Larry Soldinger

Larry Soldinger founded L J Soldinger Associates (“LJSA”), a full service international certified public accounting firm in 1989, and currently serves as the firm’s managing partner. He has spent his career evaluating companies, negotiating and structuring transactions, and assisting in obtaining funding for his clients. He has numerous business contacts throughout the world and provides international financial and accounting services to his many clients. LJSA is a firm highly regarded for its consulting services on mergers and acquisitions and auditing and accounting services to both privately held and publicly held companies. The firm is well known and respected for its traditional accounting services as well as for a variety of other non-traditional business consulting services, including corporate planning, budgeting, forensic accounting, workout and turnaround services and cash and pre-cash crisis management. LJSA is international in scope and represents clients in numerous industries, whether public or private, foreign or domestic.

Larry began his accounting career in 1973 and received B.B.A. degrees in both Accounting and Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 1992 through 2010 he also served as Executive Chairman and CEO of Cosentino Signature Wineries, plc, a family controlled business owning three Napa Valley wineries and two more located in Lodi, California. He is married to his childhood sweetheart, Edie, and has two adult sons, Ben and Shane.


L J Soldinger Associates is a mid-size firm that is a recognized leader in the field of accounting, assurance, tax, forensic accounting and business consulting services.  We are proud to be among an elite group of certified public accounting firms to have received a “no comment letter” on all aspects of our firm in every review conducted by the AICPA’s Quality Review Program.  Our firm maintains these high standards, which has afforded us this recognition every year since the inception of this program.  With only a handful of firms in the entire country receiving such honor, you can be assured we offer a quality of service that is unmatched.


L J Soldinger Associates, founded in 1989, is a full-service certified public accounting firm with its headquarters in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.

LJSA prides itself on quality work, creativity, and client service.  In addition to providing traditional audit, review and tax engagements for numerous private and public companies, the firm is highly regarded for its business consulting services, especially in the areas of mergers and acquisitions and forensic accounting.

LJSA is registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Center for Audit Quality.  The firm has performed numerous audits for public companies and has worked on the preparation of a variety of registration statements that have been filed with the SEC.

Global Presence

LJSA currently services international clients in the United States, Europe, Mexico, Canada, South East Asia and the Far East.

Find out how L J Soldinger Associates can help you gain a distinct advantage by contacting us today at 847.726.8100.

Michael J. Baum

Michael J. Baum is Co-Chair of the firm’s Chicago Real Estate Practice. He focuses his practice on domestic and cross-border real estate transactions.

Michael represents clients in connection with the sponsorship, formation and implementation of U.S. and international (primary focus in Mexico and Brazil) real estate opportunity funds, joint ventures, acquisitions, developments, financings, leasing and dispositions of multi-family, industrial, office, retail and resort properties.

He also represents both financial institutions and borrowers in connection with construction, mezzanine and general secured real estate financings. Recently, Michael has advised these clients in relation to loan workouts, partnership restructurings and other business reorganizations.

The Real Estate Law Practice:

Greenberg Traurig’s Real Estate Practice is a cornerstone of the firm and a recognized leader in the industry. More than 400 real estate attorneys from around the world serve clients from key markets in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. Property developers, lenders, investment managers, private equity funds, REITs, operators, joint ventures, sovereign wealth funds, international developers, and private owners look to us for diversified and broad legal services. We apply our skills to the full cycle of a real estate deal, providing a holistic approach for our clients.

We handle property acquisition and investment, development, management and leasing, financing, restructuring, and disposition of all asset classes of real estate. We advise on a broad spectrum of commercial, recreational, and residential real estate, including structured equity, structured debt, and hybrid structures. We have a skilled hospitality legal team, including attorneys who have pioneered major developments within the industry.

Christine L. Albright

Leaders in Law endorses Christine Albright as our exclusively recommended Estate & Trust Law expert in the USA – Illinois. If you wish to get in touch with Christine, please use the contact information provided above.

Christine L. Albright concentrates on counseling high-net-worth individuals and family groups in all facets of sophisticated wealth and estate planning and protection, estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxation, income taxation of estates and trusts, and succession planning for closely held and family businesses. She also represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries of trusts and estates regarding all aspects of trust and estate administration, the review and preparation of estate and generation-skipping transfer tax returns, the analysis of fiduciary income tax matters, and trust construction and reformation suits and other contested trust and estate matters. She represents parties in seeking private letter rulings and in handling tax audits for federal estate, gift, generation-skipping transfer and fiduciary income tax matters.

