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Rich Klawiter

Richard F. Klawiter

Co-Vice Chair, US Real Estate Practice
He is wonderful to work with and is very strategic
client quoted in Chambers USA

Rich is a real estate development and finance lawyer with particular expertise in the areas of land use, zoning, incentives and government relations.  

Rich's practice is primarily representing developers and investors in securing entitlements and financial incentives for urban and suburban projects. Rich has entitled millions of square feet of land and improvements in Chicagoland and beyond and has secured more than US$3 billion in economic incentives for his clients.

Rich is a member of DLA Piper's North American Pro Bono Committee and is the 2018 recipient of DLA Piper’s Global Pro Bono and Community Service Partner of the Year. His pro bono interests range from representing community economic corporations on land use and zoning matters to representing individual asylum seekers and new arrivals.

Bar admissionsIllinois


  • Represented international steel company in connection with federal, state and municipal legislative approvals and incentives to facilitate the relocation from the north side of Chicago to the south side of Chicago of a US$300 million steel production facility
  • Represented numerous universities and professional sports teams in connection with the construction of new residential, sports and academic facilities throughout Chicagoland
  • Represented numerous Fortune 500 and other international companies in connection with global headquarters site selection and manufacturing facilities
  • Represented a 53-acre site in Chicago for which entitlements were received for 14 million square feet of development and US$500 million of infrastructure financing was allocated
  • Represented a 60-acre site in Chicago for which entitlements were received for 15 million square feet of development and US$550 million of infrastructure financing was allocated 
  • Represented international infrastructure debt and equity fund on numerous infrastructure projects across the United States
  • Spanish
  • J.D., Stanford Law School 1990
    Associate Editor, Stanford Law Review
  • M.A., Harvard University 1987
  • B.A., St. Olaf College 1985
Impressive…Thinks creatively…
— sources quoted in Chambers USA


Chambers USA

  • Band 1, Illinois Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (2012-2024) 

The Legal 500 United States

  • Recommended, Land Use/Zoning (2015-2024) 
  • Recommended, Real Estate (2020-2021, 2023-2024) 
Other recognitions

He has also been named an Illinois Super Lawyer, as the result of a research project conducted jointly by Law & Politics and Chicago magazines and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for land use and zoning law. Rich is a frequent lecturer on topics, including zoning and land use, affordable housing, municipal finance, landmark preservation, and public policy. 

Pro Bono

Rich serves as the chair of the firm's pro bono committee for the Chicago office and is a member of the firm's national pro bono committee. His pro bono interests are various and include representing families on immigration matters, including asylum and family reunification matters, representing indigent tenants in eviction court, handling an ongoing capital appeal for a death row inmate in Mississippi and representing not for profit community development corporations on zoning and transactional matters. He was awarded DLA Piper's Global Pro Bono and Community Service Partner of the Year in 2018.


Media Mentions

Civic and Charitable

  • Board of Directors - IFF
  • Board of Directors - Legal Aid Chicago
  • Advisory Board Member - National Immigrant Justice Center
  • Vice Chair - Obama for America Housing Policy Committee
  • Fellow and Board Member - Leadership Greater Chicago

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Member, American College of Real Estate Lawyers
  • Urban Land Institute
  • Economic Club of Chicago
  • Illinois Tax Increment Association
  • Lambda Alpha, Ely Chapter
  • Metropolitan Planning Council