Practice Areas

The attorneys of Tristan & Cervantes offer comprehensive business legal services in a practical, economical, and efficient manner. The approach taken by the attorneys of Tristan & Cervantes in providing legal advice is designed around building trust and is pursued in a manner that seeks to achieve both the short term and long term objectives of our clients. Outside of the legal practice, the attorneys of Tristan & Cervantes serve in a variety of leadership roles in civic organizations throughout the Chicago-land area.


Tristan & Cervantes assists businesses in complying with various municipal ordinances regulating the operation of businesses within the City of Chicago. The firm has represented restaurant and bar owners, entertainment venues, street festivals, security companies, and many other businesses in obtaining appropriate business and event licenses.

The firm also assist its clients in obtaining permits with the City of Chicago and other local municipalities. Additionally, Tristan & Cervantes has represented clients before various administrative agencies in defense of alleged violations of municipal or administrative laws and codes.

  • Business Licensing
  • Liquor Licensing
  • Liquor Licensing in Dry/Moratorium Areas
  • Stock Transfers in Dry/Moratorium Areas
  • Liquor License Expansions
  • Public Place of Amusement (PPA) Licensing
  • PPA License Expansions
  • Special Event Licensing
  • Recycling Facility Licensing
  • Valet Licensing
  • Loading Zone Permitting
  • Music Festival Permitting
  • Public Way Permitting
  • Building Code Violation Defense
  • Provided aldermanic and community relations counseling to nightclub/live performance venue to complement representation at administrative hearing for deleterious impact before the City of Chicago Department of Business Licensing and Consumer Protection.
  • Obtained liquor license for retail food establishment after applicant’s first application was not recommended by Alderman and denied by the Police Department.
  • Represented three-day outdoor music festival that served over 50,000 attendees and assisted in obtaining permits and facilitating meetings with elected officials and community groups.
  • Government Relations & Lobbying
  • Real Estate
  • Zoning & Land Use
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Corporate Law


Tristan & Cervantes represents business entities and individuals in a broad range of contract and business litigation matters including breach of contract, business torts, unfair business practices, and other general business litigation. The firm handles business disputes involving commercial contracts in a wide range of areas such as the purchase and sale of businesses, purchase and sale of real estate, service contracts, and construction contracts. The firm also represents clients in matters related to disputes involving the Uniform Commercial Code. Tristan & Cervantes has represented many clients in other matters, including the pursuit or defense of allegations involving improper conduct in business transactions such as fraud, negligent misrepresentation, interferences with contractual or economic relations, and bad faith and unfair dealing.

  • Construction Litigation
  • Mechanic Lien Preparation and Enforcement
  • Vendor/Vendee Disputes
  • Condominium Litigation
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • General Business Litigation
  • Investment Disputes
  • Franchise Litigation
  • Leasing Disputes
  • Construction Law
  • Real Estate
  • Corporate Law
  • Labor & Employment Law


Tristan & Cervantes has experience in a wide variety of commercial transactions ranging from corporate stock transfers to commercial lending transactions. The firm regularly counsels corporations, businesses, and individuals in the purchase and sale of corporate ownership and assets. Tristan & Cervantes regularly represents borrowers and lenders in connection with acquisition, refinancing, mezzanine financing, lines of credit, and other credit vehicles.

  • Mergers, Acquisitions, and Joint Ventures
  • Contract Matters for the Purchase and Sale of Goods and Services
  • Commercial Lending
  • Construction Loans
  • Construction Escrows
  • Sale of Business Assets
  • Sale of Business Equity
  • Represented underwriter in $35 million bond issuance related to charter school.
  • Represented institutional lender in $7 million refinance of real estate portfolio.
  • Represented construction company in obtaining a $600,000 line of credit.
  • Represented commercial property owner in $500,000 refinance and construction escrow for tenant improvement allowance.
  • Represented shareholder in sale of stock in restaurant corporation for $25,000.
  • Property Taxes: Overview of the Appeal Process (April 2012)
  • Commercial Real Estate: How Should Your Business Take Title to Protect Yourself From Liability, Maintain Flexibility, and Minimize Formal Requirements (April 2012)
  • Real Estate
  • Corporate Law
  • Construction Law
  • Commercial Litigation


Tristan & Cervantes represents various condominium associations throughout the Chicago-land area.

  • Collection of Delinquent Assessments and Eviction Actions
  • Enforcement of Condominium Rules and By-Laws
  • Amendments to Condominium Rules and By-Laws
  • Foreclosure Monitoring
  • Board Meeting Assistance
  • Unit Leasing, Policies, and Compliance
  • Drafting of Governing Documents including, Declarations, Bylaws, Amendments, and Rules and Regulations
  • Corporate Law
  • Real Estate
  • Zoning & Land Use
  • Landlord-Tenant Law


Tristan & Cervantes provides legal services to companies, individuals, public entities, and professionals engaged in the design, engineering, and construction industry. Tristan & Cervantes represents individuals, project owners, general contractors, sub-contractors, construction managers, material suppliers, and design professionals in construction law and litigation matters. Additionally, the firm represents clients in the formation of construction contracts to ensure full contract performance and to minimize potential liability.

