As an advisor and counselor to entrepreneurs, closely held businesses, and wealthy families and their family offices, Steve Gustafson draws upon multiple disciplines to provide integrated tax, business and financial advice.
Steve’s practice has a substantial emphasis in the areas of tax and financial transactions, including structuring corporate, joint venture, commercial and real estate transactions, as well as assisting family businesses with tax and financial planning matters. He also focuses on the areas of family wealth transfer planning, estate and gift tax matters, philanthropy and business succession planning.
Steve has served as an adjunct instructor at The John Marshall Law School, where he has taught Federal Income Tax Aspects of Real Estate Transactions as part of the school’s LL.M. program in tax.
A frequent speaker, Steve often addresses topics at the intersection of the law, taxation and business strategy, including the tax and financial aspects of choice of business entity planning, structuring real estate transactions, business succession planning, the design of executive compensation plans, and the tax and financial aspects of planned charitable giving programs.
Steve has been recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyer as well as having been named an Illinois Leading Lawyer since 2011 in the areas of Closely & Privately Held Business, Business Tax and Individual Tax.
- Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., 1986
- DePaul University, B.S., Economics, 1984
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. Tax Court
- Chicago Estate Planning Council
- Board of Directors, Have Dreams
Key Cases or Transactions
- Represented a Chicago-based digital healthcare agency in its sale to a global commercialization partner for the life sciences industry.
- Advisor to multi-generational families and their businesses in developing and implementing strategies to assure successful transition and continuity of family business activities.
- Designed, structured and implemented key management synthetic equity compensation plans to align management goals with family ownership strategic plans.
- Advisor to active ”hands-on” private philanthropic ventures.
- Assisted management team in a multimillion-dollar leveraged buyout transaction to acquire equity through qualified and nonstatutory option plans.
- Designed and implemented a spinoff of unwanted corporate assets from core corporate business operations.
- Serves as outside general counsel to numerous multigenerational entrepreneurial businesses.
- Designed, structured and implemented corporate acquisition transactions, including tax-deferred roll-over of management equity.
- Assisted with tax structure and planning for acquisition of major retail and related operations out of bankruptcy.
- Gould & Ratner Selects Practice Chairs, Announces New Vice Chair Role, March 13, 2023
- Gould & Ratner Named to 2023 U.S. News Best Lawyers and “Ones to Watch” Lists, August 18, 2022
- Gould & Ratner Represented CC Industries in the Acquisition of Central Indiana Ethanol, December 22, 2021
- Gould & Ratner Named to 2022 U.S. News Best Lawyers and “Ones to Watch” Lists, August 20, 2021
- Gould & Ratner Recently Closed the Sale of closerlook to Fishawack Health, June 9, 2021
- Estate Tax Reform: A Window of Opportunity , Estate Planning and Tax Update , December 2010
- The Dilemma of Partnership "Divorce" in the Context of Tax-Deferred Like-Kind Exchanges , Client Update , February 2008
- IRS Disavows Popular Year-End Tax-Planning Move , GR Review , February 2008
- Municipal Bonds: State Tax Exemption Hangs in the Balance , GR Review , December 2007
“Giving More by Giving Wisely;” The Role of Planned Charitable Giving, July 2011
- A Look at 1031 Like-Kind Exchange Transactions (Co-Presenter), co-sponsored by the Center for Real Estate Law and the Center for Tax Law & Employee Benefits at John Marshall Law School, February 2008