Peter M. Friedman
Partner, Elrod Friedman LLP
About Peter Friedman
Peter Friedman has an accomplished and broad real estate and government law practice, representing both private and public sector clients in all phases of government operations, real estate finance, acquisition, development, zoning and land use matters. He is the co-founder of Elrod Friedman LLP and serves as the firm’s General Counsel.
Peter represents numerous Illinois local and state government agencies, municipalities, and counties on all aspects of government law, real estate, and development. Peter serves as City Attorney for the City of Des Plaines; as Village Attorney for the Villages of Lake Bluff and Winnetka; and as General Counsel to the Waukegan Port District (including the Waukegan Harbor and Marina and the Waukegan National Airport). He is General Counsel to the Chicago Association of Realtors and special outside counsel to the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois. He has represented the state of Illinois and the Illinois Medical District on significant public-private partnerships involving large multiuse developments as well as infrastructure and public transportation projects. He has also handled cyber security and related technology issues.
On real estate and transactional projects in Chicago, throughout Illinois and nationwide, Peter’s private sector clients include property owners, pension funds, tenants, developers, and private equity groups. For these clients, Peter works on a broad range of real estate and transactional projects, including annexation, zoning, and development agreements, TIF and SSA financing, tax incentive and abatement agreements, mixed-use and multi-family developments, and public-private partnerships.
Peter has special knowledge and experience in environmental law as well as internal investigations related to procurement matters, regulatory compliance, employment issues, fraud, corporate governance, and criminal misconduct.
Peter has defended numerous lawsuits challenging local zoning and land use controls. He has handled several local government lawsuits involving civil rights, annexation disputes, contract actions, environmental enforcement, and numerous First Amendment claims. For both public and private sector clients, Peter has argued cases in Federal District and Appellate Courts and at all levels of state court, including successfully before the Illinois Supreme Court.
Peter served as co-counsel and ethics officer for the transition team of former Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner. As part of this representation, he advised the administration on all issues related to Illinois ethics, procurement, personnel, employment, and government law.
Appointed by Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, Peter serves on the board of the Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA) and as chairman of the CCLBA’s property acquisition committee.
Chambers USA 2020 rankings for Real Estate/Land Use placed Peter in the highest position in Illinois (Band 1), and included the following observation:
“Peter Friedman is recognized for his representation of municipalities in public funding, land use and zoning matters and is described by interviewees as an “excellent lawyer” who is “extremely well versed in his understanding of nuanced municipal laws.”
- American University, Washington College of Law, J.D.
- Allegheny College, B.A.
- Judicial Clerk, Judge Suzanne B. Conlon, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- Legislative Director, Congressman John E. Porter (IL-10), Washington, D.C.
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
HONORS & AWARDS
- Chambers USA – America’s Leading Business Lawyers guide, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use, 2012-2020
- The Best Lawyers in America Guide, Land Use and Zoning Law, 2016-2021; Government Relations, 2013-2021; and Real Estate Law, 2017-2021
- The Best Lawyers in America Guide, Chicago Land Use & Zoning Lawyer of the Year, 2021
- Illinois Super Lawyers Magazine, 2009, 2013-2013
- The Legal 500 USA, Real Estate & Construction: Land Use/Zoning, 2019
- U.S. Supreme Court Tightens Scrutiny on Regulations Impacting Religion | Client Alert | December 2020
- Litigation Update: State and Federal Courts Continue to Uphold the Constitutionality of COVID-19 Executive Orders (with the exception of the Clay County Circuit Court) | Client Alert | August 2020
- Suspension of Open Meetings Act During Covid-19 Emergency | Chicago Bar Association Record | May 2020
- Supreme Court’s “Narrow” Wedding Cake Ruling a Cautionary Tale for Government Decision-Makers | Client Alert | June 2018
- Illinois Appellate Court Expands PSEBA Exposure for Illinois Local Governments | Client Alert | February 2018
- Illinois Sanctuary Jurisdiction Law: What it Means for Local Governments | Client Alert | August 2017
- Illinois Supreme Court Reverses Attorney General Binding Opinion on Open Meetings Act Issues | Client Alert | July 2017
- Illinois Attorney General Limits “Probable or Imminent Litigation” OMA Exception for Closed Meetings | Client Alert | June 2017
- What Illinois Sanctuary City Bill Means for Local Governments | Law360 | June 2017
- Illinois Supreme Court Abolishes Long-Standing Public Duty Rule | Client Alert | January 2016
- Municipal Property | Local Government, Illinois Municipal Law Series, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- What is Proper Notice for Rezonings? Illinois Supreme Court Holds Newspaper Notice Unconstitutional | Passalino et al v. City of Zion | Client Alert | December 2009
- Does the Illinois Open Meetings Act Violate the First Amendment? | Local Government Law | December 2009
- The Illinois Open Meetings Act – Caution the Watchword on Use of E-Mails | Client Alert | August 2009
- Good News for Adult Use Zoning Regulations | ISBA Local Government Law Newsletter | March 2009
- IICLE Local Government Institute 2015-2019
- John Marshall 2018 Kratovil Conference: An Inflection Point in Land Development
- Illinois Municipal League Spring 2017 Seminar: Land Use Exactions, Takings, and Impact Fees
- Testimony – Illinois Advisory Committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: Local Land Use Decisions under RLUIPA, August 2014
- March Global Real Estate Conference, Real Estate Industry Leadership Panelist, October 2012
Community and Public Service
- Chicago Bar Association, Local Government Committee, Past Chairman
- CityPAC, Board Member, Former President
- Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association
- Lake County Bar Association, Local Government Committee, Past Chairman
- Lambda Alpha International Honorary Land Economics Society
- Leadership Greater Chicago, Class of 2012
- Urban Land Institute
- Wexner Heritage Program, Graduate