Address: 8424 Skokie Blvd, Ste. 200
Phone: (847) 621.7844
ELISHA M. PRERO
A candid confidante, friendly yet firm, Elisha Prero
is accomplished attorney. His sense of humor and cool head serve him
well, where advising and guiding on a wide range of matters are traditional
functions and where empathy is as critical as sound judgment when providing counsel.
Drawing on his diverse training, Elisha believes a lawyer, to be of service,
must be "real" to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with each client to
discern the human dimension in the legal issues.
The opportunity to bring people together, to find
common ground, to "make things work" attracted him to transactional
law. Helping an entrepreneur realize a dream or create an enterprise gives
Elisha professional satisfaction, as does assuring anxious clients their
problems are resolvable or may not be the problems they suppose. Elisha even
finds reward in helping a client who is facing financial straits close a loan
quickly. Enabling his clients to build in one sense or another remains a source
In counseling owners of closely held businesses and
startups, Elisha often speaks from experience, having served as a principal in
a variety of businesses in healthcare, retail, real estate, entertainment,
distribution, telecommunications and training. Often his involvement has been
from the ground up, and frequently his knowledge of well-run organizations has
been firsthand. He knows personally the challenges of making payroll,
developing the right marketing message, raising investment capital and
communicating new directions to employees when conditions require significant
Elisha, who taught drafting in law school, is also a
principal in Blue Pencil Inc., which coaches lawyers and business people to
write more effectively. Much of what lawyers write is incomprehensible, he
says. Clients appreciate clarity and-it should be no surprise-prefer attorneys
who deliver it. If the ideas a lawyer must communicate in writing are
complicated, says Elisha, it makes no sense to increase the challenge by
expressing them using complex language. Plain English can mean shorter review
times, quicker deals and fewer misunderstandings.
Elisha began his career in the corporate department of
an international law firm, where he practiced some eight years. His
responsibilities included negotiating transactions and drafting related agreements,
such as agreements for the purchase and sale of assets, the purchase and sale
of shares (public offerings and private transactions), redemptions,
partnerships, limited partnerships, joint ventures, recapitalizations,
employment, management, shareholders (buy/sell) and stock options. He left this
firm to open his own and remained in private practice for 12 years.
Initially, his most important client was a startup
venture capital firm. As his practice grew, Elisha hired an associate and
several support staff. Once on his own, he honed his counseling skills. Many of
his clients call him not just for legal advice, but to help them explore
complex business challenges or develop concepts and strategies. In advising
clients, he draws on the lessons learned from his own business involvements as
well as from other representations. Elisha celebrates with his clients when
their plans succeed and shares their frustrations at setbacks. As of counsel,
to Schuyler, Roche & Crisham,
he has the opportunity to draw on the additional resources of that
well-respected firm, when a particular representative warrants it.
A renaissance man in no conventional sense, Elisha
also plays in a rock band. Members of his group write and arrange nearly all
their own music. The art of collaboration learned through this avocation has
proven successful with clients. Working out musical differences over any number
of songs has taught Elisha the result is often stronger when a group effort
prevails over any one voice. When addressing a problem with a client-whether
strategic, tactical or otherwise-he considers both parties members of a band trying to get a song right.
Much as he would like to believe he has all the answers, Elisha knows clients
alone may possess the knowledge necessary for their cases to succeed. Usually
healthy and honest give-and-take between client and attorney yields a better
result, he says, than when "the lawyer acts as oracle."
to professionals, entrepreneurs and publicly traded companies, Elisha is a
proven dealmaker and an artful negotiator. He helps to start, buy and sell
businesses, to hire and terminate employees, to make investments and obtain
funding and to borrow and lend money. He also helps draft contracts and
policies that do what the clients intend them to do, usually in a way
understandable to them and others. He considers himself an analyst foremost,
the person who will tell his clients their thinking is wrong-and why-when no
one else will. Recent areas of engagement include:
hotel purchases and sales
formation of distribution companies
establishment of finance companies (in
real estate and in other areas)
startup organization of service companies
commercial real estate
residential real estate
mergers and acquisitions
A new client once posed this problem to Elisha: the
S-corporation he co-owned had done well the previous year, and he had a
substantial tax payment due. His co-shareholder, however, who controlled the
company's finances, would not distribute funds to cover that payment and in
fact wanted Elisha's client
out of the company. Elisha assembled a team of litigators and financial
professionals, who tackled the problem tirelessly. Within four months, they had
negotiated a deal in which his client became the company's sole shareholder-on
very favorable terms. The client remains grateful to this day, says Elisha, for
whom the most credible measure of achievement is client satisfaction. By this
yardstick, consider the following accomplishments:
Elisha had tried negotiating a resolution on behalf of a client
long awaiting payment for real estate services he had rendered, yet the final
offer was barely half the substantial sum the debtor owed. Elisha determined
the only realistic shot his client had at payment was to file a mechanic's
lien. Within months, the debtor paid "100 cents on the dollar."
