Douglas A. Hanson
Outgoing and personable, Douglas Hanson, who is also a CPA, began his real estate, estate planning and general corporate practice, as he says, in a bath of hot oil. As a first-year associate nearly twenty-five years ago, he negotiated more than $7 million in property acquisitions through a fee simple purchase and a ground lease transaction, and he managed $25 million in refinance transactions that included leasehold mortgages on downtown Chicago property and large suburban office buildings and shopping centers.
In addition, Doug began working on estate planning and general corporate assignments upon inheriting 95 percent interest in a 12-attorney boutique real estate, estate planning and general corporate firm. One of his first assignments was estate planning for his father postmortem—a unique type of estate planning, unfortunately. Doug expanded his areas of service early in his career to meet the needs of small businesses, entrepreneurs and private individuals for general corporate representation, transactional work, estate tax planning and probate and trust administration.
Doug earned invaluable experience before law school as a Certified Public Accountant and as a staff auditor and tax assistant for Coopers & Lybrand, now Price Waterhouse Coopers. This background benefits him today in the complex real estate deals he facilitates and in the estate planning and administration he provides.
It was Doug's father, an attorney, who sowed the seeds of his son's interest in real estate tax planning and in law. As a young adult, Doug observed his father's enthusiasm for putting together real estate deals and for helping his small business and entrepreneurial clients achieve their goals via corporate representation and wealth management using various estate planning tools. Later, as a law student, Doug vowed to perpetuate his father's reputation for closing the deal and protecting the client. He followed his father's footsteps in another significant way: the two Hansons bear the unique distinction of being the first father and son valedictorians at Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Before joining Schuyler, Roche & Crisham, Doug was the managing partner of a commercial real estate, estate planning and general corporate boutique firm with 12 attorneys, the firm he inherited six weeks after receiving his license to practice law. Managing a law firm specializing in commercial real estate transactions during one of the worst markets for real estate in the last half century fostered in Doug a fortitude that benefits his clients today, most notably in the empathy he shows entrepreneurs and the means by which he helps clients—large and small—pursue their dreams. In serving such high-end clients—including small business owners and individuals with estate planning needs—Doug acquired early the business acumen necessary to satisfy a demanding clientele.
Attracting him to Schuyler, Roche & Crisham was the ability to work in a small firm environment with a large Loop presence, a balance affording him the resources only a larger firm can provide and permitting him the spontaneity the North Shore clientele who followed him to Schuyler, Roche & Crisham had come to expect. The thrill of the deal continues to drive his will to succeed, and a sense of urgency fuels every transaction, estate plan, trust and business he manages.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
Believing the practice of law an honorable means by which to help others, Doug represents a variety of individuals and entities, namely, commercial and residential real estate developers and builders, condominium and community associations, real estate buyers and sellers, companies and individuals regarding general corporate law, in addition to individuals and families requiring estate and tax planning or probate and trust administration. Specifically, Doug:
- represents residential housing developers and builders constructing single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums in their negotiations with home buyers
- represents developers and builders of new industrial and commercial construction
- specializes in construction law
- is an authority on condominium law, representing condominium and townhouse associations, both large and small
- handles estate and trust administration matters, from asset succession to transfer tax matters
- develops estate plans for individuals and privately held businesses
- represents small business owners in all types of general corporate work.
In addition, Doug handles all aspects of transactional realty work, including:
- purchases and sales
- finance transactions
- leasehold transactions
- ground leasehold transactions
- like-kind, tax-free exchanges.
Perhaps most noteworthy is Doug's penchant for helping clients with assets parlay those assets into real estate ownership solely for investment purposes. He provides both legal counsel and real estate related advice to help investor clients grow their assets and thus plan for wealth. For instance, he persuaded a longtime client and landowner to turn vacant land the client wished to sell into a residential development—12 single-family attached townhomes—ultimately transforming a $500,000 property into a $1.5 million profit.
Academically, Doug is well decorated, having garnered many coveted awards and titles: Order of the Coif, valedictorian, editor-in-chief of law review. He also earned highest honors and made the Dean's List during every eligible semester as an undergraduate accounting major. Professionally, Doug measures his value by the many deals he has successfully negotiated, managed and closed, which include:
- representing the owners of a 200,000-plus-square-foot office building in Downtown Chicago situated on a series of long-term ground leases and sub-ground leases, representation that included a financing transaction along with the restructuring of the leasehold interests to cause the leasehold interests to become financable at $16 million
- representing borrowers in financing transactions for a variety of office buildings, one transaction of which involved a $6 million refinance for a life insurance company
- co-chairing the defense of a will contest on behalf of the executor of a $16 million estate and managing all aspects of the administration of that estate, including litigating and negotiating with individuals, various charities and the Illinois Attorney General's office
- successfully managing the return of $250,000 in estate assets from a family member without the need for a full citation proceeding
- successfully litigating and settling the contested estate of a disabled person, allowing that person to become the beneficiary of a $40 million trust/annuity structured settlement
- representing a buyer of a $6 million shopping center in a transaction that included negotiating a defeasance arrangement with a nationally known title insurance company to allow for the purchase due to the seller's financing arrangement, which contained a prepayment preclusion
- representing a buyer in a $5 million shopping center purchase via a long-term ground lease
- representing a pioneering developer in the West Loop Gate area who constructed 41 new townhomes, thus paving the way for gentrification on Chicago's near west side
- representing the seller of a 26-acre industrial property in Chicago's Little Village in negotiations with a developer seeking to build townhomes there to revitalize an historic neighborhood, representation that included negotiating and overseeing multiple environmental cleanups resulting in $500,000 in remediation costs.
Whether a client approaches property ownership as an investment or a business, Doug Hanson meets the challenges each real estate transaction inevitably presents. He is an equally dedicated estate planner, corporate advisor, asset manager and litigator. If you believe he can assist you, please call.