• Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit


Loyola University Chicago School of Law (J.D., 1998)

Loyola University Chicago (B.A. Political Science, 1995, cum laude)


Karen Kavanagh Mack is a partner at Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C. Karen focuses her practice in the areas of environmental law, land use, eminent domain, and real estate taxation. She assists her clients on environmental matters in navigating local, state and federal regulations that impact the day-to-day operations of their businesses. She assists clients in permit applications, conducting environmental assessments and site cleanups, as well as defending against enforcement actions by governmental authorities.

In the area of eminent domain, Karen advises both public and private entities on proper valuation of real estate, including considerations in assessing damage to the remainder property. She also litigates disputes over just compensation between condemning authorities and property owners. Karen has been appointed a Special Assistant Attorney General to represent various state agencies on environmental and eminent domain issues.

Karen’s practice also involves assisting clients in ensuring that their property is fairly assessed for local property tax purposes, including appeals of assessed valuation at the local assessor, county Boards of Review, the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board and the Cook County Circuit Court. She is a member of the firm’s Real Estate, State & Local Government, Eminent Domain, Real Estate Tax, Environmental and Litigation practices.

Karen is a long term member of the Illinois State Bar Association’s (ISBA) Environmental Law Section Council and has spoken and moderated at its Annual Environmental Law Conference. For 2021-2022, she will serve on the Executive Board of the Environmental Law Section Council as its Chair, having previously served as its Vice-Chair (2020-2021) and Secretary (2019-2020). She is also the current Co-Chair of the Standing Committee for the Judicial Evaluation in Cook County, having previously served as a member on the Committee for six years.

Prior to joining the firm in 2018, she was a partner at Deutsch, Levy & Engel in Chicago. Before entering private practice in 2000, Karen was a staff attorney and hearing officer for the Illinois Pollution Control Board where she drafted opinions and administrative rules related to the enforcement and implementation of the Environmental Protection Act, as well as federally mandated regulations established by the US EPA.

Karen has also served as an instructor of Appellate Advocacy at Loyola University Chicago Law School.


  • Represented state agency in litigation against major oil company before circuit and appellate court which resulted in favorable opinion for client where Second District Appellate Court found that environmental contamination could give rise to a claim for “waste” under the leases for the subject properties.
  • Represent local manufacturing company in enforcement matters brought by both federal and state agencies with respect to alleged large scale groundwater contamination of chlorinated solvents in residential areas in the western suburbs of Chicago.
  • Represent municipal agency with respect to several former manufactured gas plant sites in the Chicagoland area, ranging from private enforcement actions being filed against major utility companies to oversight of voluntary investigation and remediation.
  • Represented owner of property adjacent to gas station, where owner’s property experienced vapors and explosive conditions in basement of building following demolition of gas station and major rain event. Obtained injunctive relief before circuit court requiring all demolition activities be enjoined until investigative and protective actions had been taken to ensure the safety of the building and its tenants.
  • Represented Not-For-Profit Organization in obtaining injunctive relief against a municipality that improperly refused to issue building permits to the Group and where such denial threatened millions of dollars of federal, state and private funding.
  • Represented major technology company in a multi-million dollar assessment challenge before both the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board and the Cook County Circuit Court.


  • Illinois State Bar Association
    • Environmental Law Section Council – 2016 to present
      • Current Council Chair (2021-2022)
      • Council Vice-Chair (2020-2021)
      • Council Secretary (2019-2020)
    • Food Law Section Council Member - 2020 - Present
    • Standing Committee on Judicial Evaluations – Cook County – 2015 to present
      • Current Committee Co-Chair (2021-2022)
  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Alpha Sigma Nu National Jesuit Honors Fraternity
  • Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honors Fraternity
  • Blue Key National Honor Society
  • Golden Key National Honor Society


330 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 2100
Chicago, Illinois 60611-3607
T: 312.840.7000
F: 312.840.7900