After a federal court awarded a
substantial sum to a real estate partnership in which Elisha's client was a partner, her partners refused
to pay her share of the award, claiming she owed them money from other deals.
Appearing in court on her behalf, Elisha obtained a favorable ruling in a
significant part of the case. The client received all her money within a week.
Elisha helped negotiate, document and close a deal for a weekly
television series that secured significant cash for a client's fledgling
When one of Elisha's clients was frustrated by a buyer's
foot-dragging and unwillingness to commit to a deal for the purchase of that
client's service company, Elisha suggested contacting the company's competition
to see whether it might be interested in the acquisition. Elisha made the call
and discovered real interest. He then negotiated the deal and closed it within
When several clients entered a joint
venture with an established company that turned out to be a bad decision by the
clients, Elisha helped them get out of the deal but preserve the value of their
Elisha helped structure a "win-win" deal for a client,
securing all the money she expected from the sale of her service company and
ensuring her favorable tax results.
Additionally, Elisha has represented many buyers in their complex
acquisitions of commercial properties in multiple states.
Ask who or what attracted him to law, and Elisha will cite Perry Mason. As a young
man, he had wanted to be like him, to make a difference. "I am no Perry
Mason," confesses Elisha, "but on a good day, I do make a
difference." If Elisha Prero can be of service to you or your firm, please
2006 to Present
Schuyler, Roche & Crisham, P.C.
2006 to Present
2001 to 2006
Blue Pencil Inc.
1990 to Present
Law Offices of Elisha M.
1989 to 2001
Chicago-Kent College of
1989 to 1992
Altheimer & Gray
1981 to 1989
Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer
& Weiss, P.C.*
*Elisha had worked for a
J.D., University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan,
Studies in Comparative Law,
Hebrew University/Temple University Joint Program, Jerusalem, Israel,
summer of 1979.
B.A., Philosophy, Magna Cum
Laude, Loyola Key Award (highest rank/major in graduating class), Dean's List
(two years), Psi
Chi (National Psychology Honor Society) member, Loyola University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois,
Rabbinic Ordination, Brisk Rabbinical College, Chicago, Illinois,
Studies in Talmud, Yeshivat Har Etzion, Gush Etzion, Israel,
summer of 1974 and 1977 to 1978.
Studies in Talmud, Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh,
1972 to 1974.
review rated for ethical standards and legal ability,” since 2005.
"The Blue Pencil," a
series of columns on legal editing in The CBA Record, 1988 to 1991.
Bar and Court Admissions
Supreme Court of the State of Illinois,
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 1981
National Conference of
Synagogue Youth, Greater Midwest Region, former chair of the Youth Commission,
current chair of the Executive Committee, 1981 to present.
Rabbi, Young Israel of West Rogers Park, Chicago, Illinois,
1994 to present.
Board of Directors, member, 1990 to present.
Congregation Adas Yeshurun, Chicago, Illinois,
1988 to 1990.
Advisory Board, National Jewish Law Review, 1984 to 1987.
Associated Talmud Torahs of Chicago, Board of Directors,
member, 1984 to 1985.
Hillel Foundation, Lecturer on
Jewish Philosophy and Ethics, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois,
1982 to 1984.
Hillel Foundation, Lecturer on
Jewish Philosophy and Ethics, Ann Arbor, Michigan,
1979 to 1981.
Rabbi, Young Israel
1979 to 1980.
Chaplain, Jackson State Prison, Jackson, Michigan,
1979 to 1980.