Eugene J.M. Leone | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
Eugene Leone
Eugene Leone

Eugene J.M. Leone

Partner, Chicago, New York

T +1 312 915 3113

E [email protected]


Eugene ("Gene") J.M. Leone is a Partner in the Global M&A Practice Group and a member of the Real Estate Industry Group, based in the Chicago and New York offices. Gene represents some of the most recognizable names in real estate and 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. His practice focuses on all aspects of commercial real estate, including joint ventures, acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, financings and workouts.

A highly rated lawyer and sought-after speaker, Gene is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and the Real Estate Roundtable and frequently speaks on a variety of real estate topics at conferences around the country.

Bars and Courts

  • Illinois State Bar
  • New York State Bar
  • US District Court for the Western District of New York


  • JD, George Washington University
  • BA, Cornell University


  • English


Gene's representative experiences prior to joining the Firm include:

The US$1.05 billion acquisition of eight regional malls in a joint venture format.

The financing of 1211 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, NY.

The acquisition of a US$425 million Class A office property in Boston, Massachusetts.

The restructuring of assets owned by Cadillac Fairview.

The acquisition of the ground lease interest underlying the Drake Hotel in Chicago.

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.

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 sixteen-year odyssey involving the acquisition, financing (mortgage, mezzanine and preferred equity), redevelopment, leasing and sale of 401 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.

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.

The assemblage and acquisition from multiple sellers of the real estate comprising the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Illinois.  The transaction was followed by the creation of a complex network of leases underlying the Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, New York.

The acquisition and simultaneous financing of a ninety-six property portfolio of industrial assets having a gross asset value of US$2.8 billion.

The acquisition by a joint venture of a real estate investment trust in order to facilitate the purchase of the Chicago Board of Trade Building.

The assemblage of a complete city block in Chicago's west loop for mixed-use development.

The acquisition of a US$165 million retail development in the Chicago suburbs, made possible by the assumption of special service area sales tax bonds.

The subdivision and partitioning of office parks in Columbus, Ohio, Fort Wright, Kentucky and Skokie, Illinois to create stand-alone medical office properties.

The assemblage of a downtown Atlanta site for development with office, residential and hotel properties.

Speaking Engagements

Moderator at Bisnow's Chicago Capital Markets Event, Chicago, IL, March 2018

Moderator at Bisnow's Chicago Event, May 26, 2016


  • Illinois Purchase and Sale Issues for Buyers, The Practical Real Estate Lawyer, March 2018
  • Foreign Investment in Real Estate: Illinois, Practical Law, August 2017
  • Leasing to a Foreign Entity Requires Special Attention, Commercial Leasing Law & Strategy, September 2016
  • Real Estate Leasing: Illinois, Practical Law, Spring 2016
  • Real Estate Ownership: Illinois, Practical Law, Spring 2016
  • Foreign Investment in Real Estate: Illinois, Practical Law, Spring 2016
  • Be Slow to Waive Consequential Damages, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, July 2015
  • Interview with Barry Sternlicht (Starwood CEO) at Bisnow NY Capital Markets Summit, New York City, June 3, 2015

Awards & Recognition

Martindale-Hubbell-AV rating (highest rating), 1993-2018

Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business

Chicago Magazine "Super Lawyers", 2003-2018

The Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2018

International Who's Who of Real Estate Lawyers 2013-2018