• Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit


University of Illinois (B.A., 1993)

The University of Chicago Law School (J.D., 1996)


Mark Stern concentrates his practice in corporate law, including commercial transactions, contracts, acquisitions, licensing arrangements, loan transactions, and municipal finance.  He counsels clients through the course of negotiating and structuring a wide variety of commercial transactions and regularly prepares and review documents ranging from letters of intent and confidentiality agreements, to supply and service contracts, to asset acquisition and disposition agreements.  In addition, he works with Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella’s banking and municipal finance clients, representing lenders, borrowers, underwriters, and government entities in the negotiation and documentation of commercial loan transactions  and bond financing.  Representative matters handled in 2017:

  • Represented multinational pharmaceutical company in acquisition of several pharmaceutical products through equity acquisition of rights holder.  Worked on all aspects of acquisition, including negotiation of letter of intent; due diligence review; negotiation of definitive purchase agreement and related financing documents; preparation of numerous ancillary documents; coordination with intellectual property and foreign counsel; equity funding for client; closing; and post-closing matters.
  • Represented inner city congregation pro bono on appeal of receiver judgment entered against congregation in City of Chicago v. Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2016 IL App (1st) 151864 (2016), and related matters leading to successful settlement and resolution of matter.
  • Represented purchaser in acquisition of assets of multiple automotive dealer franchises in complex transaction lasting over one year to ensure smooth closing.  Prepared and negotiated purchase agreement; interfaced with manufacturers and licensing authorities; assisted real estate attorneys for purchase of real estate to operate dealership; reviewed tax, employment, lien, and related matters.
  • Served as co-disclosure counsel for City of Chicago $1.16 billion Series 2017 General Obligation Bonds to prepare and verify City’s official statement for the bonds, collaborating with City staff in various departments, as well as numerous outside law firms, underwriters, and other professionals.
  • Represented privately held financial services firm in dispute with an investor, including counseling regarding rights under governance documents, corporate law, and restructuring options.
  • Assisted multinational pharmaceutical companies as outside general counsel, including drafting and negotiation of in-license and out-license agreements for intellectual property, asset purchase agreements, distribution agreements, confidentiality agreements, other agreements commercialization of products, financing, and general corporate governance.
  • Worked closely with in-house counsel at major privately-held manufacturer on numerous corporate contracts, such as software in-licenses and out-licenses, distributor agreements, and related matters.
  • Served as outside general counsel for family held media company, assisting with all aspects of legal needs including succession planning, real estate matters, acquisitions, contracts for key employees, employee disputes, customer contracts, data security matters, and personal legal needs of ownership.
  • Assisted family owned business with succession planning, negotiations with family members, and successful buyout transaction for minority shareholder.

Prior to joining Burke, Warren, Mr. Stern practiced in the corporate law group of a Springfield, Illinois firm, and has served as a hearing officer for an Illinois administrative agency.


Representative matters with which Mr. Stern has assisted Firm clients include:

  • Negotiated purchase of the assets of a privately held, out-of-state company for a long-time, family-owned-and-operated Firm client, including investment banker engagement, due diligence review (buyer side), contract negotiation, transaction documentation, and closing
  • Coordinated sale of real estate and assets of a manufacturing division of an international pharmaceutical firm to a U.S. purchaser, including drafting and negotiation of real estate, asset sale, and ongoing supply agreements; due diligence preparation; coordination with client’s in-house, local, and specialized counsel; transaction documentation; and closing
  • Prepared official statement and disclosure documentation for $65 million University of Illinois Certificate of Participation refunding
  • Assisted majority co-owner of family-owned retail business with strategies for addressing and resolving dispute with family-member co-owner and employee
  • Prepared official statement and disclosure documentation for $292 million City of Chicago Wastewater Transmission revenue bonds
  • Reviewed and negotiated financing agreements for privately held auto dealers
  • Prepared official statement and disclosure documentation for $1.16 billion City of Chicago general obligation bonds
  • Drafted and reviewed purchase, consulting, confidentiality, and supply agreements for closely held international manufacturing firm; coordinated with in-house counsel and local and internationally-based client personnel; and negotiated with counsel for other contracting parties 
  • Prepared official statement and disclosure documentation for $105 million City of Chicago Motor Fuel Tax revenue bonds

Honors & Awards

  • Recipient, Citizen Initiative Award (DuPage), Citizen Advocacy Center, for role as plaintiff in Stern v. Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School Dist. 200, 233 Ill. 2d 396, 910 N.E. 2d 85, 331 Ill. Dec. 12 (2009), a unanimous Illinois Supreme Court decision establishing the right of citizens to obtain public employee employment contracts under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act


Board of Regents, Concordia University Chicago, 2010 to present (Chairman, 2016 to present)

Nominating Committee, Northern Illinois District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, 2012 to present (Vice Chairman)

Republican committeeman, York Township Precinct 86 (DuPage County), 2012 to present

Board of Directors, Chicago Lawyers’ Chapter, Federalist Society, 2003–2011

Outside counsel, Central Illinois District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, 1999–2000

Outside of the Firm, Mr. Stern has spoken and written on a variety of topics relating to religious liberty, current legal issues affecting religious organizations, and public education reform.  He has also worked pro bono assisting candidates in ballot access, voting rights, and election law cases, as well as assisting churches with employment and land use matters.


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