Emily Schey
Freeborn & Peters LLP
Real estate
40 Under Class – 2014

When it comes to real estate transactions, Emily Schey takes care of business.

Schey, of Freeborn & Peters LLP, focuses her law practice on complicated real estate matters.

The 36-year-old is a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Laura Cullin, of Meltzer, Purtill & Stelle LLC in Schaumburg, formerly worked with Schey at Freeborn & Peters. Cullin focuses on mergers and acquisitions, and has worked with Schey in connection with the real estate aspects of some of those matters. “I am always impressed by the breadth of commercial real estate experience that Emily has,” Cullin said. “During the time that we worked together she assisted me on matters with leasing, title and encumbrance issues, purchases and sales of real property, and mortgages and assignments of rent.” Cullin recalled one matter in particular where Schey’s expertise was essential. “We were representing multiple borrowers in connection with senior bank financing secured by properties located all over the country,” Cullin said. “Emily was tasked with resolving issues with landlords and municipalities, transferring property ownership interests among borrowers, fixing title problems, and negotiating mortgages and related loan documents for all locations.” Cullin said Schey is very likable, and that makes completing transactions easier for everyone. 

Lawyers on the other side of the table have noticed Schey’s ability as well.

For example, Michael Weaver, in house counsel for Cullinan Properties, worked opposite Schey on a difficult lease in which Schey represented a restaurant tenant leasing premises owned by Cullinan Properties located in a mixed-use commercial center in St. Charles, Missouri. Weaver commented, “Emily demonstrated far greater facility and comprehension of a complex deal structure than most other attorneys I have worked with on the same project.”

Brian Crowley, of Franczek Radelet, also worked on a complex real estate transaction opposite Schey.  Schey represented a not-for-profit entity that was trading real estate properties with Crowley’s client, a school district. “The transaction involved the negotiation of real estate and lease agreements,” Crowley said. “(Schey) handled all negotiations deftly, spearheaded solutions in the midst of some very difficult issues, and ultimately obtained an exceptional result for her client.”

Clients also appreciate Schey’s skill and overall professional demeanor.

Philip L. Goldberg, corporate counsel for Simborg Development, Inc., has served as in-house counsel for three family-owned real estate companies that own, manage and operate approximately 5 million square feet of industrial, office and retail buildings primarily in the south portion of the City of Chicago, as well as the suburbs and Northwest Indiana.

Goldberg began working with Schey when the economy tanked and she helped with several complicated real estate developments, including the redevelopment of a 1.2 million square foot industrial facility in Munster, Ind., into a Class A Business Park featuring office space, industrial space, retail uses and a new hotel. She also helped Goldberg with the redevelopment of an industrial site in the Little Village neighborhood into a multi-tenant retail center, the sale of an interest in an operating shopping center and the redevelopment of a former Wal-Mart into a multi-tenant retail center.

“Emily has done an excellent job in helping us negotiate and document the myriad of activities related to these complicated transactions,” Goldberg said. “What impressed me and my partners most is her ability to calmly and competently accomplish all of the requisite tasks while dealing with us, our various partners, municipal officials, their counsel, and other third parties and their counsel. Her people skills are spectacular and, sadly, rarely evident these days.”

Each year, Schey’s law firm sponsors a project with Rebuilding Together. Emily regularly volunteers for those projects, which have included making necessary repairs to a women’s shelter, a community center on the North Side, and a private home severely in need of repairs. Schey also served as the firm’s liaison in the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law and is involved with CREW Chicago.