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   3Thomas J. HandlerChicago(312) 641-2100thandler@handlerthayer.comthandler@handlerthayer.comHandler Thayer LLPwww.handlerthayer.comwww.handlerthayer.comhandlerthomasj.jpgClosely & Privately Held Business LawTrust, Will & Estate Planning LawAdvanced Planning & Estate PlanningTaxationAsset ProtectionDomestic & International Business Planning
Thomas J.
Handler Thayer LLP
191 N Wacker Dr Ste 2300
Chicago IL 60606-1633
Ph.(312) 641-2100 Fx.(312) 641-6866Leading Lawyers Magazine story about this lawyer
Recommended by peers in:    Extensive Experience in:
Closely & Privately Held Business Law    Advanced Planning & Estate Planning
Trust, Will & Estate Planning Law    Taxation
    Asset Protection
    Domestic & International Business Planning
Advisory Board Member
County:  Cook
Practice Description:  
Mr. Handler is an advanced planning attorney involved in the analysis and structuring of complex business enterprises and estate plans and handling the related tax planning issues. Such planning often involves the interplay of income tax, estate tax, executive benefits, and financial matters.

In this regard, Mr. Handler is particularly experienced in dealing with business owners, directors, executives, professional athletes, celebrities and family offices. He has extensive experience in the analysis, design and implementation of domestic and international business planning, financial and estate planning, and advanced tax planning strategies. Mr. Handler is a managing principal in Handler Thayer, LLP, where he chairs the firm's Advanced Planning & Family Office Practice Group.

Mr. Handler's experience includes public accounting and corporate and foundation directorships. He is involved in Chicago Bar Association activities including its Taxation and Trust Law committees and has authored numerous professional articles. He has lectured extensively both nationally and internationally at professional and family office educational conferences. He created the Asset Protection Profile and Stealth Prenup in addition to other proprietary strategies for affluent families and family offices.

Bar Admissions:  
Illinois, 1983 U.S. Tax Court, 1985

Hourly Rate:  $501 or more

Retainer:  Varies by type of engagement

Year of Birth:  1956

Additional languages spoken:  German (conversational)

Law School:  DePaul University College of Law, JD, 1983
Law School Honors/Involvement:  Law Review; Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity

Undergraduate School:  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, BS, accountancy, 1979
Undergraduate School Honors/Involvement:  University of Illinois Outstanding Senior Award, 1979; Shorter Board Scholastic and Leadership Honorary, 1978; 100 Club Scholastic and Leadership Honorary, 1978; Pi Kappa Alpha Outstanding Service Award, 1978; Sigma Iota Lambda Scholastic Honorary, 1977; Phi Eta Sigma Scholastic Honorary, 1975

Representative Clients:  
The firm's clients include businesses, family offices, multi-family offices, charitable and educational organizations, estates and trusts, professional firms, and affluent individuals. The firm's business clients range from high technology, multi-state corporations to local businesses. Similarly, individual clients include entrepreneurs, executives, celebrities, and professional athletes.

Employment History:  
Handler & Associates, Ltd., 1983-1997
Handler, Thayer & Duggan, LLC, 1997-2008
Handler Thayer, LLP, 2009-present

Bar/Professional Association Involvement:  
Asset Protection Society, 2006-present
Society of Financial Service Professionals, 2006-2007
International Business Forums Chicago Chapter, 2002-present
Chicago Bar Association
  CBA Trust Law Committee
      Chairman, Subcommittee on Private Foundations, 2001-2002
      Chairman, Subcommittee on Family Limited Partnerships, 2003-2004
      Chairman, Subcommittee on FLP Administration, 2006-2007
  CBA Federal Taxation Committee
Illinois State Bar Association
  Section on Corporation and Securities Law
  Section on Federal Taxation
  Section on Trusts & Estates
American Bar Association
  ABA Section on Taxation
Financial Planning Association, 2001-2003

