Melanie Witt has been a well-known estate planning and business succession attorney for over 20 years. She represents corporate fiduciaries and individuals in estate planning, philanthropic planning, and trusts and estates. Melanie has extensive experience advising entrepreneurs on business succession planning and estate structuring. She also advises clients on premarital agreements as well as estate and tax issues raised by divorce or separation.
Prior to establishing her own firm, Melanie was a partner in a large Chicago law firm. Prior to that, she was Vice President and Trust Counsel at BMO Harris Bank, where she addressed trust and estate litigation, risk management, and fiduciary responsibilities.
Melanie earned her B.A., with high honors, from the University of Michigan, and her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School. She was also awarded a Masters of Law in Taxation from the DePaul University College of Law.
Melanie received Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, its highest rating for ethical standards and legal ability. She has also been selected for inclusion in Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers each year since 2010. Melanie co-authored a chapter on income taxation of trusts in the IICLE on Trust Administration.
Melanie was named one of the 10 Best Estate Planning Attorneys in Illinois by the American Institute of Legal Counsel and by Attorney and Practice Magazine.
Melanie is a frequent speaker on various issues related to estate planning, business succession, legal ethics, and charitable giving.
Melanie is licensed to practice law in Illinois, Wisconsin and New York.
Mark O. Stern has over 20 years of experience as an attorney, focusing his practice on the legal needs of businesses, professionals, and entrepreneurs. He leads the firm’s Business Law and Transactions practice.
Mark takes pride in being a responsive and knowledgeable “go-to” resource and advisor for his clients. He has handled a wide variety of business law matters for numerous clients ranging from forming small startups to buying or selling multi-hundred-million dollar businesses. His practice includes representation of businesses in a range of industries from pharmaceuticals, to automobile dealerships, to technology startups.
Mark brings this expertise to provide legal advice that is personalized, practical, and responsive.
Prior to joining the firm, Mark was a partner in a large Chicago law firm where he practiced with Melanie Witt. Prior to that, he practiced in Springfield, Illinois, with a large downstate law firm.
Mark earned his B.A. from the University of Illinois, and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. He is admitted to practice in Illinois; before the United States District Courts of the Central and Northern Districts of Illinois; before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; and before the United States Tax Court.
Outside the firm, Mark is actively involved in various civic and charitable activities. Since 2010, he has served on the Board of Regents of Concordia University, Chicago, where he is currently Board Chairman.