Ms. Albright’s practice in the wealth and estate planning includes matters such as:

  • structuring and implementing lifetime and testamentary transfers of wealth
  • structuring and managing closely held or family-owned business entities, including partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations
  • tax planning for gifts, sales and initial public offerings of businesses in connection with transferring wealth, and planning for succession of closely held and family-owned businesses
  • structuring and implementing gifts to charitable trusts, private foundations and other charitable entities, and establishing, administering and managing charitable trusts and foundations
  • preparing and implementing prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • preparing and analyzing wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and advance directives for healthcare and property, buy-sell and other shareholder agreements, and other ancillary estate planning documents

Ms. Albright is past chair of the American Bar Association’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, a former American College of Trust and Estate Counsel regent and past chair of the Trust Law Committee of The Chicago Bar Association. She has also assisted the American Bar Association in filing several amicus curiae briefs with federal circuit courts regarding federal tax cases in which the courts ruled in favor of the positions taken by the ABA.

Ms. Albright frequently speaks on wealth and estate planning and trust and estate administration issues for various professional groups, such as bar associations, ALI-CLE, the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning. For a number of years she was an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law, teaching a course on the income taxation of trusts and estates in the Graduate Tax Program.

Holland & Knight LLP:

Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,200 lawyers and other professionals in 27 offices throughout the world. Our lawyers provide representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law. Interdisciplinary practice groups and industry-based teams provide clients with access to attorneys throughout the firm, regardless of location.

Laurel G. Bellows

The Bellows Law Group is a general practice firm offering transactional, counseling, and litigation services to entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses, and large corporations. Client matters range from complex commercial litigation to business strategy and startups. Ms. Bellows is an experienced business lawyer, counseling and litigating on behalf of senior executives and corporations on employment matters, employment and severance agreements, executive compensation, and workplace disputes. Laurel licensed to practice law in Illinois, Florida and California and is an arbitrator and certified mediator through the Institute for Conflict Management.

Ms. Bellows is past president of the nearly 400,000 member American Bar Association and past president of The Chicago Bar Association. Laurel is president of the International Women’s Forum Chicago. Her law firm offers strategic business counseling and litigation services to entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes, including large corporations. Laurel is an internationally recognized business lawyer, counseling senior executives and corporations on executive employment and severance agreements, workplace disputes, business conduct standards, anti-trafficking, risk assessment, supply chain and recruiting policies and cybersecurity. Laurel serves on Minister Gordon Brown’s Global Citizenship Commission to update the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

The Bellows Law Group, P.C:

The Bellows Law Group, P.C. provides transactional, counseling, and litigation services to entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses, and large corporations. The law firm also serves individuals through its employment law and personal legal services practices.

The Bellows Law Group, P.C. is internationally recognized for providing personalized counseling and vigorous advocacy. Because each legal problem is different, every legal solution at The Bellows Law Group, P.C. is different. Our attorneys build close working relationships with clients, listen to their needs, determine identifiable goals, and develop tactical winning solutions.

The attorneys at The Bellows Law Group, P.C. have extensive experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in federal and state courts, in arbitrations, and in administrative tribunals. As nationally recognized litigators, the firm is proficient in representing commodity and security brokerage firms, public investors in cases related to investment fraud, and breach of contract disputes between brokerage firms and their customers.

Referrals are a hallmark of the success of The Bellows Law Group, P.C. Clients confidently refer family, friends and business colleagues to our firm. Both, corporations and individuals value the firm’s ability to craft innovative out-of-court solutions, and provide responsive advice for potentially catastrophic disputes. The firm’s trial lawyers, when necessary, aggressively litigate to protect the rights and interests of our clients.

Raymond J. Werner

Mr. Werner is the Chairman of the firm’s Executive Committee. His practice covers a broad spectrum of activities in the real estate area, including the representation of purchasers, owners, developers, landlords, tenants, lenders and borrowers in connection with all types of properties, ranging from mixed use hotel/office developments and retail properties to vacant land transactions. 

He represents these parties in the context of negotiations and disputes, structuring and negotiating complex acquisitions, financing, land development, zoning, leasing and other matters. Mr. Werner’s practice includes the representation of lenders in structuring loan programs, originating individual loans and the enforcement of lenders’ rights and remedies.

Professional Activities and Achievements

Mr. Werner is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the Anglo American Real Property Institute, of which he was the Chair; the American College of Mortgage Attorneys; the Chicago Bar Association (“CBA”) and the CBA’s Real Property Committee, of which he is a former Chair; and the American Bar Association (“ABA”) and the ABA’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, of which he was a member of its Executive Committee, Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates and member of the ABA Board of Governors. 

He was also a member of the ABA’s Audit Committee and an ABA Advisor to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws Joint Editorial Board for Real Property Acts. Recently, Mr. Werner was named to The Best Lawyers in America and Best Lawyers in Chicago in the specialty of Real Estate Law and The International Who’s Who of Real Estate Lawyers. 

