Louis Cohen, a real estate of counsel at Foley & Lardner in Chicago who joined the firm last year after serving as international chair of the real estate, finance and banking group at Locke Lord, died on Jan. 17 in a mysterious parking garage fire.
Cohen’s body was identified late last week, according to local news reports. On Monday, Chicago’s WLS-TV reported that Cohen, 60, was found badly burned after a fire in the parking garage of a Windy City high-rise. The cause and manner of his death still had yet to be determined.
“We were deeply saddened by the news of Lou’s passing,” said a statement by a Foley & Lardner. “He had a strong legal mind and brought tremendous leadership and passion to the job. Our thoughts and prayers are with Lou’s family and friends.”
Foley & Lardner has set up a memoriam page on its website in Cohen’s honor. The page notes that Cohen joined the firm eight months ago from Locke Lord. Cohen spent a little more than five years at the firm, which in early 2015 absorbed Edwards Wildman Palmer. Predecessor firm Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell hired Cohen in November 2010 from DLA Piper, where he spent nearly 28 years.
At DLA Piper, Cohen chaired the firm’s Chicago real estate practice from 2003 until 2010 and served as managing partner of the legal giant’s local office from 2006 to 2008. He advised clients on commercial acquisitions and dispositions, leasing and lending issues, development deals and venture structuring matters. As noted last week by Crain’s Chicago Business, Cohen also developed a specialty in handling sports stadium deals.
The American Lawyer reported in 2013 on Cohen’s work at Locke Lord representing the city of Atlanta in a $1.6 billion deal to build a new stadium for the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons. (The Super Bowl-bound team will begin play next year in 71,000-seat Mercedes-Benz Stadium.)
Cohen, who was born in Evanston, Illinois, and resided in Chicago’s Highland Park neighborhood, was reportedly found lying next to an electrical box in an 11th floor parking garage located at a luxury condominium building. The building is located around the corner from Foley & Lardner’s Chicago office.
Chicago firefighters found a body, later identified as Cohen, around 6 a.m. last Tuesday after putting out a rubbish fire. Arson and police detectives are reportedly investigating the circumstances surrounding Cohen’s death.