  • Payment Disputes
  • Mechanics Liens
  • Building Code Violations
  • Breach of Contract Litigation Matters
  • Zoning Permits
  • Real Estate Acquisition
  • Construction Financing
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) Matters
  • Contract Drafting
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Real Estate
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Zoning & Land Use


Tristan & Cervantes provides a wide range of corporate legal services to its clients. The firm represents closely held entities, professional associations, financial institutions, partnerships, charitable entities, education providers, and individuals in their business pursuits. Tristan & Cervantes’s attorneys possess the relevant knowledge and experience needed to advise all businesses, both large and small. Whatever the matter – from business start-up to a merger agreement – the attorneys at Tristan & Cervantes work with clients on a one-on-one basis to foster strong long-term relationships and successful business practices.

  •  Strategic Planning in Business Organization
  • Corporate Restructuring
  • Voting and Shareholder Control Agreements
  • Defining Bylaws, Corporate Minutes, Lease Agreements, Employment Agreements
  • Advising the Boards of Directors of For-Profit and Non-Profit Entities
  • Advising in Board of Director, Shareholder, and Partner Disputes
  • Asset Protection
  • Franchising
  • Organized a controlled board of directors for a not-for-profit subsidiary of a not-for-profit parent entity.
  • Transferred title of multiple investment properties to Series LLC to obtain limited liability protection for property investor client.
  • Obtained tax exempt status for numerous entities including child healthcare providers, educations providers, political action committees and liberal arts organizations.
  • Negotiated buyout and investment agreement for local restaurant group.
  • Political Action Committees (July 2011)
  • Commercial Real Estate: How Should Your Business Take Title to Protect Yourself From Liability, Maintain Flexibility, and Minimize Formal Requirements (April 2012)
  • Real Estate
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Condominium Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Estate Planning


Tristan & Cervantes provides assistance to its clients in navigating the vast and complex arenas of local and state government. The firm’s attorneys are experienced in many areas of government relations including legislation, agency rule making, and procurement matters. Additionally, Tristan & Cervantes has experience in partnering with public affairs firms to provide a comprehensive approach to campaigns and media strategies.

  • Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy
  • Procurement Counseling
  • Zoning, Licensing, and Permitting Matters
  • Strategic Political, Business, and Community Outreach
  • Represented Latino Coalition for Fair Redistricting in 2011 decennial state redistricting process affecting congressional districts, state senate, and representative districts.
  • Represented Chicago City Council’s Latino Caucus in 2012 decennial aldermanic ward remapping process.
  • Represented international Fortune 100 infrastructure entity in pursuit of a five year water management contract with the City of Chicago.
  • Advised and represented global owner and operator of shared wireless communications and broadcast infrastructures in obtaining a local government contract for building new telecommunications infrastructure.
  • Business Licensing & Administrative Law
  • Zoning & Land Use


Insurance law is an active area of practice at Tristan & Cervantes. Our firm is known for effectively representing the interests of insurers and their commercial policyholders in all aspects of defense and coverage matters, and we have established strong relationships with insurance companies nationwide.

Our attorneys have extensive experience working in-house at various national insurance carriers and possess the skill, knowledge, and tenacity to address different aspects of complex insurance defense and litigation at reasonable, value added rates.

  • General Liability Litigation
  • Premises & Auto Liability
  • Serious Injury & Wrongful Death Claims
  • Construction Defect Litigation
  • Product Liability
  • Toxic Tort Litigation
  • Coverage Disputes
  • Contractual Tenders
  • Insurance Subrogation
  • Workers Compensation Defense
  • Bad Faith Litigation


Tristan & Cervantes provides counsel to client’s management personnel on an on-going basis, covering various aspects of labor & employment law. Tristan & Cervantes is frequently called upon to advise clients on the application of federal, state, and local laws, as well as collective bargaining agreements, to workplace employer-employee relations and employer-union relations.

The firm’s experience in labor law matters includes representation of its clients in labor campaigns, collective bargaining disputes, the defense of unfair labor practices claims, the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, pension, welfare benefit and dues disputes, and general labor relations matters.

The firms experience in employment litigation matters includes the defense of claims arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act, OSHA, and Workers’ Compensation laws, as well as the defense against whistleblower actions and state law retaliatory discharge claims.