He is a member of the Managing Partner Forum Advisory Board, The John Marshall Law School Center for Real Estate Advisory Board and the Governing Council of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. Mr. Werner was recently named as one of IIT Chicago Kent College of Law’s 125 Alumni of Distinction at the law school’s 125th anniversary.


Mr. Werner has written and spoken extensively on a wide range of matters pertaining to real estate law. He is the author of Real Estate Law (11th ed.) and Real Estate Closings (2d Ed.). He co-authored Modern Mortgage Law and Practice (2d ed.) and a chapter entitled “Failure of the Workout: Lender Liability in Troubled Construction Loans.”


Chicago-Kent College of Law (J.D., 1971)

DePaul University (B.S., 1967)

Bar Admissions

State of Illinois

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.


Mary Beth Buckley

Mary Beth Buckley counsels national and international food and beverage, retail and health care companies, along with their advertising and promotion agencies, on a wide variety of advertising, marketing, social media, pricing practices and e-commerce issues. In addition to counselling, Mary Beth regularly represents clients in connection with federal and state governmental agency inquiries and investigations and also represents clients in self-regulatory proceedings.

Mary Beth’s practice also includes defending clients in complex commercial and class action litigation, including consumer fraud, warranty, products liability and mass tort litigation. She has played a key role in defending food and beverage, life sciences, retail, and other consumer products companies in high-profile litigation throughout the country.

Firm Overview:

Built on the strength of our commercial, intellectual property, and white-collar litigation practices, our Chicago office serves clients in courts throughout the United States. Our professionals include nationally prominent lawyers in those fields, as well as leading products, environmental, and mass tort trial lawyers and litigators who joined the firm in 2015. With trial experience in over half of the jurisdictions in the United States and a broad array of clients, our Chicago lawyers work closely with their counterparts in all of Steptoe’s offices.

Examples of recent matters include Steptoe successfully moving to dismiss all claims in a data breach class action filed against VTech and successfully resolving all claims against RR Donnelley in a complex patent infringement matter involving 10 patents related to web-to-print and variable-data printing products and services.

Publications including Chambers USA, Legal 500 US, The National Law Journal, and Law360 recognize the practices represented in the Chicago office for their work, and many of the lawyers are leaders in legal and professional organizations.

Janet M. Angstadt

Janet M. Angstadt is the co-head of Katten’s Chicago Financial Services practice. She focuses her practice on broker-dealer and exchange compliance issues and advises companies on matters regarding compliance with the regulations of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and self-regulatory organizations (SROs).

Janet represents clients in a wide range of legal and regulatory matters, including mergers and acquisitions, SRO investigations, compliance issues related to registrations, sales practice, short sales, Regulation NMS, market-making and options and equities order handling. She advises on alternative trading systems, including dark pools and electronic communication networks, policies and procedures for trading systems development and testing and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Janet counsels large, full-service broker-dealers, exchanges and clearinghouses as well as firms with market-making, proprietary trading and algorithmic models. She also advises market centers on equities and derivatives market structure initiatives, including market access, market data, new products and SEC policy initiatives. In addition, Janet conducts independent compliance and technology reviews and audits related to enforcement action settlements.

Before joining Katten, she served as general counsel to NYSE Arca, Inc., an electronic equities and options exchange. As general counsel of NYSE Arca, Janet worked extensively on market structure and regulatory compliance issues and managed the company’s membership and registrations departments. Prior to the merger of the New York Stock Exchange and Archipelago, she served as the deputy general counsel of Archipelago, where she created and implemented key company policies, including the company’s procedures for development and testing of exchange technology. Janet also managed the compliance programs for Archipelago’s four affiliated broker-dealers and played an integral role in legal and regulatory matters involving human resources, intellectual property and mergers and acquisitions, including Archipelago’s acquisition of the Pacific Exchange and its merger with the New York Stock Exchange.

Earlier, Janet was senior vice president and counsel to the capital markets group of EVEREN Securities, Inc. She also was senior counsel for the SEC’s Division of Market Regulation where she was a member of the three-person study team for the Market 2000 Report.

Firm Overview:

Our full-service Chicago office has nearly 300 attorneys who concentrate on a wide range of transactional, dispute and regulatory matters for corporate, government and non-profit clients as well as individuals. Our diverse legal work includes everything from complex mergers and acquisitions to hedge fund regulation; securities litigation to real estate finance; complex business finance to trademark litigation; and white collar fraud to health care compliance issues.

Laurel G. Bellows

President of the American Bar Association 2012-2013

Managing Principal, 2009 to present.

The Bellows Law Group, P.C. is an internationally recognized firm that provides transactional, counseling, and litigation services to entrepreneurs, small and medium sized businesses, and large corporations.  Located in the historic Rookery Building, the Bellows Law Group is known for its expert knowledge of how to develop strategic, pragmatic answers for individuals and business enterprises worldwide. The firm prides itself in delivering services with recognized quality and long-standing credibility.

