Hal Francke, a partner at Meltzer, Purtill & Stelle LLC (Chicago and Schaumburg, IL), has been named 2019 “Land Use and Zoning Lawyer of the Year” for the Chicagoland area by Best Lawyers®, the only annual publications of its kind in the legal profession compiled entirely on the basis of peer reviews.
Francke is one of five Meltzer, Purtill & Stelle attorneys recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019. The other honorees include Joy Goldman, William Mitchell, Charles L. Byrumand Brian Meltzer. All were recognized for their work in Real Estate Law.
As a 2019 “Lawyer of the Year” honoree, Francke joins an elite list of attorneys working in 133 practice areas across 183 metropolitan regions. It is the second time he has received the coveted award and the first since joining Meltzer, Purtill & Stelle in 2013.
Francke is proud to receive such national recognition for what his very locally based practice. “My practice”, he says, “focuses on suburban projects being undertaken in the Chicago metropolitan area by national companies and local developers or institutions.” He says he views his responsibilities as achieving the client’s land use goals by bringing together all interested parties – the client, the unit of local government and community residents – and making sure the client’s short‑term and long‑term investment backed and other expectations are achieved and protected.
It’s a role Francke knows well. He’s been focused on real estate law since graduating from law school in 1979 and on land use entitlement law since 1982, building a reputation as one of the Chicago area’s top attorneys in the field. When he joined Meltzer, Purtill & Stelle in 2013 he felt that, with its deep bench of real estate transactional attorneys and litigators, it would be the perfect fit for his suburban‑focused land use practice.
“I spent over three decades at an AmLaw 100 global law firm, and a significant number of my MPS colleagues also came from BigLaw firms,” he says of Meltzer, Purtill & Stelle, whose roster of attorneys currently numbers just under 40. “Many of us left BigLaw firms for the same reasons – the ability to offer the same services to clients at significantly lower billing rates and to maintain more control over our practices and futures.”
With its more manageable size and more comfortable culture, MPS LAW is more conducive to the hands-on, personal approach Francke – and his clients – prefer. “Most clients who retain me expect me to do the work,” he says. “I do take advantage of what my very experienced colleagues can offer in terms of assistance, but when it comes to key meetings and major public presentations – well, that’s what I’m paid to do and those I personally handle.”
Francke also frequently finds time for less profitable, but perhaps more rewarding pursuits, such as advancing the cause of affordable housing and assisting private schools, religious groups and other not-for-profit institutions in navigating the suburban zoning entitlement process.
It’s a track record any real estate attorney would be proud of, one that has earned Francke yet another “Lawyer of the Year” award and a lifetime of respect from his peers, his clients and the communities in which he has worked.
ABOUT MPS LAW
In a field where success is typically measured in terms of growth, Meltzer, Purtill & Stelle is that rare law firm where success is defined solely by the needs and satisfaction of the clients it serves. Founded in 1996, we maintain offices in Schaumburg and downtown Chicago, with 35 attorneys working in 11 select practice areas focused on real estate, litigation, business and employment law.