C. Elizabeth Darke


Liz Darke is a seasoned real estate and finance attorney who intuitively understands her critical role in shepherding complex transactions from proposal to consummation.

Knowing how much is at stake for her clients when consequential deals are on the table, Liz relentlessly focuses on crafting creative, win-win solutions tailored to achieving her clients' goals and protecting their interests.

With extensive and varied experience in real estate lending, leasing, and acquisitions and dispositions, Liz represents institutional lenders nationwide in complex lending transactions, including construction loans, term loans, and mezzanine financings.

Former leader of the firm's real estate practice, she begins every engagement by ensuring she has a comprehensive appreciation of her client's objectives. She then tailors her approach and drafts documents best suited to achieving them. Once Liz sets a course, she leverages her organizational skills and collaborative nature to guide transactions to efficient, trouble-free conclusions.

In addition to commercial lending transactions, Liz has extensive experience in office, retail, and industrial lease transactions on behalf of both landlords and tenants.

She has represented developers in connection with the securitized financings of shopping malls, retail centers, and other commercial properties across the country.

She firmly believes that complex matters don't always require complicated solutions. Practical yet imaginative, Liz doesn't "over-lawyer" matters or get bogged down with minor distractions. Instead, she leverages her expansive knowledge of real estate and financing to focus on the issues that determine whether a transaction will be beneficial to her client and get them to the finish line expeditiously. 

The matters I handle involve multiple parties, each with their own interests and objectives. It is immensely satisfying to get everyone pulling in the same direction and close the deal in a timely fashion. Often we handle multiple transactions for the same parties—the process is organized and efficient and everyone is happy with the end result.
    • State University of New York at Buffalo, J.D., cum laude, Law Review, Articles Editor
    • Syracuse University, B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
  • Bar Admissions

    • Illinois, 2002
    • Recognized on Crain's Chicago Business' Notable Gen X Leaders in Accounting, Consulting & Law list, 2022

    • Recognized in Crain's Chicago Business 2018 and 2020 list of Notable Women Lawyers in Chicago

    • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© for Real Estate Law, 2013-2023

    • Named an Illinois Leading Lawyer in the area of Real Estate Law: Commercial, Real Estate Law: Finance, by the Leading Lawyers Network, 2014-2017. Law Bulletin Publishing Company
    • Chicago Mortgage Attorneys Association
    • American Bar Association
    • Chicago Bar Association
    • Building Owners and Managers Association of Suburban Chicago (BOMA/Suburban Chicago)

Latest News and Insights

Press Releases12.8.22

Liz Darke and Andrew Scott Named to Crain’s Chicago Business “Notable Gen X Leaders” List

Dykema, a leading national law firm, is proud to announce that Liz Darke and Andrew Scott were each…

Read More

Press Releases8.18.22

180 Dykema Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2023 and Best Lawyers “Ones to Watch”

Dykema, a leading national law firm, announced today that 180 of its attorneys, in multiple practice…

Read More

Press Releases4.4.22

Dykema’s Diversity and Mansfield Certification Update

Last July, Dykema announced it would join more than 160 large law firms from the U.S. and Canada in…

Read More