Ken concentrates his practice in business and financial planning, charitable planning, estate administration, and estate litigation. He is a partner in the firm of Hamilton Thies & Lorch LLP, which focuses its practice on these areas of the law as well.

Education & Admissions
  • The John Marshall Law School, J.D.
  • Washington University, B.A.
  • Certified Public Accountant - 1978

Bar Admissions:

  • Illinois

Court Admissions:

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Areas of Practice
  • Estate Planning
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Charitable Planning
  • Trust and Estate Administration and Probate
  • Trust and Estate Litigation
  • Tax Controversy

Professional Associations

  • Chicago Estate Planning Council
  • Chicago Bar Association
    • Trust Law Committee
    • Past Chair, Probate Practice Committee
      • Cook County Rules and Forms Committee
    • Legislative Committee

Community Associations

  • CJE Senior Life
    • Board of Directors
    • Executive Committee
    • President of Endowment Fund
  • Anti-Defamation League (past board member)
  • Chicago Chapter of the American Society of the Technion (past chair)
  • Chicago Council on Planned Giving (past board member and secretary)
  • Chicago Community Trust Professional Advisory Committee
  • Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Professional Advisory Committee
  • Lincoln Park Zoo Professional Advisory Committee

Speaking Engagements and Publications

  • Author, “Gathering & Consolidating Assets (or What Happens After the Undertaker Leaves)” Chicago Bar Record
  • Author, “Charitable Giving with Retirement Plan Assets,” in Retirement Benefit Issues in Estate Planning, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2007, updated and republished in 2012 and 2015
  • Co-Author, “When is the Whole Worth More Than the Parts? The Use of Discounts Involving Corporate Distributions of Appreciated Property” Journal of Pass-Through Entities, January – February 2003
  • Speaker, Charitable Gift Planning With Retirement Plan Assets, Chartered Financial Analysts Institute, March, 2010
  • Speaker, Estate Planning for the Next Millennium, Chicago Bar Association. Probate Practice Seminar, November, 1998
  • Speaker, “The Use of the Residence in Estate Planning,” Chicago Estate Planning Council, 1993
  • Speaker, Estate Planning for Matrimonial Lawyers - An Estate Planner’s Perspective, Chicago Bar Association, Divorce Seminar, October, 1993

Notable Experience

  • Administration of the estate of the owner of a Chicago sports franchise through over 10 years of family litigation, defending attacks on the reorganization of the business. Also assisted in establishing a business structure tied to trusts that allow new aspects of the business to appreciate in a way so it can pass to younger generations while reducing the risk that estate taxes will cause the sale of the business.
  • Structured the ownership of multiple nursing homes through multiple layers of business entities to protect the various families who owned interests from claims against them and the businesses, to minimize estate taxes, and to ensure harmonious control. Guided the administration of the estates of the matriarch and patriarch of 2 of the 4 families involved in the businesses, including successful resolution of complex estate tax audits. Continuing representation includes transfers of assets through various types of trusts to the third and fourth generations of the family and assisting in the refinancing and expansion of the various business entities.
  • Counseled various philanthropic clients to establish private, supporting and operating foundations and donor advised funds to ensure they accomplish their charitable goals.
  • Drafted and administered a charitable lead trust for a client to reduce estate taxes upon her death, benefit charities she cared about for a number of years until her children required the funds, and minimize income taxes while the funds were invested for appreciation until younger family members reached the age their mother determined they would be prepared to handle a distribution of the funds.
  • Advised business owners prior to the sale of their businesses to gift minority interests to trusts for spouses and children at favorable discounted values before the businesses were marketed and ultimately sold so that the property could pass to those trusts without reduction from capital gains taxes. Instead, the tax burden was paid by the business owners, thereby further reducing their estates for tax purposes.
  • Assisted a family that wanted a way to manage its vacation property into the future by establishing a family owned limited liability company. This provided mechanisms to establish rules for the use of the property, resolve potential disputes, enforce the assessment of costs, transfer interests within the family if individuals no longer desired to be involved with the property, and reduce potential estate tax exposure for subsequent generations.