Professional Biography

Adam M. Docks Partner

Firmwide Co-Chair, Hotels & Leisure Industry Group

  • Chicago

    D +1.312.324.8543

    F +1.312.324.9400


    131 South Dearborn Street, Suite 1700

    Chicago, IL 60603-5559




Adam Docks handles a wide range of complex real estate matters, placing a primary emphasis on the acquisition, disposition, development, management, and financing of hotels. He has experience working with all of the major hotel brand companies and third-party operators, covering the full spectrum of hotel asset classes, both domestically and internationally.

Whether providing counsel to established hotel investors or guiding entrepreneurs in connection with their first hotel-related investments or developments, Adam efficiently helps his clients navigate all of the complexities associated with these unique transactions. Because many traditional real estate companies and multinational corporations have cross-border needs, Adam works in conjunction with local counsel to help clients acquire and develop hotels in other countries. Among other accomplishments, Adam has been identified by Chambers USA since 2013 as one of the leading hospitality lawyers in the United States. The Chambers reviewers said, “He is highly responsive, thoughtful in assessing a situation and really values building the relationship with the client.”

Areas in which Adam provides counsel to clients include:

  • Developments, acquisitions, and dispositions
  • Conventional, commercial mortgage-backed security (CMBS), mezzanine, and construction financing
  • Joint ventures
  • Loan restructurings
  • Hotel management agreements
  • Franchise agreements
  • Restaurant and spa management agreements
  • Development agreements
  • General corporate matters

Adam also has significant experience dealing with distressed hotel investments, and he regularly advises CMBS special servicers and opportunistic acquirers of debt in connection with the servicing, workout, and restructuring of hotel loans. This work includes the negotiation of franchise agreements, hotel management agreements, deed-in-lieu transactions, and the disposition of these assets on behalf of clients. Adam also represents receivers in their hotel receivership engagements, including the negotiation of receiver franchise agreements, hotel management agreements, and receiver hotel sale agreements.

Chambers 2021 Logo

Ranked by Chambers USA Eight Years in a Row

Professional Recognition

  • Ranked by Chambers USA as "America's Leading Lawyers for Leisure & Hospitality," 2013 - 2021
  • Selected for Inclusion in Crain’s Chicago Business' Notable Gen X Leaders in Law, 2019
  • Listed as an Illinois Rising Star as published by Law & Politics, 2013 - 2019; Listed a "Super Lawyer," 2021
  • Ranked by Leading Lawyer as an Emerging Lawyer in Illinois, 2015

*The Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no certificate, award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.

Professional Leadership

  • International Society of Hospitality Consultants, Member
  • Cornell SC Johnson College of Business – Center for Real Estate and Finance (CREF), Advisory Board Member

Community Involvement

  • U.S. Holocaust Museum, Board Member (Next Generation Board and Chair of Chicago Lawyers Committee)

Related Employment

  • Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Chicago, IL, Associate, 2004 - 2006; Summer Associate, 2003
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Detroit, MI, Judicial Intern for the Hon. Denise Page Hood, 2002
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Atlanta, GA, Legal Intern, 2002





Bar and Court Admissions

  • Illinois


  • Emory University School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Michigan, B.A., Political Science, with distinction