• Posted on December 11, 2020

    Areas of Practice

    • Business Services
    • Mergers & Acquisitions


    • University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, J.D., 1970
      – Honors: Cum Laude
      – Honors: Outstanding Editor of the Law Review
    • University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business (now Chicago Booth), Executive Program, M.B.A., 1988
    • Brown University, A.B., 1967

    Admissions, Associations & Memberships

    • MBBI (Board of Directors)
    • Business Executive Exchange of Naperville (Past President, Treasurer)

    William H. Wentz’s practice focuses on privately-held companies – from start-up organizations to mature, established companies – in a wide range of industries. Bill is particularly knowledgeable and experienced in counseling clients on the appropriate transactional structure relating to the acquisition or sale of a business. Bill also regularly advises his business clients with license agreements and other technology issues, employment retention and incentive matters, and other commercial matters. Finally, Bill is experienced in structuring domestic and international joint ventures and partnerships.

    For the past two decades, Bill’s primary interest has been privately-held businesses. Bill founded the Entrepreneurial Roundtable for the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in 1991 and served as its chief Coordinator until 2013. He was also one of the founders of the Midwest Business Brokers and Intermediaries (MBBI), the leading organization of professionals in the Midwest concerned with mergers and acquisitions.

    Early in his legal career, Bill served as Associate General Counsel of the Civil Aeronautics Board, in charge of the Board’s litigation and enforcement during airline deregulation. Prior to the CAB, he was an attorney-advisor to two Chairmen of the Federal Trade Commission.

    Bill resides in Naperville with his wife. He enjoys traveling and recently spent time in Asia.

    Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent Rating Badge

    “AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.”

  • Posted on December 10, 2020


    • DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois: LLM in Taxation
    • DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois: J.D.
    • University of Illinois, Urbana: B.A. in Finance

    Associations & Memberships

    • DuPage County Bar Association, Tax Committee: Chairman 2009-2010, 2012-2013 Vice Chairman 2008-2009, 2011-2012
    • American Bar Association
    • Midwest Business Brokers and Intermediaries Member


    • Illinois

    William J. Strons joined Huck Bouma, PC in 2002 and has served as the Firm’s Managing Shareholder since 2012. Bill also currently serves as Co-Chair of Huck Bouma’s M&A and Corporate Transactional practice groups.

    With over 25 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions, Bill uses this wealth of knowledge to efficiently evaluate complex business transactions in a manner best suited for the client. Bill has extensive experience in working with both buyers and sellers from various industries in the structuring, implementation, and financing of transactions. In this capacity, Bill has aided clients in:

    • Designing and implementing strategies
    • Drafting and reviewing Letters of Intent
    • Structuring, negotiating, and managing business transactions
    • Counseling on the tax structure of raising capital
    • Drafting and reviewing buy-sell agreements

    Over the course of his practice, Bill has assisted clients with complex asset and stock acquisitions and divestitures, tax-free reorganizations and restructuring, joint venture agreements, tax-deferred equity rollover transactions, and private placement offerings.

    Bill also represents a variety of closely-held businesses in all aspects of their corporate and tax planning matters. With a strong tax background, Bill advises clients on succession planning, federal and state tax planning, compliance, governance, and employment contracts.

    Bill is a frequent speaker for a variety of industry organizations, including the Midwest Business Brokers & Intermediaries group, the DuPage Bar Association and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Entrepreneurial Roundtable.  Bill is a past chair of the DuPage Bar Association’s Tax Law Committee and has presented topics such as tax strategies in selling the closely-held business, legal due diligence in the M&A transaction, and key terms of a letter of intent.

    Bill lives in Naperville with his wife. He is a Chicago sports enthusiast and also enjoys golfing and fishing.

  • Posted on December 10, 2020


    • University of Kansas School of Law, Lawrence, Kansas, 1969
    • The University of Kansas, 1971
    • University of Kansas, 1964
      B.A., Major: Economics

    Associations & Memberships

    • DuPage County Bar Association
    • Village of Glen Ellyn, 1998 – 2003 Trustee
    • Village of Glen Ellyn, Plan Commission Vice Chair
    • University of Kansas Law School
      Board of Governors (2020-2024)
      Member: KU Chancellor’s Club
      Alumni Assn President’s Club


    • Illinois

    Jay B. Strayer focuses his legal practice on corporate and commercial law, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions. Jay also counsels individuals and business owners in their estate planning, probate, and commercial real estate transactional needs.
    Jay was a principal in the law firm of Fewkes Wentz & Strayer in Naperville, Illinois until his firm merged with Huck Bouma in 2007. Prior to entering the private practice of law, Jay was Assistant General Counsel of McGraw-Edison Company, where he directed the activities of the corporate legal staff. Jay was also General Counsel and Secretary of Atcor, Inc., a publicly traded manufacturer and distributor of steel conduit pipe and related products. Jay was also Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of The Jepson Corporation, a diversified holding company that operated ten manufacturing subsidiaries.

