FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Peter Friedman

Peter Friedman

Holland & Knight LLP

Chicago, IL, USA

Peter M. Friedman is the practice group leader of Holland & Knight's Chicago Real Estate and Local Government Group. He has an accomplished and broad real estate and government law practice, representing both private and public sector clients in all phases of real estate finance, acquisition, development, zoning and land use matters.

On real estate and transactional projects in Chicago, throughout Illinois and nationwide, Mr. Friedman's private sector clients include property owners, pension funds, tenants, developers and private equity groups. In the public sector, he is general counsel for the city of Des Plaines, Ill. and village attorney for the villages of Lake Bluff, Oak Brook and Winnetka, Ill.

Mr. Friedman represents numerous other local and state government agencies, municipalities and counties on all aspects of real estate, development and government law. Furthermore, he represents the state of Illinois and the Illinois Medical District on significant public-private partnerships involving large multi-use developments as well as infrastructure and public transportation projects. Mr.
Friedman serves as general counsel to the Chicago Association of Realtors and is special outside counsel to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and its Division of Nuclear Safety as well as the Central Midwest Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact and Commission.

In addition, Mr. Friedman counsels private and public sector clients on zoning and land use matters, legislative authority, parliamentary procedure, personnel, contracts and other governmental issues. He regularly prepares comprehensive landmark and historic district rules and regulations, zoning and land use ordinances, tree protection regulations, sign regulations, bulk restrictions, personnel policy manuals, franchise agreements, annexation agreements, boundary agreements, tax incentive and abatement agreements, and business district redevelopment plans. Mr. Friedman also has special knowledge and experience in environmental law.

Known nationally for his First Amendment litigation experience, Mr. Friedman provides special representation to Lake County, the city of Galesburg and all of the firm’s municipal clients with respect to the zoning and regulation of adult entertainment establishments and other uses protected by the First Amendment. He has successfully defended the firm’s nationally known model on adult use zoning and licensing regulations against challenges in federal and state courts.
Among his substantial state and federal litigation experience, Mr. Friedman has defended numerous lawsuits challenging local zoning and land use controls, and he has handled several local government lawsuits involving civil rights, annexation disputes, contract actions and environmental enforcement. Mr. Friedman has also argued cases in Federal District and Appellate Courts and at all levels of state court, including successfully before the Illinois Supreme Court.

Upon appointment by Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, Mr. Friedman serves on the board of the Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA) and as chairman of the CCLBA's property acquisition committee. He previously served as judicial clerk to The Honorable Suzanne B. Conlon, judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and, prior to that, worked for five years on the staff and as legislative director for Congressman John Porter (IL-10) in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Friedman is an adjunct professor of law at John Marshall Law School, where he teaches Historic Preservation Law. He is a fellow in the 2012 class of Leadership Greater Chicago, and a recent graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program.

Honors & Awards

  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use, 2011-2014
  • Holland & Knight Public and Charitable Service All-Star, 2014
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Government Relations Practice, 2013, 2014 Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2009, 2013-2014
  • Corporate Counsel Edition, Super Lawyers magazine, May 2009


  • Local Government: Spring 2012 Illinois Legislative Update, Holland & Knight Alert, June 5, 2012
  • Local Government: Amendments to the Illinois Vehicle Code Concerning Automated Red-Light Camera Systems, Holland & Knight Alert, May 28, 2010
  • Local Government: What Is Proper Notice for Rezonings? Illinois Supreme Court Holds Newspaper Notice Unconstitutional - Passalino et al v. City of Zion, Holland & Knight Alert, December 29, 2009
  • Does the Illinois Open Meeting Act violate the First Amendment?, Local Government Law, December 2009
  • Local Government: The Illinois Open Meetings Act – Caution the Watchword on Use of E-Mails, Holland & Knight Alert, August 3, 2009
  • Good News for Adult Use Zoning Restrictions, ISBA Local Government Law Newsletter, March 2009

Speaking Engagements

  • Marsh Global Real Estate Conference, Real Estate Industry Leadership Panelist, Chicago, IL, October 23, 2012
  • Nuts and Bolts of Writing Ordinances, American Planning Association Illinois State Conference, Champaign, IL, September 19, 2012
  • Legal Issues of Chicago Contracting and Subcontracting, City of Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development and The Law Project, Holland & Knight Chicago Office, July 22, 2012
  • Real Estate and the 2012 Elections, Willis Real Estate and Hotel Practice Symposium, Chicago, IL, June 13-14, 2012
  • TIF, Economic Incentives & Sales Tax Rebate Litigation, Lake County Bar Association: Local Government Committee, April 26, 2012
  • Property and Financial Issues for Local Government, Moderator, Illinois Continuing Legal Education Program, January 26, 2012
  • Legal Update, American Planning Association Illinois State Conference, October 6, 2011
  • The Government's Landlord: Successfully Competing for and Administering GSA Leases, Holland& Knight Program, 2010


Allegheny College, B.A.
American University, Washington College of Law, J.D.

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

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