Whether working with Fortune 100 retailers to develop new stores or guiding entrepreneurial developer/builders of high-end residential properties, Linsey Cohen strikes the strategic balance between risk and her clients’ vision. Her nearly 20 years of deal-making experience spans every sector of real estate. Linsey represents developers, owners, investors, property managers and builders with property interests in Chicago and throughout the United States.

Linsey has an indefatigable deal style that keeps good deals alive, even in the most complex negotiations. In handling sophisticated commercial real estate acquisitions, dispositions, financing and leasing transactions, Linsey advises clients on issues involving:

  • Purchase and sales agreements
  • Ground-up retail development and leasing
  • Complex commercial leases for office and industrial properties
  • Distressed properties
  • Corporate documentation, due diligence and compliance

Real Estate Counsel to National Retailers 

In the retail space, Linsey is working with clients fueling the global urbanization trend.

Linsey has helped developers acquire, develop and purchase more than 1.2 million square feet of retail space in the past few years. Mindful of the role real estate plays as a brand protector and enhancer for new and established businesses, Linsey is currently representing a national chain of coffeehouses, helping guide the neighborhood-centric, hand-crafted coffee maker in its strategic 50-store urban expansion nationwide.

Additionally, she advises an impressive roster of national clients, such as developers of shopping and lifestyle centers. For one of the nation’s largest drugstore retailers, Linsey helps execute its long-term plans for strategic store development, either through leasing, acquisition or, when appropriate, repurposing space through sales and leasing of surplus assets.

Real Estate Counsel to Telecommunications Companies

Parlaying her lifelong interest in business, Linsey began her legal career in-house counsel for a large publicly traded telecommunications company. She began building a foundation in real estate by handling cell tower site development and leasing, including site acquisition, new leases and amendments. As her responsibility grew, she managed a large M&A transaction that added 2,000 sites to the company’s portfolio. She soon advanced to overseeing the telecom company’s 45-member leasing team that was responsible for property management and leasing of more than 6,500 properties.

As part of Gould & Ratner’s Telecommunications, Media and Technology Industry Practice, Linsey still works with many telecom clients, handling a variety of their important matters. For one of her clients, a telecom company that offers low-latency transmissions from fiber to microwave, an innovation that resulted in dramatic increases in transmission speed, Linsey helps with all aspects of leasing real estate, any land use and zoning requirements for construction at the tower locations, and several other development-related matters. For many of her other telecom clients, Linsey advises on master site agreements, leases and amendments, and risk assessments.

Multifamily Housing and Distressed Properties  

In the housing sector, Linsey represents a large national private institutional investor in multifamily housing. She has handled a variety of deals for the client, including the acquisition and disposition of more than $1 billion in assets from its securitized portfolios, as well as the acquisition of large portfolios of apartment complexes around the country.

Linsey also is counsel to parties in multiple facets of distressed properties, including ongoing representation of several court-appointed receivers and representation of borrowers in asset restructuring.

A Focus on Business 

Linsey prides herself on her “business-first” perspective, drawing upon her time spent as an in-house counsel, to help her clients find the optimal business solution within a legal context. She often counsels entrepreneurial and middle market clients on corporate and business concerns beyond real estate, liaising with Gould & Ratner lawyers in litigation, tax, construction and other related areas to resolve their issues.

An important aspect of Linsey’s practice is her involvement in several real estate industry groups, including the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Chicago Mortgage Attorneys Association and Commercial Real Estate Executive Women (CREW)’s large Chicago chapter.



  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., 1998
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A., with departmental distinction, 1995

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois


  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Mortgage Attorneys Association
  • CREW Chicago (Commercial Real Estate Executive Women)
  • Faculty Lecturer, Institute for Paralegal Studies, Loyola University Chicago, 2003–2004
  • International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
  • Board of Directors, ZCenter

Key Cases or Transactions

  • Represented shopping center developer in the acquisition and development of an approximately 450,000-square foot shopping center, including the negotiation of the purchase and sale agreement, acquisition of property, review of plat of subdivision and associated easement agreements, negotiation of site development agreement with big box anchor, and negotiation of reciprocal easement and operating agreement.
  • Represented shopping center developer in the acquisition and re-development of a 20,000-square foot strip center development, including the negotiation of the purchase and sale agreement, acquisition of property, negotiation with existing tenant to buy-out existing lease, and drafting of reciprocal easement and operating agreement.
  • Represented regional developer in negotiation, drafting and review for purchase of a partially constructed 735,000-square foot “lifestyle center” with three major big box anchor tenants.
  • Represented national retailer in its development, leasing, acquisition and construction of over 50 sites. These projects range from fee purchases to ground leases, reverse build-to-suit and build-to-suit leases to leasehold acquisitions, including due diligence review, drafting and negotiation of all transaction documents, and the negotiation and resolution of construction disputes.
  • Represented junior anchor tenant in relocation efforts for retail store, including negotiation, drafting and review of lease termination agreement, and review of relocation lease.
  • Represented real estate investor in acquisition of fee interest in property encumbered by long-term, triple-net retail leases, including the acquisition of triple-net leases with a local banking institution as well as a national office supply store.
  • Represented one of the largest private institutional apartment owners in the disposition of approximately $1 billion of assets from its securitized portfolios.
  • Represented and negotiated multiple borrowers in a distressed debt workout.