Bobbi J. Bierhals has built her practice by developing creative and customized solutions for her clients. Her experience centers on tax and business planning for high-net-worth individuals and families. Her clients range from executives and first-generation entrepreneurs to multi-generational families, with net worth from $40 million to many billions of dollars, and include a number of individuals listed in the Forbes 400.
Bobbi’s breadth of experience across a wide range of client profiles enables her to help them identify and structure tax-advantageous structures for transferring wealth and business interests to younger generations. While many other estate planners focus almost exclusively on tax issues, Bobbi takes a holistic approach that balances tax and family considerations to fit each individual client’s goals. With a geographically diverse client base spanning the United States, Bobbi adeptly navigates the nuances of local law while addressing broader federal tax considerations.
Because of her extensive experience working with multi-generational, business-owning families, Bobbi is an expert in assisting owners of closely held businesses and their family offices with their unique planning needs. She advises her clients on private trust companies, corporate governance, succession planning, wealth transfer planning and family office structuring. She also coordinates other legal needs of family offices, from corporate transactions and real estate, to direct investing, employment law and aircraft acquisition, bringing in lawyers from McDermott or identifying external counsel as appropriate to provide the highest level of quality and service to her clients. Bobbi also has a particular interest in family law issues and has significant experience negotiating pre-marital agreements and partnering with family law attorneys to obtain desirable results in high-net-worth divorces.
Bobbi has received numerous accolades and industry recognitions, with Chambers High Net Worth reporting from its sources that Bobbi is “wicked smart and very strong technically…if you need the right answer and your life and company depend on it, you call Bobbi…her reasoning and attention to detail are industry-leading.” Leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, MSN Money, Private Wealth magazine and Financial Advisor magazine have quoted Bobbi frequently on various family office and estate planning topics. A member of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Bobbi has also taught legal research and writing at Harvard Law School.
- Structured a new family office for a client following the multibillion-dollar sale of the family business, including innovative structures that provided tax efficiency and administrative ease for the family office’s investment partnerships
- Formed a private trust company to provide much-needed flexibility for the future governance of a multibillion-dollar family trust
- Identified and implemented solutions for a client faced with the possibility that her unborn child conceived through artificial insemination may not qualify as a beneficiary of family trusts
- Implemented a unique estate plan for a couple in a second marriage to address their desires to provide for the children of one spouse’s first marriage and their mutual descendants while minimizing the risk of litigation from the children of the first marriage
- Chambers High Net Worth 2019-2022, Illinois: Private Wealth Law
- The Best Lawyers in America 2019–2023, Trusts & Estates
- American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
- Law & Politics, Illinois Rising Star
- American Bar Association
- Chicago Estate Planning Council
- A member of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
Harvard Law School, JD, cum laude, 2001
University of Pennsylvania, BA, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1998