    Jay is a retired U.S. Naval Reserve Officer (Commander), specializing in defense logistics and contract administration, and served as Commanding Officer of two Naval Reserve Units. He has served his community as a trustee of the Village of Glen Ellyn from 1998-2003, and currently is Vice Chair of the Plan Commission. Jay and his family are longtime residents of Glen Ellyn.

    Beginning in 2020, Jay has been appointed to a four year term on the Board of Governors of the University of Kansas Law School.

  • Posted on December 10, 2020


    • New York University (B.A., magna cum laude, 2008)
    • The John Marshall Law School (J.D., summa cum laude, 2013)

    Associations & Memberships

    • DuPage County Bar Association
    • Constitutional Rights Foundation “Lawyers in the Classroom,” participant
    • Illinois State Bar Association, Member
    • Chicago Bar Association, Member

    Honors & Awards

    • Selected to the 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 Illinois Rising Star list by Super Lawyers Magazine
    • CALI award, Constitutional Law I
    • CALI award, Civil Procedure I
    • CALI award, Civil Procedure II
    • CALI award, Criminal Procedure: Police Investigation
    • CALI award, Bankruptcy Law
    • CALI award, Securities Regulation
    • Distinguished Scholar Award, The John Marshall Law School (three-year tuition scholarship recipient)
    • Herzog Scholar Award
    • John N. Jewett Award for Highest Grades in the First Year
    • Order of John Marshall


    • Illinois

    Krista A. Smith, a Director with the Firm, concentrates her practice at Huck Bouma, PC in the area of Corporate law, representing middle market companies, individual business owners, and multi-national corporations. She assists with the formation and general legal issues of business organizations; the purchase or sale of companies; mergers and acquisitions; divestitures and restructurings; commercial contracting; and a wide variety of other transactional matters. Ms. Smith regularly advises clients and negotiates and drafts various transactional documents such as asset purchase or stock purchase agreements, operating agreements, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, customer or supplier contracts, vendor agreements, and corporate governance documents.
    Ms. Smith joined the firm in 2018 and previously practiced with a downtown Chicago law firm. She earned her B.A., magna cum laude, from New York University in 2008, where she majored in Anthropology (Honors), and was awarded her J.D., summa cum laude, from The John Marshall Law School in 2013, where she served as a Staff Editor for The John Marshall Law Review and was on the Executive Board for the Corporate Law Association.

  • Posted on December 10, 2020


    • Northwestern University School of Law –
      Chicago, IL
      -LL.M. in Taxation (Masters in Tax Law)
    • Valparaiso School of Law – Valparaiso, IN
      -Juris Doctor
    • University of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign –
      Champaign, IL
      -Bachelor of Science: Accounting
      -University of Illinois Football (1996)

    Associations & Memberships

    • Illinois State Bar Association
    • DuPage County Bar Association
    • Illinois CPA Society
    • Fox Valley Chapter of the Illinois CPA Society
      -President, 2018- Present
    • DuPage County Bar Association
      -Treasurer, 2019-Present


    • Licensed Illinois Real Estate Managing Broker


    • DuPage County Bar Association
      -2021 Lawyer of the Year
      -2020 Directors’ Award
    • Illinois CPA Society
      -2018 Distinguished Service Award


    • Illinois

    Aaron E. Ruswick is a Shareholder of Huck Bouma PC with a practice focusing on business services, mergers and acquisitions; and trusts and estates. Such matters include business planning; tax and transactional matters; private letter rulings with the IRS; estate and gift strategies/planning; business succession planning; business disputes; and general contractual matters.

    Work History
    Huck Bouma PC

    Shareholder 2006-Present, Wheaton, IL

    Corporate Practice Group

    • Prepares shareholder, operating agreements, and partnership agreements for clients in order to provide succession planning, taxplanning, restrictions on transfer, buyout provisions, restrictive covenants, and income allocations.
    • Represents individuals and closely-held businesses in business planning and commercial transactional matters such as choice of entity analysis, negotiating and drafting commercial transactions, mergers, reorganizations, buying and selling, and other contractual
    • Drafts employee benefit plans including phantom stock plans, stock appreciation rights plans, restricted stock plans, and stock option plans.
    • Built largest non-equity practice in the firm with creative marketing and cross selling techniques.

