Of Counsel

leonard brenner

Leonard J. Brenner

Leonard J. handles business, commercial real estate, corporate law, tax controversies, estate planning, and probate. He received his J.D. from the University of San Diego in 1984 and was admitted to the Illinois Bar is 1985. Leonard practiced as a Certified Public Accountant before going to law school and combines his knowledge of business and finance with his skill as a practicing attorney. He is a member of the Illinois State and American Bar Association and the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants.

Michael J. Cornfield

Michael J. CornfieldMichael J Cornfield, is Of Counsel to the firm, practicing on Chicago’s northwest side. He started his career at Garretson & Santora, Ltd. following his 1980 graduation from John Marshall Law School where he handled insurance defense and subrogation litigation matters, both bench and jury trials.

Michael then joined the law firm of John E. McParland as an associate and then in partnership in 1986. Michael represents individuals and families concentrating in estate planning, estate and trust administration and settlement, probate of decedent and guardianship estates, preparation of fiduciary and estate tax returns, real estate settlement, both residential and commercial, elder law and business law including corporate and LLC formation, and buy outs.

Michael is currently a member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys, Illinois State Bar Association, Real Property, Probate, Trust and Elder Law sections. Michael is on the Board of Directors of the Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce, the Trust and Investment Review Committee of ATG Trust Company, and is a Pastoral Care Minister at his church and at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Stephen J. Schlegel

Photo of attorney stephen j. schlegelSteve Schlegel, a lifelong Chicagoan, attended Chicago Public Schools, Northwestern University, and IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law. He has practiced law for 49 years in Illinois, and has practiced in the States of New York and Michigan as well as numerous federal districts and courts of appeal around the country.

His early association with a small general practice law firm found him representing the families of the victims of the Richard Speck murders in the civil claims arising out of the
deaths. In 1972 he founded his own firm, which became Schlegel & Trafelet Ltd. In 1977. He and his then partner had a general civil litigation practice including the representation of many of the nation’s largest railroads as litigation trial counsel.

He rose to national prominence in 1983 when appointed national lead counsel in the Agent Orange Products Liability Litigation, the civil class action claims of Vietnam-era
veterans seeking damages for exposure to herbicides in Southeast Asia.

In 1986, Mr. Schlegel and others in his firm joined the firm of Clausen Miller, PC where he became a principal partner. The emphasis of his practice continued to relate to complex property and casualty matters, multi-state, class actions as well as commercial matter including family business and trust litigations.

In 1990, he established the New York offices of Clausen Miller, and served as counsel to certain insurance interests in the first World Trade Center bombing incident in 1993.

In 2003 Mr. Schlegel re-established his own firm, Stephen J. Schlegel, Ltd.

He continues to be engaged in complex civil litigation.

He has been active for nearly 40 years as Trustee and general counsel of the Union League Boys and Girls Clubs, which serve over 14,000 needy boys and girls in 11 clubs and a camp in Wisconsin.

He is also a Director of two other Union League Club charities, and is serving of Chairman of the Board of Friends of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois

He is a Director, and is currently Vice-President of the Board of the Friends of the Forest Preserve District, and is an active member of the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago.

He is single, the father of two daughters, and has three grandchildren.

Rick Law

Rick Law is the founder and managing partner of Law Elder Law/Law Hesselbaum, LLP in Aurora, and is of counsel to Peck Ritchey, LLC. Rick co-authored two books with Kerry and Brandon Peck, published by the American Bar Association: Alzheimer’s and the Law, and Don’t Let Dementia Steal Everything.

  • Juris Doctor of Laws, Northern Illinois University College of Law
  • Past president, Illinois Land Title Association (2002-2003)
  • Practicing attorney 1983 to present, concentrating in the areas of federal income tax, estate planning, disability, veterans’ benefits, and Medicaid assistance
  • Founder and lead attorney of Law Elder Law, LLP
  • Named the #1 elder law and estate planning attorney in Illinois for the past nine years by Leading Lawyers magazine (2008-2016)
  • Appointed Kendall County Public Guardian in 2016 – tasked with protecting incapacitated seniors who are without honest and reliable loved ones.
  • Member, American Association of Trust, Estate, and Elder Law Attorneys (AATEELA)
  • Co-author of the book Alzheimers and the Law: Counseling Clients with Dementia and Their Families – a Textbook for Lawyers (published in 2013 by the American Bar Association
  • Co-author of the book Cruising Through Retirement: Avoiding the Potholes (2nd edition)
  • Author of articles published by a number of legal bar journals, NAELA News, Chicago area newspapers, and the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (IICLE)
  • Presenter of continuing legal education for organizations which include the Illinois State Bar Association; the National Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (NAELA); the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (IICLE); the Kane County Bar Association; the American Academy of Estate, Elder Law, and Trust Attorneys (AATEELA); the Cook County Bar Association; and the Wealth Counsel annual symposium.
  • Bilingual English/Spanish speaker

Zach Hesselbaum

zach hesselbaum photoZach Hesselbaum is a Tax Partner at Law Hesselbaum, LLP in Aurora, IL and of counsel to Peck Ritchey, LLC.

  • DePaul University College of Law: Masters of Law in Taxation
  • Valparaiso University School of Law: Juris Doctor
  • Valparaiso University: Bachelor of Arts, cum laude — double majoring in Political Science and Philosophy
  • Regularly gives seminars to the public on Preservation of Assets and Veterans Benefits
  • Admitted to practice in the State of Illinois
  • Kane County Bar Association
  • DuPage County Bar Association
  • IICLE Continuing Education Provider in the areas of Medicaid Planning and VA benefits
  • Past presenter to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) on veterans benefits

Joseph Peck (Deceased)

Joseph Peck, who previously served as Of Counsel to the firm, passed away on November 30, 2006. As an attorney and CPA, Joseph concentrated in all tax matters, including but not limited to, personal, corporate, estate, and real estate taxes. In addition to being a member of the Illinois Bar Association and licensed as a CPA in Illinois, he was a member of the Florida Bar Association and was distinguished by the Florida Bar in the area of Taxation.

Joseph became a CPA in 1950 and subsequently attended DePaul Law School at night graduating in 1956. He was admitted to the Illinois State Bar in the fall of 1956. He was also admitted to the Florida Bar in 1975 where he was certified as one of only 300 tax specialists. Joseph also served on several corporate Boards of Directors as a “Provisional Director,” having been appointed to that position by the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.

Among his tax clients were several Federal Bankruptcy Trustees who looked to Joseph for the preparation of all income tax returns they filed for bankruptcy estates. Well respected by both the business community and his peers, Joseph served as accounting and tax advisor to many people in the political spectrum including congressmen, judges, trustees, and many others. He earned both his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from DePaul University.