Eminent Domain

Taft attorneys counsel private property owners, governmental entities and quasi-governmental entities in all aspects of eminent domain and land valuation matters. We vigorously represent private property owners whose interests are threatened by governmental action or whose property is being taken for public use. Our attorneys work closely with clients to identify and evaluate their property interests to make sure those interests are fully protected. In addition, we formulate and implement appropriate pre-condemnation, settlement and litigation strategies, working closely with experts to assess the maximum compensation our clients realistically can achieve. We strive to obtain not only the full and just compensation to which they are entitled based upon the fair market value of the property being taken, but also, when the law permits, we may obtain severance damages, business damages and relocation expenses. In appropriate situations, we also may recommend obtaining non-monetary benefits, such as additional public services, improved roadway access, more advantageous zoning and modifications to the proposed taking, that lessen or eliminate the adverse impact of the taking.

We handle a broad range of eminent domain cases and offer considerable resources to protect the rights of property owners. Since eminent domain matters are complex, we use a multidisciplinary approach, working closely with Taft's real estate, land use, government affairs, tax, appellate and litigation lawyers. We also enjoy relationships with leading experts who analyze the economic impact of the taking in order to secure full compensation for our clients. These experts include real estate appraisers, engineers, architects, land planners, surveyors, relocation consultants, accountants and other professionals.

Our attorneys also have significant experience representing private property owners in regulatory takings or “inverse condemnation” matters that may result from overly restrictive zoning designations, denials of building or demolition permits and onerous conditions placed on development.

Representative services include:

  • Representing Fortune 500 companies, retailers, real estate developers and private property owners in eminent domain matters throughout the Midwest.
  • Handling cases of all types against governmental entities, such as state transportation and environmental departments, counties, cities, water management districts, forest preserves and school boards.
  • Assisting private property owners and institutions, such as hospitals and universities, in acquiring adjacent land needed for expansion and easements for utilities, roads and access.
  • Serving as litigation counsel on matters ranging from homeowner condemnation lawsuits to multi-million dollar commercial condemnation lawsuits.
  • Representing the city of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Public Building Commission, the Chicago Housing Authority, the Chicago Transit Authority, the Illinois Tollway Authority and the Village of Bellwood in various eminent domain and land acquisition matters.
  • National recognition for experience in complex real estate transactions, development and redevelopment projects, public-private initiatives and litigation matters.