R. Michael Hayes

Michael Hayes understands your business issues. He sees the big picture. He knows that his job is to work alongside you to solve legal challenges before they become legal problems.

Real Estate

As a young attorney for the City of Des Moines, Michael negotiated the agreements that led to the creation of the Des Moines skywalk system and helped move forward many iconic downtown buildings that make up our skyline: the State Historical Building; Capital Square; Hub Tower and Kaleidoscope at the Hub; the Capitol Center Buildings. He has spent a career quietly moving forward projects that matter. Michael has extensive experience in the private and public sectors. He served as in-house counsel to Hubbell Realty for 23 years. With a 40-plus year background in land use, zoning, purchase, sales and development of commercial and residential property, leasing, landlord-tenant law and brokerage, he can efficiently help you across the spectrum of many transaction types.

As a member of the Iowa State Bar Association's (ISBA) real estate section legislative committee, he has helped draft legislation dealing with real estate and property ownership law. He takes seriously his responsibility on the ISBA committee to review bills, draft legislation and comment on law as it relates to real property in Iowa. As Ames assistant city attorney, Michael drafted the first City of Ames municipal rental housing ordinance. Michael has experience drafting intergovernmental agreements and defending ordinances.

He has experience with financing transactions, including syndication of equity and debt investments, construction financing, permanent institutional financing, conduit financing, sale of tax credits, and grants and loans from governmental bodies. He is also experienced with preparing offerings and agreements related to urban renewal projects.

Corporate Law

Michael is one of the few lawyers with strong practice skills in both real estate law and business law. He has experience in entity creation and can effectively navigate a client's legal and other issues to help them achieve their business and personal goals. Michael has a successful history of getting the most difficult business deals completed in part because he combines his experience in the public and private sectors, education in mathematics, and interdisciplinary background of law to be a problem solver.


Michael became fascinated with the law at an early age. His father was a professor at Drake Law School in Des Moines. He has long been an advocate for education issues, particularly for programs that raise academic expectations for all students. Michael and his wife, Lorrie, are active with the Valley United Methodist Church.

Honors and Accomplishments

Recognized by Chambers and Partners for his Real Estate Law practice

Recognized inThe Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Real Estate Law

Community & Professional Activities

Iowa Legal Aid (volunteer)

Publications and Presentations

"Implied Warranties of Workmanlike Construction and Subdivision Developers"BUILD Des Moines (June 2014, ppg 40-41)