Bernard Schlifke focuses his legal practice on banking, corporate transactional and real estate matters. In addition, he acts as outside general counsel to many businesses that are not of sufficient size to warrant in-house counsel, providing a wide range of advice and counsel to these entities.

In his banking practice, he primarily represents lenders in commercial/business lending and real estate-related lending loans. He also has extensive experience in bank regulatory matters.

Bernie's corporate work includes the structuring and implementation of both the acquisition and sale of businesses, and the representation of privately owned businesses.

In real estate matters, Bernie represents buyers and sellers of properties of all types.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

Over the past 40-plus years, Bernie has handled more than 50 mergers and acquisition transactions in a wide variety of industries, including banking, insurance, distribution, metal fabrication and fast food, including:

  • Representation of the seller in the first transaction concluded by a private equity firm that has developed into one of the largest in Chicago. Continued to represent the acquired company, which was used as a platform for several additional acquisitions. The lines of business involved metal fabrication and fasteners used in a variety of applications. The platform company was eventually sold for more than $50 million.

  • Representation of the purchaser of a plastic injection molding company based in Boulder, Colo., in an $8.5 million transaction; followed then by four or five additional acquisitions for this platform company, growing it to more than $70 million in annual sales. Handled the subsequent sale of the company for more than $60 million.

  • Representation of the purchaser of an electrical paper insulation business in New Hampshire, along with five subsequent acquisitions. Handled the sale of the company for more than $35 million.

  • Representation of a manufacturer of children’s pajamas and sleepwear in connection with several acquisitions and the eventual sale of this company.

  • Representation of a start-up private equity group in connection with acquisitions involving a manufacturer of transmissions for large industrial equipment and a manufacturer of electro and mechanical gear controls for the automotive industry.

  • Represented the seller of a coin operated laundry business (with more than 15,000 machines) serving universities, large apartment complexes, and government facilities located in five different states.

  • Represented the purchaser of a manufacturer of candy and other confections sold under the seller's own brand and under private labels. Transaction was completed in less than a week and avoided possible closing of the selling entity.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

Bernie joined Aronberg Goldgehn in September 2005. He holds the AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability. In addition, he has been recognized as a Leading Lawyer in Banking & Financial Institutions Law annually since 2004 by Illinois Leading Lawyers. He has also been named a Super Lawyer in Business/Corporate and Real Estate Law by Illinois Super Lawyers, a designation awarded by peers to only 5 percent of Illinois attorneys.

Bernie has served as a board member of various entities in a wide range of industries, including banking, real estate, service, manufacturing and insurance. Currently, he is a member of the Advisory Board (and is a past President) of Family Service: Prevention, Education & Counseling NFP, an 80-plus year old not-for-profit corporation serving communities in Lake and Cook Counties in Illinois.



The University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1965

Northwestern University, B.S., Business Administration, 1962



BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS

  • Illinois

MEMBERSHIPS

  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  • Holds the AV Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability
  • Recognized as a Leading Lawyer in Closely & Privately Held Business Law by Illinois Leading Lawyers (Since 2004)
  • Named a Super Lawyer in Business/Corporate and Real Estate Law by Illinois Super Lawyers (2007-2008)

PERSONAL

What would you be doing if you weren’t a lawyer? Playing golf
What is your favorite restaurant?
Coco Pazzo