Gould + Ratner




John Mays, a partner of Gould & Ratner, focuses on real estate development with emphasis on land use and construction. He represents clients in all phases of the development process, from the acquisition, zoning, financing, and construction of buildings and projects through their ultimate leasing or disposition.

John has spoken on growth strategies before the American Planning Association, and he has been an instructor at the Urban Land Institute's National Real Estate School and at the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is a member of the Adjunct Faculty of the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law where he lectures on land use and development issues.

John is a past Chair of the Urban Land Institute's 1,000-member Chicago District Council and today serves as a member of the Institute's Community Development Council (Black). He is a member of ULI's Board of Directors in Chicago and its Management Committee. John has chaired several ULI panels assisting communities in and surrounding Chicago.

John's additional professional affiliations include Lambda Alpha International, an honorary Land Economics Society, the International Council of Shopping Centers, the Illinois Institute for Local Government Law and the American Bar Association's Forum on the Construction Industry.

John has been recognized as both an Illinois Leading Lawyer and an Illinois Super Lawyer.


Connect with John

(312) 899-1618 Office
John H. Mays
Rated by Super Lawyers

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Connect with John

(312) 899-1618 Office
John H. Mays
Rated by Super Lawyers

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  • DePaul University College of Law, J.D., 1974
  • DePaul University, B.S.C., Finance, 1968

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois


  • American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry
  • Illinois Institute for Local Government Law
  • Lambda Alpha International, an honorary Land Economics Society
  • Past member, Advisory Board of the School and Institute of Real Estate, Walter E. Heller College of Business Administration, Roosevelt University
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI) 
    – Board of Directors and Management Committee, Chicago District Council
    – Past Chair, Board of Directors, Chicago District Council
    – ULI National’s Community Development Council

Key Cases or Transactions

  • Counsel for regional and national homebuilders in the acquisition, entitlement and development of numerous communities throughout northern Illinois.
  • Counsel for major regional developer of industrial, office and research parks in leasing, disposition of major properties, and acquisition, entitlement and development of properties, including a 600-acre development in northwestern Illinois.
  • Representation of clients in loan and mezzanine funding negotiations, including complex construction loan agreements and investment vehicles.
  • Creation of multiple homeowner associations, community associations and condominiums throughout the Chicago area, including the creation of a parking garage condominium in downtown Chicago.
  • Negotiation of complex construction contracts for multiple clients.
More than just legal advisors, our lawyers consistently demonstrate the care and commitment that set us apart from much larger law firms.