Awards; Honors; Distinctions:
University of Illinois Scholarship Foundation Loyalty Circle Award, 2007
Pi Kappa Alpha Chicago Alumni Association Loyalty Award, 2004
Named to PCG Wealth Strategies Design Team, 2001-2007
Life member, National Registry of Who's Who in America, 2001-present
Who's Who in Executives and Professionals in America, 1996, 1997, 1998
Who's Who in American Law, 1989, 1990, 1991
Who's Who of Emerging Leaders of America, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992
Distinguished Leadership Award, 1988
Men of Achievement, 1988
Who's Who in the Midwest, 1987 and 1989
Outstanding Young Men of America, 1985 and 1986

Community Involvement:  
Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity International/ Education Foundation
  Chairman of the board/international president, 1998-2000
  Director/international vice president, 1994-1998, 2000-2002
  Director/national vice president, 1978-1979
  National rush director, 1982-1994
  Director/president, Chicago Alumni Association, 1988-1989
  Advisory board member, U of C, Northwestern, and U of I chapters
  Member, Educational Foundation Planned Gifts Committee, 1992-1996
  Director, University of Chicago Housing Corporation, 1992-1995
Robert B. Huff Scholarship Foundation
  Chairman, Celebrity Committee, 1990-1998
Atlantic Salmon Federation
Chicago Philanthropy Committee, 2005-present
North American Interfraternity Conference
  Nominating Committee, 2004-2006
  Committee on Public Relations and Marketing, 1999-2002
Winnetka Tennis Team
  Captain, 2001-present
  President, 2001-2002
  Vice -president, 2000-2001
Sierra Club Lawyer's Roundtable, 1992-1994
Winnetka Tennis Association, 1987-present

Published Legal Writing:  
Thomas J. Handler, et. al. "The Domestic Staffing Cycle: From Hiring to Firing." Hub International Personal Insurance (2009). For text, click here

Handler and Heller, "Asset Protection Planning," Private Wealth (2005). For text,click here

Handler and Heller, "Key Elements in Asset Protection Planning," Institute for International Research Family Office Letter, February (2004)

Handler and Thornhill, "Welfare Benefit Plans: Current Trends and Legislative Proposals," SF59, ALI-ABA, 255, Uses of Insurance in Estate and Tax Planning Course Book (2001). For text, click here

Thomas J. Handler. "Family Limited Partnerships Continue to Increase in Popularity," Wealth Enhancement and Preservation Letter, First Quarter (2000). For text, click here

Thomas J. Handler. "Charitable Remainder Trusts," Horizons Letter, Winter (1998). For text, click here

Thomas J. Handler. "Welfare Benefit Plans-What You Need To Know," Life and Health Insurance Sales (1997)

Thomas J. Handler. "Retention of Tax Records," Horizons Letter, Winter (1996). For text, click here

Thomas J. Handler. "Multiple Employer Welfare Benefit Plans Require Planning and Risk Evaluation," Journal of Taxation of Employee Benefits, July/August (1995). For text, click here

Thomas J. Handler. "Multiple Employer Welfare Benefit Plans Have Advantages for Employees and Executives," Journal of Taxation of Employee Benefits, May/June (1995). For text, click here

Thomas J. Handler. "Family Limited Partnerships," Horizons Letter, Spring (1995). For text, click here

Thomas J. Handler, editor, "Legal & Tax Trends," Newsletter, Handler Thayer, LLP, (1988 to present)

Thomas J. Handler. "Can You Find a Break in the New Tax Cloud?" Horizons Letter, Winter (1994). For text, click here

Thomas J. Handler. "Samuel K. Skinner Accepts the Challenge as President Bush's White House Chief of Staff," Shield & Diamond Magazine, Volume 103, Number 2 (1992)

Thomas J. Handler. "More Cash in Your Pocket," Horizons Letter, Winter (1992). For text, click here

Thomas J. Handler, contributing editor, "Minding Your Own Business," Financial & Estate Planning Adjunct Book, Financial Lifestyles Publishing (1991)

Thomas J. Handler. "At the Helm of the Department of Transportation, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Samuel K. Skinner," Shield & Diamond Magazine, Volume 100, Number 4 (1989)

Thomas J. Handler. "Legal & Tax Trends." Professional periodical newsletter dealing with tax, business, and financial and estate planning topics, Handler & Associates, Ltd., (1983 to 1988)

