David B. Yelin


  • David B. Yelin
  • Phone: +1 312 499 6778

    David B. Yelin - LinkedIn Import to Address Book

  • Duane Morris LLP
    190 South LaSalle Street, Suite 3700
    Chicago, IL 60603-3433

David B. Yelin is the head of Duane Morris' Chicago office's real estate practice. He served on Duane Morris' executive committee from 2010 to 2017 and as managing partner of the Chicago office from 2002 to 2018. Mr. Yelin concentrates his practice on real estate law and focuses on commercial real estate transactions. He has significant experience in acquisitions, development, financing and construction and build-to-suit office and industrial buildings. He also represents landlords and tenants in lease negotiations and has been involved in numerous multistate transactions involving the acquisition and disposition of commercial and industrial properties. Mr. Yelin has represented financial institutions in lending, work-out and restructured loan transactions and borrowers in financing transactions. He has assisted developers with retail space leases and build-to-suit leases. Mr. Yelin has also represented clients before various municipal zoning boards and land use planning commissions in connection with planned unit development ordinances, zoning classification changes, zoning variances and special use permits.

Mr. Yelin is Board Chair and Member of the Executive Committee of the Respiratory Health Association.

A certified public accountant, he is a 1986 magna cum laude graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he served on The Case Western Reserve University Law Review, and a graduate of The University of Akron.

Representative Matters

  • Represented real estate private equity firm specializing in medical office buildings (MOBs) in the acquisition of a 153,094 square foot multi-tenant property located in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

  • Represented Recovery Centers of America in connection with its $290 million real estate recapitalization transaction, where the lender was a subsidiary of Sabra Health Care REIT.

  • Represented a U.S.-based high-tech manufacturing company in the transportation industry in connection with its $28.5 million sale to and lease-back from a national REIT of the company’s newly-completed 49,000 square-foot corporate headquarters building, a 146,000 square-foot manufacturing building, and a 95,000 square-foot manufacturing building.

  • Represented Pactiv, LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of food packaging and food service products, in the $43 million sale-leaseback of its north suburban headquarters office building in Lake Forest, Illinois; the deal is in line with a trend of investors and real estate funds using capital for single-tenant office and manufacturing properties with long-term leases.

  • Represented CJ Logistics U.S.A. Corporation and DSC Logistics, LLC in connection with the purchase of the outstanding interest in DSC Logistics, the restructuring of CJ Logistics’ assets in the United States, the merger of Dry Storage Corporation into DSC Logistics and the change of CJ Logistics’ and DSC Logistics’ names in various states; CJ Logistics America’s combined North American operations will include over 70 locations, including warehouses, transportation, freight forwarding and corporate offices.
  • Represented Calumet Armature & Electric, LLC, an Illinois-based provider of design, manufacturing, assembly, and repair services of electric motors for the industrial and mass transit markets, in the sale of all its membership interests to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Integrated Electrical Services, Inc. (Nasdaq: IESC).

  • Represented a distressed debt fund client in the purchase of $45 million of senior notes secured by a large condominium development outside of Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Represented a real estate investment fund in the $4.4 million acquisition, and negotiation of seller financing, of 100 condominium units in a 250-unit building on LaSalle Street in downtown Chicago. As part of the acquisition, the client obtained a controlling interest in the condominium board and management of the building. The condominium units are 100-percent leased.
  • Represented the U.S. affiliate of CJ CheilJedang Corp. in a complex joint-venture transaction with Cargill Inc. to build and operate a lysine production facility in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The transaction included the negotiation of a 50-year lease with options to extend the lease term to 100 years and various service agreements.
  • Represented Partytime Productions, Inc. in connection with the closing of new 50,000 square foot build-to-suit lease for the consolidated company.
  • Acted as counsel for a state university-related organization in development of $160 million proton research and treatment center that utilizes a linear accelerator to produce protons for targeted radiation treatments for cancer patients. Complex development involved a ground lease, project development agreements and project financing issues and solutions.
  • Acted as counsel to a regional health care systems provider in the development of a large ambulatory surgical facility with adjoining hotel for patients and visitors.
  • Acted as counsel to numerous corporate clients that developed their own offices, warehouses, retail outlets and industrial facilities. Handled all issues related to leasing, purchase and sales agreements, construction and development agreements, and related financing. Clients have included packagers, materials manufacturers, consumer products makers and retailers.
  • Represented many corporate clients in negotiation and completion of large leases for corporate headquarters, solving issues related to future expansion, contraction and termination options, as well as signage and control of common area space.
  • Represented regional bank in development of more than 45 branches with unique issues in shopping centers, retail buildings and other consumer-convenient locations. Solved problems relating to reciprocal easement operating agreements and associated maintenance, lighting, signage and operating issues.
  • Acted as counsel in charge of real estate-related due diligence for corporate mergers and acquisitions, handling issues arising from title review, landlord consents, re-financing or assumption of loans and other matters.
  • Represented companies in sales of large buildings (generally valued at more than $10 million) subject to collateralized debt obligation agreements or other covenants restricting defeasance. Handled negotiation and drafting of loan defeasance agreements allowing for substitution of collateral to enable sales.
  • Acted as counsel to real estate developers involved in the development and construction of urban high-rise offices and condominium buildings. For example, handled all issues and agreements relating to development of a 50-story apartment tower with parking facilities and a retail-services complex.
  • Represented a number of retailers, particularly in the outdoor recreation industry, in the acquisition and development of sites or bundles of sites suitable for operations.
  • Handled real estate-related due diligence associated with large asset purchase agreements for companies involved in metals and material production, packaging, healthcare and retail industries.
  • Acted as development counsel for companies in many industries that use build-to-suit leases and hire contractors to do turnkey development work in order to facilitate rapid development of offices, warehouses and other major facilities.


  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., 1986
  • University of Akron, B.S., 1979


  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Partner, 2000-present
  • Jenner & Block, Chicago, Illinois
    - Partner, 1986-2000
  • Certified Public Accountant, Ohio, 1982

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association
    - Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Chicago Bar Association (1992-2010)
    - Real Estate Committee
  • International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate (1998-2014)

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2016-2023

  • Awarded Herbert C. DeYoung Medal, Respiratory Health Association, 2020
  • Listed in Illinois Super Lawyers

  • Named to 2006 "Leading Lawyers" list for Illinois, a statewide list of attorneys recommended by their peers
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®

Board Memberships

  • Respiratory Health Association
    - Board Chair (2016-present)
    - Executive Committee Member (2006-present)
    - Board Member (2002-present)

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Leader, "Commercial Leasing Program," Practicing Law Institute’s 21st Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute, Chicago, October 23, 2019.

  • Roundtable Leader, "Strategies for Buying and Selling Distressed Real Estate and Other Assets," Duane Morris Event, Chicago, April 23, 2009
  • Presenter, "Contracting to Insure Payment," presented to Real Estate Professionals at Transwestern Commercial Services, April 10, 2007
  • Panelist, "Landlord and Tenant Hot Topics," Midwest Real Estate News Roundtable, October 28, 2004
  • Presenter, "The Basics of Synthetic Leasing," presented to Real Estate Professionals at Trammell Crow Company, February 27, 2002
  • Panelist, "License Issues Facing the Business Broker," Joint Conference of the Midwest Business Brokers and Intermediaries and the International Business Brokers Association, Inc., January 24, 2003.
  • Speaker, "Issues Concerning Real Estate and Broker Licensing in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana," meeting of the Northern Illinois Commercial Association of Realtors, Chicago, Illinois, November 19, 2002