Our ten attorneys have more than 175 years of
combined experience in real estate transactional
matters, estate planning, business succession
planning, estate and trust administration and
related services.




We have worked together in various combinations for over 40 years, and we enhanced our ability to provide responsive, expert and individualized service by establishing our firm in 2005. Our attorneys are supported by well-trained and experienced paralegals and administrative personnel. We take pride in building long-lasting relationships with our clients, based on integrity and trust.

312.650.8625 | hamilton[at]htl-law[dot]com

Robert E. Hamilton concentrates his practice in estate planning, business succession planning and wealth preservation. His practice also involves matters pertaining to real estate and corporate transactions, including planning for the closely held business enterprise in the context of the larger estate, and trust and estate litigation. He was a partner in the estate planning group of Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon, LLP, a Chicago firm where he worked for more than 25 years.

Every year since 2005, Bob has been named a "Super Lawyer" by Law and Politics and the publishers of Chicago Magazine and in 2006 was named one of the top 100 Super Lawyers. He also was named one of the "Leading Illinois Attorneys" by the American Research Corporation in 1997. Bob received his J.D. in 1975 from the Georgetown University Law Center and his bachelor's degree, cum laude, in 1972 from the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Bob is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and past chair of the estate and gift tax division of the Federal Tax Committee for the Chicago Bar Association. He taught estate and gift tax planning at the DePaul University School of Law from 1992 to 1997. He has lectured frequently for the Chicago Bar Association, the National Business Institute, the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education ("IICLE") and the Chicago Estate Planning Council, and he has written extensively about estate and tax planning. Bob was a director of IICLE for many years and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2003-2004.

312.650.8620 | thies[at]htl-law[dot]com

Richard B. Thies concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning, business succession planning, probate and trust administration. He has represented many Chicago financial institutions with respect to complex estate and trust administration issues, and he has worked extensively with individuals and closely held businesses.

Formerly Rick served as chairman of the estate planning, probate and family law practice of Chicago law firm Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon, LLP and previously as head of that practice at Isham, Lincoln & Beale, a Chicago law firm.

Rick is a member of the Chicago Estate Planning Council and the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law section of the American Bar Association. He is named as one of the Leading Illinois Attorneys and an Illinois Super Lawyer. He frequently lectures about professional and educational matters to attorneys and other groups in the financial planning profession. He received his J.D., cum laude, from Loyola University in Chicago in 1974 and his bachelor’s degree from Miami University of Ohio.

He is active with Steppenwolf Theater.

312.650.8640 | lorch[at]htl-law[dot]com

Kenneth F. Lorch concentrates his practice in business and financial planning, estate administration and estate litigation. He previously was a partner in the estate planning group of Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon, LLP.

Ken speaks frequently about topics relative to business succession planning and received the Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division’s David C. Hilliard Award for outstanding service to the legal profession and community. He has served on the boards of the Anti-Defamation League, the American Society of the Technion, the Council for Jewish Elderly and the Chicago Council on Planned Giving. In 2005 and 2006, Law & Politics and Chicago Magazine named Ken one of Illinois’ “Super Lawyers” in the area of Trusts and Estates. He is a member of the professional advisory committees of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Ken is an active member of the Chicago Bar Association, serving on the Probate Practice Committee Rules and Forms Committee and its Trust Law Committee. He also belongs to the Chicago Estate Planning Council.

Ken received his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School in 1976 and his bachelor’s degree from Washington University in 1973. He was admitted as an Illinois Certified Public Accountant in 1978.

Thomas P. Duffy - Partner
312.650.8667 | duffy[at]htl-law[dot]com

Tom Duffy represents developers in all aspects of real estate development, including real estate acquisitions and dispositions, retail, industrial and mixed use developments and related leasing, construction, permanent and securitized lending, intercreditor agreements with mezzanine and subordinate lenders, debt restructuring, work-outs and real estate litigation.

Tom provides ongoing counsel to preeminent shopping centers, multi-family and industrial developers in all aspects of development, including acquisitions of vacant land and annexation to adjacent municipalities, negotiation of municipal development agreements, Brownfield redevelopment, redevelopment of obsolete retail projects, zoning, TIF financing, governmental tax rebates and abatements, special service area agreements, ground leases, site development agreements and reciprocal easement agreements.

As just two examples, Tom represents Davis Street Land Company in its acquisition, financing and development of upscale regional malls and mixed-use retail projects throughout the country. Tom has also represented the developer in the conversion of an obsolete downtown 43-story office building into a mixed-use development containing 313 market rate and affordable housing apartments utilizing TIF financing, tax credit financing and municipal bond financing.

Marcia Owens - Partner
312.650.8660 | owens[at]htl-law[dot]com

Marcia represents clients in all aspects of real estate, from finance and workouts to leasing and development. Marcia has experience in office, industrial, and mixed use transactions, with a particular concentration in retail development and leasing and the restructuring and workout of loans and distressed assets.

Marcia has represented clients in numerous transactions involving acquisitions and dispositions (including vacant, improved or income-producing assets), complex debt and equity financing, retail leasing (including the negotiation of leases with national department stores, big box retailers, junior anchors, grocery stores and national small shop tenants), and complex development and reciprocal easement agreements. Her experience spans the country, representing clients with transactions in states throughout the United States. Marcia partners with her clients to implement the strategies necessary to accomplish the client's goal and get a deal done.

