Religious Organizations

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Overview

Religious, not-for-profit, educational, and social services organizations play important roles in our society, and Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella has a group of attorneys dedicated to providing the unique legal services that these organizations require. The experience and dedication of members of this group have enabled Burke, Warren to become an important resource for many organizations including religious institutions, church organizations, and religiously sponsored ministries. 

Corporate, Sponsorship, and Tax  

We provide comprehensive corporate services, including advising on complex sponsorship and governance issues; assisting in the formation of not-for-profit corporations and other legal structures; and effecting mergers, acquisitions, affiliations, joint ventures, and spin-offs. Our attorneys have significant experience in all major tax areas affecting such organizations at the federal, state, and local levels. We are especially adept at dealing with issues emanating from transactions, including those between exempt and non-exempt organizations. 

Risk Management  

A special focus of this group is the management of risks and claims, especially claims of serious personal misconduct. We advise clients about policies and practices to reduce and avoid risks, as well as methods for addressing claims and avoiding litigation, including alternatives to litigation such as mediation. We have been particularly effective in helping to assemble and advise multidisciplinary teams for crisis management. 

Litigation  

The attorneys in our group represent clients in litigation at the trial and appellate levels in both state and federal courts. The appellate litigation practice group has garnered extensive experience in dealing with public policy and constitutional issues, with significant experience around First Amendment Religion Clauses, as well as issues relating to the confidentiality of communications and documents. 

Employment Matters  

We provide services for the full range of employment-related issues, including at-will, contract, unionization, civil rights, unemployment compensation, and wage and hour issues. Our attorneys practice before the NLRB, the EEOC, state and local human rights commissions, and all other regulatory agencies dealing with employment issues. Similarly, our lawyers have experience in the employee benefits area to address ERISA and pension issues and assist in the design and documentation of employee benefits and compensation programs. 

Real Estate and Real Estate Tax  

We provide a wide range of general legal services adapted to the special needs of religious organizations, representing such clients in real estate sales, lease, and construction matters and various forms of finance issues, including tax-exempt financing. We regularly provide consultation on real estate tax matters. 

Estate Planning, Fund Raising, and Sophisticated Giving

The attorneys in our Religious Organizations practice also consult with Burke, Warren's Wealth and Succession Planning lawyers on all aspects of fundraising and sophisticated giving programs.

330 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 2100
Chicago, Illinois 60611-3607
T: 312.840.7000
F: 312.840.7900