    Estate Planning Practice Group

    • Creates estate plans for high net worth individuals and families, with an emphasis on business owners, in order to transfer wealth down to lower generations.
    • Prepares wills, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts (including defective grantor trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, and other types of trusts
    • Prepares family settlement agreements and decanting of trusts for inventive solutions.
    • Gift planning and creative allocation of generation skipping tax exemption.
    • Retirement benefit planning to maximize the stretch and split with IRA’s.
    • Prepares and files 706 and 709 tax returns.

    KPMG LLP, Chicago, IL
    Senior Tax Associate, International Corporate Services

    • Technical corporate tax planning for multinational corporations.

    Speaking Engagements:


    • Wealth Counsel Illinois Forum – Residency Planning for Individuals and Businesses
    • Webinar on Pending Tax Changes: What Clients and Advisors Should Consider in Planning


    • Wealth Counsel Illinois Forum Symposium – Succession Planning Alternatives for Law Practices
    • Webinar on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act


    • Webinar on Estate Planning Updates
    • Webinar on Income Tax Updates
    • IL CPA Society, Fox Valley Chapter Primer on Leading
      Clients Through Private M&A Transactions


    • Webinar on Estate Planning Updates
    • Webinar on Income Tax Updates
    • Fox Valley Estate Planning Council – Updates in Tax Law after the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act


    • WealthCounsel Symposium 2016, Washington, D.C. – Succession Planning for the Small Law Firm/Sole Practitioner
    • WealthCounsel Illinois Forum Symposium – Succession Planning for the Small Law Firm/Sole Practitioner
    • IL CPA Society, Fox Valley Chapter – Advanced Estate Planning & Proposed Regulations under Section 2704

    Aaron was recently named Lawyer of the Year for 2021 by the DuPage County Bar Association (DCBA) and serves as the Secretary and Treasurer of the DCBA. Aaron is also the President of the Fox Valley Chapter of the Illinois CPA Society, where he organizes more than a dozen continuing education seminars and events annually for more than 4,000 CPAs, lawyers and other professionals.

  • Posted on December 10, 2020


    • DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois, 1996 J.D.
      Honors: Highest Honors; Order of the Coif
      Law Review: DePaul University Law Review, Member
    • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 1993 B.S.
      Honors: With Honors
      Major: Finance

    Associations & Memberships

    • Midwest Business Brokers Institute
    • DuPage County Bar Association
    • Illinois State Bar Association
    • American Bar Association


    • Illinois

    David O’Sullivan is an Equity Shareholder at Huck Bouma and Co-Chair of Huck Bouma’s M&A and Corporate Transactional practice groups.

    With respect to his M&A practice, Dave has over 20 years of experience leading complex acquisitions, divestitures, reorganizations, recapitalizations and restructurings in a wide variety of transaction structures (including stock transactions, asset transactions, mergers, Section 338(h)(10) transactions, and tax-deferred equity rollover transactions) and in a wide variety of industries (including manufacturing, distribution, services and technology).

    Dave’s practice also includes representing private companies with general corporate matters, such as choice of entity planning and execution (including appropriate ownership arrangements such as operating agreements or shareholder agreements), corporate governance, joint ventures, strategic planning, succession planning and contract negotiation and review. In this role, Dave will very often act as outside general counsel to his corporate clients.

    Due to his extensive experience in M&A and general corporate transactions, Dave is known for bringing a practical and solutions-oriented approach to client matters.

  • Posted on December 10, 2020


    • DePaul University College of Law, J.D., 1991
      Law Review: DePaul University Law Review, Editorial Board
    • DePaul University College of Commerce, B.S. in Accounting, 1988
      Honors: Graduated with Highest Honors
      Stanley Scholar
      Strobel Honors Accounting Program

    Associations & Memberships

    • Certification/Specialties: Certified Public Accountant, 1988
    • Selected as an “Leading American Attorney” by the Leading Attorney Network
    • Selected as an “Illinois Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics magazine


    • Illinois
    • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois
    • U.S. Tax Court

    Nick Marsico is a businessman who happens to be an attorney, which allows him to provide practical, real-world answers and the ability to translate complex legal issues into business issues that can be more easily evaluated. Nick, a senior Director with the Firm, focuses his practice on business transactions for small and mid-sized businesses, such as buying and selling businesses, private placement offerings, limited liability company issues, license agreements and other technology issues, and trademark and copyright protection, as well as common transactional matters such as entity formation and structuring, contract drafting, and contract law.

    In his mergers and acquisitions practice, Nick counsels clients on the appropriate transaction structure for buying or selling the business, performing due diligence, and negotiating transaction documents including the letter of intent, the purchase agreement, confidentiality agreements, employment agreements, and consulting agreements.

