Janet Johnson: Earning her clients’ trust

February 04, 2013  |  Dan Rafter  |  Print Article  |  Email this Article


Janet Johnson

Janet Johnson
Schiff Hardin

What sets Janet Johnson, a partner at Chicago law firm Schiff Hardin, apart from her competitors? Start with trust. Her clients are devoted to her because they trust her to provide them with the best legal representation and advice. Then there’s Johnson’s legendary work ethic. She’s known for turning in long hours to better serve her clients.

Finally? There’s knowledge. No one knows commercial real estate better than does Johnson. And it shows.

Johnson boasts a long client list populated with publicly held and closely held corporations, developers, contractors, institutional investors and nonprofit organizations and institutions. Johnson often helps these clients negotiate purchases, sales and leases. She also plays an important role in helping her commercial real estate clients qualify for financing, including synthetic leasing and other complex financing transactions.

When Chicago developers face zoning or annexation issues, they’re likely to come to Johnson, who has a long history of helping her clients negotiate the sometimes cumbersome codes imposed by the city of Chicago. She’s also an important presence on the construction side of the commercial real estate business, working closely with members of Schiff Hardin’s Construction Group.

Johnson has also proven invaluable to clients that are considering corporate restructuring and family ownership issues. Johnson, again, has developed a reputation for knowing the ins and outs of such matters, and has helped countless corporate clients handle these tricky changes.

Johnson’s list of accomplishments is impressive. She represented a Chicago-area nonprofit in its efforts to develop more than 500 acres of land and helped a Chicago-based educational institution set into motion its plan to renovate and modernize its campus. She also helped a real estate developer obtain entitlements for the development of more than 1,000 acres of farmland in Lake County, Ill.

In addition, Johnson has found time to give back to her community. She currently serves as secretary of the board of regents of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind., and as secretary of the board of directors of LCMS National Housing Support Corporation in St. Louis. Johnson has also represented a community/church-based nonprofit in building and renovating affordable homes in Chicago’s North Kenwood and Oakland neighborhoods for the last 14 years.

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