Marcia is also a leader in advancing women in law. Marcia served as chair of the Women's Initiative at Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP for four years and as co-chair of the Edwards Wildman Women's Global Collaborative. Marcia has recently been elected as Vice President of the In-House Counsel Committee for the Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law Firms to create programming and attend to the issues and needs of female in-house counsel.

Marcia has been given the Alta May Hulett Award, has been recognized in Today’s Chicago Women as a “Woman Making a Difference”. She has been named a Rising Star by Illinois Super Lawyers and as one of Illinois’ Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. She is an accomplished writer and speaker on real estate topics, as well as women’s issues.

312.650.8630 | fairbanks[at]htl-law[dot]com

William J. Fairbanks concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning, trust and estate administration, and fiduciary and individual income taxation. His estate planning practice focuses on tax advantaged preservation and transfers of wealth and business succession planning. Trust and estate administration includes probate court practice and close coordination with fiduciaries, beneficiaries, investment managers, and accountants. His fiduciary and income tax work complements the other areas of his practice.

He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Leading Lawyers Network. He is a past committee chair at the Chicago Bar Association and an author for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Previously, Bill was a partner in the trusts and estates group at Seyfarth Shaw LLP. He received his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1978 and his bachelor's degree from Brown University in 1974.

Bill has served for many years on the board of directors of Thresholds and in the past has served as a director and as President of the boards of Montgomery Place and The Church Home.

RYAN A. WALSH - Partner
312.650.8635 | walsh[at]htl-law[dot]com

Ryan A. Walsh advises individuals, families, business owners, and financial institutions on a range of estate planning, trust, and tax matters. He also has significant experience with trust and estate administration, preparation of estate, gift, and fiduciary income tax returns, real estate transactions, contested estate and trust litigation, trust reformation proceedings, probate and guardianship matters, and representation of clients before the Internal Revenue Service.

Ryan is a member of the Chicago Estate Planning Council, the American Bar Association (Section of Taxation, Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, Estate and Gift Tax Committee Vice-Chair), the Illinois State Bar Association (Federal Taxation Section Council and Trusts and Estates Section), the Chicago Bar Association (Trust Law Executive Committee), and the American Cancer Society Planned Giving Sub-Committee. Ryan regularly speaks and writes on various estate planning, administration, and tax topics and has been named an Illinois Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Ryan is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois and the State of Florida, and before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Ryan received his B.S. from the University of Notre Dame in 1997 and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2006, where he was a staff editor of the Loyola University Chicago Consumer Law Review.

312.650.8668 | gauron[at]htl-law[dot]com

Afton L. Gauron concentrates her practice in estate planning, probate and family law. She advises clients in many areas of estate, probate and family law, including wealth management, tax planning, charitable planning, trust administration, probate, guardianship, contested estate and trust litigation, educational savings techniques, transactional and real estate matters, premarital agreements and family law matters.

Afton is a member of the American Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association and the Chicago Estate Planning Council. She received her J.D., cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2002 and her bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University in 1994.

SUSAN KIM - Associate
312.650.8665 | kim[at]htl-law[dot]com

Susan Kim represents developers, investors, lenders, landlords and tenants in acquisition, disposition, financing, development and leasing of property. Susan has also worked in the public sector, representing the agencies, boards and commissions under the jurisdiction of the Governor of the State of Illinois in the acquisition, disposition and leasing of property.

Susan is a member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the Asian American Bar Association of Chicago.  She received her B.A. from Northwestern University and her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.  Susan is licensed to practice law in Illinois and California.

312.650.8636 | paflas[at]htl-law[dot]com

Allyson W. Paflas focuses her practice on a range of estate planning and trust matters. She advises clients in many areas of estate and probate law including trust and estate administration, wealth management, tax planning and contested estate and trust litigation.

Allyson is a member of the American Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association. She received her B.A. from Wellesley College, cum laude and her J.D. from Duke University School of Law, where she was a Moot Court Board member. She served as a clerk for the Honorable John M. Gerrard of the Nebraska Supreme Court. Allyson is licensed to practice law in Illinois and California.

JOYCE A. RAZ - Paralegal
312.650.8633 | raz[at]htl-law[dot]com

Joyce Raz has focused her professional career in all facets of trust and estate administration. Joyce began her career as an accountant and became an estate planning and probate paralegal with Holleb & Coff in 1994. She joined Wildman Harrold Allen & Dixon when Ken Lorch joined the estate planning group at that firm. Joyce joined Hamilton Thies Lorch & Hagnell when the firm began its practice in 2005.

Joyce has had extensive experience in matters relating to the administration of estates, including the preparation of Federal Estate and gift tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns, preparation of court documents related to estate and trust administration, including accountings for court and client presentation. Joyce has studied extensively through Continuing Legal Education courses and her background in accounting is extremely valuable to the firm’s clients.

MELISSA D. PATTI - Paralegal
312.650.8632 | patti[at]htl-law[dot]com

Melissa Patti focuses her professional career in corporate and real estate law. She has worked at Winston & Strawn, LLP and First Health Group Corporation. In 1999, Melissa joined Wildman Harrold Allen & Dixon, LLP as its primary corporate paralegal. Melissa’s extensive experience in corporate transactions includes assistance with mergers and acquisitions, secured lending and maintenance of corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships.

Melissa graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale with a Bachelor’s Degree in paralegal studies. Melissa’s expertise in corporate transactions adds substantially to the firm’s ability to provide high quality service to those clients for whom closely held entities are an integral part of their estate planning and business planning.