Professional Biography

Michael Hanahan Partner

  • Chicago

    D +1.312.324.8633

    F +1.312.324.9633


    110 North Wacker Drive, 34th Floor

    Chicago, IL 60606




Michael Hanahan’s construction law practice is informed by his training as an architect and his passion for the industry. Representing owners, contractors, design professionals, and specialty consultants in the construction industry, Mike handles contract preparation and negotiations, advises clients on an ongoing basis during construction, and represents clients in litigation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) when claims arise on a project. 

Drawing on his broad understanding of the construction industry, Mike partners with his clients to develop proactive legal strategies. His contracting experience includes engineering procurement construction (EPC) work, design-build projects, master installation agreements, new construction, and renovation and remediation in a variety of areas, including commercial, hospitality, entertainment, residential, medical, energy, and manufacturing sectors. Mike has prosecuted and defended a range of construction claims involving construction defect and payment disputes, construction delays and acceleration, design defect disputes, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), mechanics liens, economic losses, and personal injuries. He also advises design professionals on copyright and trade secret matters. 

In addition to his deep construction knowledge, Mike has developed a strong background in procurement for both government entities and private organizations. His experience includes requests for proposals, vendor selection, and contract preparation and negotiation. 

As an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate School of Architecture, Mike shares his passion for architecture, construction, and the law with up-and-coming professionals. 

Professional Practice II / Architecture 544 Lectures

A compilation of recorded lectures and presentation slides regarding architecture, construction, and the law.

View 2024 Presentations

Lecture No. Presentation Title Downloads


Introduction, Legal Foundations, Dispute Resolution

Audio File - Part 1
Audio File - Part 2
Presentation Slides


Contract Law and Contract Formation, Interpretation of Contracts

Audio File
Presentation Slides


Breach of Contract and Remedies; Tort Law

Audio File
Presentation Slides

The 2017 B-101 Owner/Architect Agreement – Part 1

Audio File
Presentation Slides


The 2017 B-101 Agreement (cont.) and related Owner-Architect Issues – Part 2

Audio File - Part 1
Audio File - Part 2
Presentation Slides


Contracting Methods - Alternative Project Delivery Methods

Audio File
Presentation Slides

The Economics of Construction

Check back for audio file and presentation slides 
8 Construction and Design Professional Insurance; Licensing of Architects; Forms of Association  

The 2017 A-201 General Conditions – Part 1

10 The 2017 A-201 General Conditions and Issues That Arise During Construction – Part 2  
11 Office Management and Fee Calculation  
12 Copyrights, Ownership of Drawings; Starting Your Own Practice  

Click here for previous years presentations.

Ranked by Chambers USA Two Years in a Row


Professional Recognition

  • Listed in Chambers USA as "America's Leading Lawyer" for Construction, 2022 – 2023
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America: Commerical Litigation,2022 – 2024
  • Named a Recommended Construction Attorney by The Legal 500 U.S., 2019
  • Named an Illinois Leading Lawyer by Law Bulletin’s Illinois Leading Lawyers Network, 2010 – 2019
  • Listed in Illinois Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, 2007 – 2009, 2011 – 2014, 2017 – 2021
  • Name one of 40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch by Chicago Lawyer and Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, 2004

*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

  • American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Construction Law Section Council
  • Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys




Bar and Court Admissions

  • Illinois
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin


  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., 1990
  • University of Notre Dame, B.Arch., 1987