The Bellows Law Group was founded by Laurel G. Bellows, past president of the American Bar Association (nearly 400,000 members). With more than 30 years of experience, Ms. Bellows is a preeminent business lawyer recently named as America’s Top 100 attorneys. She counsels senior executives and corporations in connection with executive compensation issues, employment contracts, severance agreements and employee benefits matters. Her firm represents businesses of all sizes in commercial litigation, business organization and strategy, and employment disputes.


Employment counseling is a unique area of experience at The Bellows Law Group, P.C. Corporate clients benefit from practical counseling regarding attraction, retention, separation, and retirement of senior executives given the increasingly regulated environment.  Individual executives benefit from sound guidance and valuable strategies to preserve earnings, benefits, and bonuses as they embark on new employment ventures or transition outside their organization. We diligently guard our clients’ professional reputations as they reposition themselves in the marketplace. We pride ourselves on being knowledgeable counselors who can diffuse sensitive situations with the utmost confidentiality. Because crises arise unpredictably, our attorneys are accessible, every day and outside business hours. When you find out your company is reorganizing, your position has been eliminated, or you encounter any other circumstance that threaten your continued career prospects, you need a difference maker. Our law firm can help you navigate delicate issues and fully understand your options.

Laurel G. Bellows, heads the team of attorneys in eradicating the uncertainty and guesswork for corporate and individual clients facing ever changing workplace and business opportunities.

Ms. Bellows is highly regarded for her many contributions to Chicago and the international community. She is admitted and qualified as an Attorney and Counselor of the Supreme Court of the United States and is a mediator, certified through the Institute for Conflict Management. Laurel became a member of the Federal Trial Bar for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois in 1974. Ms. Bellows is licensed to practice in California, Florida, and Illinois


The International Supply Chain Initiative provides guidance to multinational corporations with regard to anti-human trafficking and supply chain management. Driven by the demand for cheap goods, services and labor, companies have often looked-for ways to increase production and decrease employment costs. This has led to problematic supply chain management practices, with multinational organizations turning to less desirable offshore labor forces that engage in such practices.

While president of the American Bar Association, Ms. Bellows notably used her platform to raise awareness about and combat the global practice of modern day slavery.  Bellows Law Group currently focuses on the unique ability of business enterprises to impact the market by eliminating goods produced by forced labor from supply chains.  Ms. Bellows offers business counseling services within her practice to advise corporations on how to avoid the stigma of slavery and appeal to a consumer market that values corporate responsibility.   In April 2016, Laurel gave a Ted talk about specific ways for business to eradicate modern day slavery and comply with increasing regulations in the United States and internationally.

Green and Spiegel, LLC, is pleased to announce the creation of the International Supply Chain Initiative. In partnership with Laurel Bellows, founding principal of The Bellows Law Group, P.C., the International Supply Chain Initiative provides guidance to multinational corporations with regard to anti-human trafficking and supply chain management.

It is well known that human rights issues within supply chains have increasingly drawn the ire of legislators and members of the public alike, with disastrous incidents (such as the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh) as well as increasing press coverage of related practices, serving to highlight ongoing problems within virtually all areas of the global marketplace. Driven by the demand for cheap goods, services and labor, companies have often looked-for ways to increase production and decrease employment costs. This has led to problematic supply chain management practices, with multinational organizations turning to less desirable offshore labor forces that engage in such practices.


Jed Stone

Jed Stone is one of the nation’s leading criminal defense lawyers. He is known for vigorous, thorough and intelligent representation on behalf of his clients. Listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Jed has also been distinguished as one of Illinois’ leading criminal defense lawyers. To be so honored, attorneys must receive multiple recommendations from their peers in a statewide survey conducted by the American Research Corporation. Thousands of Illinois lawyers were asked, “To whom would you refer criminal matters if a friend or family member were in need of representation?” Jed Stone is one of these peer-selected lawyers.

His other accomplishments and activities include:

  • Fellow, American Board of Criminal Lawyers
  • Recognition in Who’s Who in American Law
  • Speaking before the Congressional Black Caucus on race and justice issues
  • Selected by his peers as a Leading Illinois Lawyer in Criminal Appellate Advocacy
  • Writing “Preserving The Record” Defending Illinois Criminal Cases; “A Lawyer’s Reflection On Death” The Chicago Bar Record, Chicago Bar Association, October 1992; and the revised Illinois Criminal Defense Motions, 1995
  • Serving as a faculty member of the National College of Criminal Defense at Mercer Law School, Macon, Georgia
  • Teaching at the New York State Defender Institute
  • Teaching as an adjunct professor of law at Northwestern University
  • Lecturer, Department of Politics, Lake Forest College