Mr. Berek is a Partner in the Advanced Planning and Family Office Practice Group at Handler Thayer, LLP. He focuses his practice on Family Office Structuring and Administration, Wealth Transfer Planning, Income Tax Planning, and Trusts & Estates.
Prior to joining Handler Thayer, LLP, Mr. Berek was a Director at Credit Suisse, acting as a Family CFO in their family office group (formerly Frye Louis) and ran their wealth planning group for the US Central Region advising clients of the private bank on family office and wealth transfer techniques. Prior experience includes practicing law in trusts and estates most recently with McGuireWoods LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP; tax and trust planning with Arthur Andersen LLP and Coopers & Lybrand LLP; and estate administration with The Northern Trust Company.
Mr. Berek is currently the editor of the two-volume treatise “Illinois Estate Planning, Will Drafting and Estate Administration Forms with Practical Commentary” published by LexisNexis as well as the author of “Federal Income Taxation of Decedents, Estates and Trusts” published by CCH. Mr. Berek is involved with DePaul University as the initial Co-Director of their new Masters of Science in Wealth Management program offered through the Finance Department where he teaches Federal Income Taxation for Wealth Management, Transfer Tax Planning for Wealth Management, and Family Office and Multigenerational Estate Planning. He also is an adjunct professor in the Masters of Science in Taxation program where he teaches Estate Planning, Estate, Gift and GST Taxation, and, Income Taxation of Decedents, Estates and Trusts; and at The John Marshall Law School where he teaches Advanced Income Tax, and Fiduciary Income Tax, in the LL.M Graduate Tax program.
Mr. Berek earned a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from DePaul University, a Juris Doctorate, cum laude (Law Review, Moot Court), and an LL.M. in Employee Benefits, with honors, from The John Marshall Law School.
He is a John S. Nolan Tax Law Fellow of the American Bar Association, Tax Section, incoming chair of the Fiduciary Income Tax subcommittee, former chair of the Tax Practice Management subcommittee, and a former Current Developments reporter of the Estate and Gift Tax subcommittee. He is a past chair of the Illinois State Bar Association Trusts & Estates Section Council, and a past co-chair of the Chicago Bar Association Estate Planning Committee, Young Lawyers Section. In 2012, he was one of the top 4 finalists for the Family Office Review Award for Best Private Client Lawyer.
Mr. Berek is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Florida, and wrote the California Bar Exam in February 2014. He maintains an AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell for both legal abilities and ethical standards for the past 10 years. Mr. Berek is also a Certified Public Accountant (Illinois), and a Certified Financial Planner™.