As chair of Gould & Ratner’s Real Estate Practice, Linsey Cohen draws upon more than 20 years of experience in all areas of real estate, including retail, office and multifamily. Her deal-making experience strikes the strategic balance between risk and executing her clients’ vision. Linsey represents developers, owners, investors, property managers and entrepreneurs with property interests in Chicago and throughout the United States.

Linsey has an indefatigable business acumen 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 an impressive roster of clients, including:

  • One of the nation’s largest drugstore retailers, which she helps execute its plans for strategic store development through leasing, acquisition or, when appropriate, repurposing assets
  • Philz Coffee, a neighborhood-centric, hand-crafted coffee maker, assisting its strategic nationwide expansion
  • A discount supermarket chain with an aggressive nationwide expansion, negotiating leases, serving as outside counsel for all company lease administration matters and serving as outside counsel for various other real estate matters
  • A Pennsylvania-based national media company and radio network, advising on office leases, tower leasing and acquisitions, dispositions, sales and vendor agreements.
  • Several telecom companies, counseling on master site agreements, leases and amendments and risk assessments
  • A large national private institutional investor in multifamily housing, helping on large complex matters 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
  • A variety of parties in multiple facets of distressed properties, assisting in ongoing representation of several court-appointed receivers and representation of borrowers in asset restructuring

Linsey prides herself on her “business-first” perspective, learned early in her career while she was 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 other Gould & Ratner lawyers in litigation, tax, construction and other related areas to resolve their issues.

An important aspect of Linsey’s practice is her active involvement in several real estate industry groups, including the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)and Commercial Real Estate Executive Women (CREW)’s Chicago chapter. In 2019, Linsey joined the board of directors of ZCenter, a suburban Chicago-based nonprofit organization providing support to sexual abuse survivors. She also has been recognized by Crain's Chicago Business as a “Notable Women in Law” for 2020 and as “Real Estate Lawyer of the Year” for 2020 by Illinois Real Estate Journals.In 2020, Linsey was inducted into Midwest Real Estate News' Commercial Real Estate Hall of FameIn 2021 she was recognized as "Chicago Power Woman in Commercial Real Estate” by Bisnow, as a “Notable GenX Leader in Law” by Crain’s Chicago Business and was named to Connect CRE “2021 Lawyers in Real Estate”.



  • 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.