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Love of the Land

The middle of five kids, my dad worked in a high school and my mom is a Colorado native. We'd pack into the station wagon on summer breaks to live in a Colorado cabin without phone or heat. Water came from a stream. My banker grandfather in Greeley would visit, full of stories about helping ranchers and cattlemen grow their businesses and find profit in unforgiving land. These memories stuck. My passion was born.


After studying Classics & English in college and 2 years in pro cycling, I jumped eagerly into real estate and land use in law school.



Like my grandfather, I've dedicated 26 years to helping clients grow. From start-ups to Fortune Top 10s, I handle letters of intent, contracts, land use and zoning, financing, acquisition, development, leasing & disposition. I refer tax appeals to trusted lawyers.


I'm equally comfortable with start-ups and executives, negotiating in cafes and board rooms. I was a partner in a large U.S. law firm and often am across deal tables with big firms. I win respect and many favorable deal points through reasonableness and simple hard work. Tenants, landlords, owners, buyers, sellers, developers & land trusts ask me for help.


800+ leases and 300+ property deals later, my focus is office, retail, restaurant, fitness, sports & entertainment, multi-family, rural, industrial & warehouse. I also do conservation, water & natural resource law. I've worked in all 50 states, with deal value of $2+ billion.


A Newer, More Nimble Firm

After thirteen years of working in some of the most prestigious U.S. law firms, I founded the Moorhead Law Group, LLC in 2012 as a Chicago firm with a national practice. I believe clients should receive a fair price for high quality legal services. Clients note the firm’s fair approach, sound advice, responsiveness & ability to get matters done on time, on budget and without surprises.


National Leasing Focus

Since 2008, I've built a nationally-recognized retail and restaurant leasing practice within my firm, assisting clients grow into national, multi-million dollar operations.


Award-Winning Attorney

I won the “40 Under Forty Illinois Attorneys” in 2011. Our firm has won the “Best of the Best Law Firm" by Midwest Real Estate News each year from 2018-2022. I serve on Lake Forest's Plan Commission and its Zoning Board & am assisting the City in updating its Central Business District comprehensive plan. I speak nationally and published Tenant Leasing 101 in 2014.


My wife, from coastal Georgia, and I reside north of Chicago with our two children. Hobbies are cycling, trail running, history, skiing, & the mountains.


If you would like legal help, please give me a call.

James P. Moorhead, Founder and Principal
Moorhead Law Group law firm in Chicago represent national tenants in leasing and leases


(773) 750-2179 telephone


Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business,

​Bridge Executive Education Program; 2013

Vermont Law School,

Environmental Intensive Summer Session; 1997

Loyola University Chicago School of Law,

JD; 1999

Georgetown University,

BA (English and Classics); 1994

Loyola Academy, 1990.

Bar Admissions

Illinois, Maryland, and District of Columbia

Work Experience

Motorola Cycling Team, Communications Manager (1994-1996)

Civic Involvement

Plan Commission, City of Lake Forest, Illinois (2019-).


Zoning Board of Appeals, City of Lake Forest, Illinois (2018-).

Lake Forest Central Business District Comprehensive Plan Update Working Group (2022-2023).

First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest Co-Pastor Nominating Committee  (2022-2023).


Cub Scout Pack 46 Treasurer, Lake Forest, Illinois (2018-2021).

United States Olympic Committee Athlete Ombudsman Office, Athlete Attorney Representative (2012-2020).

​​Misericordia Home, Sibs Board Member (2001-2008, 2013-2015), Sibs Member and Volunteer (1991-).


Tenant Leasing 101, published in 2014 and for sale on Amazon.


‘Sports, Business, and the Law’ column, published monthly in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, 2014-2019.

Honors and Awards

Selected as "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch"; 2011 (1,200 attorneys nominated)

Illinois Rising Star, SuperLawyer Magazine; 2008-2012

Illinois Super Lawyers, SuperLawyer Magazine; 2020-2023 

(top 2.5% of attorneys)

​​Editor-in-Chief, Public Interest Law Reporter; 1998-1999

​​CALI Award for highest grade in Constitutional Law; 1998


Presenter on retail leasing at International Council of Shopping Centers Law Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, 2015.

Seminar Presenter on retail leasing at Outdoor University, Outdoor Retailer Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010-2015.

​"Legal and Ethical Issues of PED's in Sport," Organizer and Presenter, with Greg LeMond and the United States Anti-Doping Agency, Chicago, Illinois (C-SPAN broadcast; December, 2007


"Natural leadership and pervasive integrity."

Chicago Lawyer Magazine

Large Firm Experience.  Business Common Sense.  Cost Effective Service.​​​

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