real Estate & Bank General Counsel Forum, Chicago, IL (May 2015)

“Whose Arches Are Those Anyway?: Franchising for Lenders,” BMO Harris, Chicago, IL (November 2014)

“Industry Perspective of Obstacles & Identified Solutions,” (moderator) Streamlining Solar: Standardizing, Permitting, Zoning & Ordinances Conference, Chicago, IL (July 2012)

“When Real Property Secures the Bonds: Case Study Utility Issuer Mortgage Indenture,” Global Corporate Trust Team Leads (domestic and international), Chicago, IL (April 2012)

“Commercial Real Estate Lending: Mortgages and More From A(ppurtenance) to Z(oning),” a four-part series, Chicago, IL, St. Louis, MO, Dublin, Ireland (May 2011)

“What's Next? Legal Issues for Early Stage Companies,” Chicago Urban League (June 2009)

Community Service

Civic and Charitable Memberships

Michael Reese Advisory Committee (Bronzeville Lakefront Development)

Chicago Youth Centers
Board of Directors (2009-Present)
Executive Committee Member
Facilities Committee
Governance & Nominating Committee
CEO Search Committee (2017)
Annual Chipping in for Youth Golf Committee (2017)

Quad Communities Development Corporation (2011-Present)
Executive Committee, Vice Chair
Facilities Committee, Chair
Finance Committee

CircEsteem, Board of Directors (2011-2016)

Chicago Sinfonietta Finance Committee (2007-2012)

Perspectives Charter School, Mentor (2006-2008)

Wesley House, Vice Chair, Board of Directors (2004-2005)

St. Louis Charter School, Vice Chairman, Board of Directors (2003-2005)

The Dalton School – Class Agent

University of Iowa Law School – Class Agent