Photo of Eugene J.M. Leone

Eugene J.M. Leone

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Illinois, 1995
  • New York, 1983
  • United States District Court for the Western District of New York, 1983 

Education

J.D., George Washington University, 1982

B.A., History and Economics, Cornell University, 1979

Overview
Experience
News & Insights
Affiliations

Eugene J.M. Leone, P.C. joined the law firm of Pircher, Nichols & Meeks in 1986 and is the managing partner of the firm's Chicago office. Gene focuses on all aspects of commercial real estate, including joint ventures, acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, financings and workouts and has represented some of the most recognizable names in real estate. Gene has a track record of leading, structuring and executing complicated deal transactions for a broad universe of investors, including private equity, entrepreneurs and public companies.

Gene frequently speaks on a variety of real estate topics. Gene has spoken at numerous conferences sponsored by Law Seminars International and Bisnow.

Honors & Awards

Martindale-Hubbell-AV rating (highest rating), held since 1993.  
Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.
Chicago Magazine “Super Lawyers” (listed every year since initial publication in 2003).
The Best Lawyers in America (listed every year since 2008).
International Who’s Who of Real Estate Lawyers (listed every year since 2013).

Gene joined Pircher as an associate in 1986 and became a partner of the firm four years later. While remaining a partner of the firm, Gene had the privilege of serving as general counsel of Walton Street Capital from July, 2005 through May, 2010.

Gene considers himself fortunate to have landed at Pircher. We have an exceptional practice with wonderful clients. I am proud to carry on the firm’s legacy, perhaps best embodied in a client’s thoughtful note:

“I think the way you approach the practice of law is the way most lawyers, in their heart of hearts, wish they could. You are a top notch group of attorneys with whom a person would also enjoy sitting at a ballgame and having a beer (the highest of praise).”

Gene’s favorite transactions include:

  • The $1.05 billion acquisition of eight regional malls in a joint venture format. This may have been my last opportunity to work alongside Phil Nichols, one of the giants of the real estate bar, on a mind-numbingly complex deal.
  • The acquisition of the ground lease interest underlying the Drake Hotel in Chicago. Three heavyweights formed a venture to reposition a wonderful piece of real estate. Post-closing challenges galore!
  • The acquisition of a 1,000 acre lakeside resort in Delavan, Wisconsin. The purchase included the resort, golf course operations, vehicles, concessions, liquor licenses, an airfield and Indian burial mounds. We went from letter of intent to closing in 32 days to capture the high season!
  • One of the earliest public-to-private transactions - the acquisition by merger of Chateau Properties to create the largest privately-held owner of manufactured housing. A gratifying opportunity to collaborate with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
  • The sale and leaseback of a Burger King franchise in Chicago, Illinois. It took all of our talents to complete the diligence, purchase, lease, financing and venture documents on a transaction having a $2.5 million gross asset value.
  • The ground-up development of Union Tower in Chicago, a 320,000-square foot office property. The successful acquisition, development, lease-up, financing and sale led to a follow-on project, Congress Center, a 550,000-square foot ground-up development in Chicago’s west loop.
  • The restructuring of an investment in 110,000 acres of timberland in northern Ontario, Canada. Successful reorganizations involving troubled assets and contentious parties are always gratifying!
  • The assemblage and acquisition from multiple sellers of the real estate comprising the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Illinois. A tribute to nine years of perseverance and relationship-building!
  • The acquisition and simultaneous financing of a ninety-six property portfolio of industrial assets having a gross asset value of $2.8 billion. It was a true firm effort - both before and after closing.

Publications & Speaking Engagements

Professional & Community Affiliations

Fellow, American College of Real Estate Lawyers.

Knight, Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and Malta.

Member, Real Estate Roundtable President's Council.