  • Representation before the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board
  • Representation before National Labor Relations Board
  • Union Organizing Campaigns and Elections
  • Collective Bargaining Negotiations
  • Labor Arbitrations
  • Management, Supervisory, and Employee Training
  • Corporate Reorganization and Downsizing
  • Labor-Management Relation
  • Wage and Hour Litigation
  • Wage and Hour Training, Audits, and Policy Review
  • Defense Against Employment Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Claims
  • Representation before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Preparation of Employment Handbooks
  • Preparation and Negotiation of Employment Agreements and Confidentiality, Non-Competition, and Non-Solicitation Agreements
  • Preparation of Separation Agreements and Severance Agreements
  • Corporate Reorganizing, Downsizing, and Matters Related to the WARN Act
  • Defended a public-works contractor in action brought by the Illinois Department of Labor, alleging the misclassification of workers in violation of the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act.
  • Represented one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers in multiple labor arbitrations related to the discharge of bargaining unit employees in Missouri and Illinois.
  • Counseled a national fine paper and crafts retailer regarding human resources and labor relations, including numerous charges of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and various state agencies across the country.
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Corporate Law
  • Tristan & Cervantes Practice Areas
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Real Estate
  • Zoning & Land Use
  • Landlord-Tenant Law
  • Condominium Law
  • Government Relations & Lobbying
  • Business Licensing & Administrative Law


Tristan & Cervantes assists its landlord clients in preparing lease agreements, managing properties pursuant to applicable law, resolving lease disputes, collecting outstanding rents and judgments, and regaining possession of property.

  • Preparation and Negotiation of Residential and Commercial Leases
  • Residential and Commercial Evictions
  • Residential Landlord-Tenant Ordinance Compliance
  • Real Estate
  • Condominium Law
  • Commercial Litigation


Of Counsel Attorney Timothy M. Whiting is a leading truck accident and personal injury attorney at Whiting Law Group. Tim is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School and is licensed to practice in both Wisconsin and Illinois. He has successfully won cases against large corporations, trucking companies, construction companies, hospitals, and doctors. Whiting Law Group concentrates its practices in trucking accidents, construction accidents, automobile accidents, bus accidents, motorcycle accidents, wrongful death, personal injury actions, medical malpractice, and dog bite injuries. Some results from recent cases include securing a $300,000 settlement for a dog bite victim, and successfully obtaining a $3,000,000 verdict on behalf of their clients for the wrongful death of a truck driver. Recognized as a top truck accident attorney, Tim M. Whiting provides high-quality services for those seeking justice in regards to personal injury and accident law.


Tristan & Cervantes’s real estate practice group focuses in the representation of Buyers and Sellers of Commercial and multi-unit residential property, property tax appeals, and leasing matters. The firm represents developers, businesses, condominium boards, and individuals in all phases of acquisition, ownership, development, management, leasing, and sale. Tristan & Cervantes helps its clients identify the scope of real estate projects, financing considerations, and legal issues related to the implementation of their plans. Additionally, the firm assists clients in ongoing ownership concerns such as property tax appeals or exemptions, refinancing, and property holding corporate entity formation.

  • Purchases and Sales of Commercial and Multi-Unit Residential Properties
  • Commercial and Multi-Unit Residential Property Tax Appeals
  • Loan Transactions and Refinances
  • Commercial and Residential Leasing Matters
  • Not-For-Profit Property Tax Appeals and Exemptions
  • Closed multi-million dollar commercial property transaction in the City of Chicago for investor client.
  • Negotiated ten year lease for 80,000+ square foot industrial building in Chicago suburbs.
  • Negotiated reciprocal easement agreement between condominium association and commercial property owner within mixed use building.
  • Obtained 51% reduction in property tax bill for commercial property owner.
  • Transferred title of multiple investment properties to Series LLC to obtain limited liability protection for property investor client.
  • Obtained property tax exemption for not-for-profit client’s commercial property.
  • Zoning & Land Use
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Corporate Law
  • Landlord-Tenant Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Condominium Law
  • Construction Law


Tristan & Cervantes has experience representing real estate owners, tenants, corporations, franchisors, franchisees, and developers in navigating the complexities of the zoning & land use process. In doing so, our attorneys regularly appear before local government agencies and work with elected officials, community and public interest groups, and the media, in furtherance of our clients’ interests in zoning, land use, and development matters.

Tristan & Cervantes takes an integrated approach that allows us to guide our clients from the initial stages of conception to zoning, permitting, and licensing. Whether your project involves industrial, commercial, or residential property, the attorneys of Tristan & Cervantes work across practice groups to develop effective efficient strategies tailored to the needs of each client.

  • Zoning Amendments
  • Special-Use Permits and Variations
  • Text Amendments
  • Covenants, Easements, Restrictions, and Declarations
  • Environmental Compliance
  • Public Way Permits
  • Planned Developments
  • Obtained special-use permit for global fast food chain franchisee to build and operate dual-lane drive thru.
  • Obtained a zoning amendment to allow for the operation of an automotive dealership.
  • Obtained a zoning amendment for a 2.3 acre glass-recycling facility to operate a wholesale landscaping supply business.
  • Obtained a zoning amendment for national ice cream manufacturer and distributor to operate new retail sale, and manufacturing, and distribution facility.
  • Government Relations & Lobbying
  • Real Estate
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Landlord-Tenant Law
  • Condominium Law
  • Business Licensing & Administrative Law

Many ways to reach us

Our team is pleased to listen and to help you