Thomas J. Handler. "The Financial Report." Professional periodical newsletter dealing with tax, business, and financial and estate planning topics, Handler & Associates, Ltd., (1980-1984)

Broida and Handler, "Interference with Contract and Prospective Advantage in Illinois," 32 DePaul Law Review 325 (1983)

Legal Lectures:  
Mr. Handler regularly speaks at professional, taxation, estate planning and family office educational conferences throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Only 2009 confirmed speaking engagements have been included. For a more extensive list, see Mr. Handler's bio

"Family Office Service Areas Update," Family Wealth Alliance University, Chicago, (October 26-28, 2009 & November 10-12, 2009)

"Advanced Planning: Asset Protection for Ultra High Net Worth Families," FPA of Illinois Distinguished Speakers Series, Chicago, (September 25, 2009)

"Directors and Officers Professional Liability," Family Office Exchange Financial Executives Forum, Chicago, (July 14-15, 2009). click here

"Asset Protection Strategies," Opal Financial Group Family Office & Private Wealth Forum, Newport, Rhode Island (July 8-10, 2009). click here

"Legislation and Tax Trends," Insight Benefits Group Executive Compensation/Benefits Conference, San Francisco, (July 2009)

"Asset Protection: Preserving your Wealth for Generations to Come Through Innovative Structuring Strategies," 16th Annual IIR Family Office Forum, Chicago, (June 8-10, 2009)

"Domestic & International Asset Protection Planning," Iowa Estate Planning Council Meeting, Cedar Rapids, (May 18, 2009)

"Domestic Asset Protection Planning," Chicago Bar Association Trust Law Committee, Chicago, (May 11, 2009)

"Rainmaking and Building a Book of Business," Chicago Bar Association YLS Estate Planning Committee, Chicago, (May 5, 2009)

"Best Practices-How Far Would you Bend?" Family Wealth Alliance Conference Series, Chicago, (April 21-23, 2009)

"Retirement Planning for Professionals and Business Owners," DePaul University College of Law CLE Session, Chicago, (February 27, 2009)

"Series LLCs," Chicago Bar Association Tax Section Division, Chicago, (February 17, 2009).

Firm Description:  
The law firm of Handler Thayer, LLP is dedicated to rendering superior, technologically-current, and innovative professional services to affluent families, family offices and privately-held companies. The firm's domestic practice is nationwide in scope and its international work extends to numerous countries. The firm provides innovative and creative strategies that optimize the client's business and personal objectives.

The firm's practice is concentrated in:
  • Business & Corporate Law
  • Residential & Commercial Real Estate
  • Sports & Entertainment Law
  • Financial & Estate Planning
  • Domestic & International Taxation
With a carefully assembled team of attorneys possessing MBAs, CPAs, LL.Ms and other business and financial qualifications, Handler Thayer is well positioned to swiftly meet your legal needs. Firm attorneys are loosely organized into two divisions, the Commercial Practice Group and the Advanced Planning & Family Office Practice Group.

Practice Group Description:  
Mr. Handler serves as chair of the Advanced Planning & Family Office Practice Group, which focuses on Domestic & International Taxation, Financial & Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Executive Compensation, and Tax Controversy.

The firm provides a full range of tax services, including tax planning, tax preparation and tax representation attributable to income, estate, gift, excise and franchise tax, treaty analysis and state tax comparisons, sales and use taxes.

Financial and estate planning services include structuring and implementing comprehensive estate plans, pre-marital planning, asset protection planning and financial planning. The firm maintains a sophisticated financial and estate planning practice which focuses on delivering thoughtful, creative and cutting-edge planning strategies to affluent individuals.

The firm's comprehensive financial and estate planning services include drafting, implementation, estate administration, probate services, advanced planning and asset preservation planning.

Limited public parking is available in the 191 N. Wacker Drive Building's private garage. Additional public parking is available at the parking garage at Lake Street & Franklin. Handler Thayer is conveniently situated between three train stops in the loop: Merchandise Mart (Brown & Purple), Clark/Lake (Brown, Purple, Blue, Pink, Orange & Green), and Washington/Wells (Brown, Purple, Pink & Orange). Union Station and Northwestern Station are within a short walking distance.

Map to Office:   Click here to view map

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