    In his trademark practice, Nick conducts trademark searches; files trademark applications; provide opinions as to the availability of a desired mark or the infringement or validity of the mark; prosecutes trademarks before the Patent and Trademark Office; negotiates license agreements; negotiates trademark disputes and consent agreements; and represents clients before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in actions such as opposition proceedings.

    Nick also counsels businesses trying to raise capital from private investors. Typically, these businesses need capital for their business plan, but cannot obtain a traditional bank loan. These businesses typically issue equity or convertible notes to the investors. Raising capital from investors must be done carefully in order comply with federal and state securities laws. Nick counsels clients on the structure of these transactions, which are typically Reg D private placements, drafts the private placement memorandum, and advises on compliance with federal and state securities laws.

    Nick also has a tax background and advises on federal and state tax planning matters, tax compliance matters, tax litigation, and Illinois franchise tax matters.

    Nick is also Certified Public Accountant and has taught business law classes as an adjunct professor for DePaul University’s CPA Review Program. He has been a speaker at various seminars involving recent developments in limited liability companies, business law, and tax. He is a regular speaker for the National Business Institute on LLC issues. He has been selected as a member of the “Leading American Attorneys” by the Leading Attorney Network (lawlead.com), which is awarded to the top 5% of attorneys. He has been named an “Illinois Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics magazine (superlawyers.com), which is awarded to the top 5% of Illinois attorneys.

    Nick joined Huck Bouma in 2007. Prior to joining Huck Bouma, Nick was a partner at the Chicago law firm of Rooks, Pitts and Poust, which later merged into Dykema Gossett PLLC, which is a large national law firm.

    Nick lives in Wheaton with his wife, Kelly and their two sons. He enjoys biking and golfing. He actively participates in his sons’ Boy Scouts troop and their other activities. He is a passionate life-long Chicago Blackhawks fan, an optimistic Chicago Bears fan, and a long-suffering Chicago Cubs fan.

    Current Status of the Series LLC: Illinois Series Improves Upon Delaware Series LLC But Many Open Issues Remain, vol. 9, no. 6, Journal of Passthrough Entities, November-December, 2006
    Illinois Series LLC: New Vehicle For Holding Multiple Properties, vol. 10, no. 3, Illinois Real Estate Journal, March, 2007
    Will the Series LLC Work For Holding Real Estate?, vol. 22, issue 12, Midwest Real Estate News, December, 2006
    Chopping Down the Fruit Tree: Caruth Corp. v. United States Applies Assignment of Income Doctrine to Gift of Stock Between Declaration and Record Dates, v.40, no. 3, DePaul Law Review, Spring, 1991

    Speaking Engagements:
    Anatomy of the LLC, December, 16 and 17, 2008
    Advanced LLC Issues, April 18, 2007
    Advanced LLC Issues, December 5, 2006
    Limited Liability Company Update in Illinois, September 14, 2005
    Operating as a Privately Owned Company in the 21st Century, May 17, 2005
    Advanced LLC Issues in Illinois, March 22, 2005
    The Ins and Outs of Limited Liability Companies in Illinois, November 12, 2004
    Limited Liability Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships in Illinois, October 21, 2003
    Tax Aspects of Limited Liability Companies in Illinois, August 23, 2002
    Adjunct Professor, Business Law, DePaul University’s CPA Review Program

  • Posted on December 10, 2020


    • DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois: J.D.
    • DePaul University Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, Chicago, Illinois: M.B.A.
    • Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois: B.A.


    • Illinois

    Michael J. Marshall is a director with the Firm and a member of the Firm’s corporate practice. Michael has a wide-ranging practice that encompasses business and tax planning, entity formation and governance, contractual agreements, dispute resolution, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), reorganizations, and succession planning.

    Michael serves as a legal advisor for the Small Business Development Center and is a member of its local advisory board. Michael frequently presents on topics relevant to business owners, including asset protection, tax, intellectual property, deferred compensation, third party financing and security holder relations, and acquisitions.

    Prior to joining Huck Bouma, Michael was a senior consultant with a big four firm in Chicago.

    Michael earned a B.A. from Knox College and a J.D. and M.B.A. from DePaul University.

    Michael and his family reside in the western suburbs.

    Speaking Engagements: Primer on Leading Clients Through Private M&A Transactions , Thursday, October 3, 2019 meeting of the Fox Valley Chapter of the ICPAS.

  • Posted on December 10, 2020


    • University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign, Illinois, 2001 J.D., Magna Cum Laude
    • Law Journal: The Elder Law Journal, Managing Editor
    • Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, 1997 B.A., Cum Laude

    Associations & Memberships

    • Selected to SuperLawyers in Employment Law since 2019
    • Illinois State Bar Association
    • DuPage County Bar Association; 2014 Chair of Employment Law committee
    • Rotary Club of Central DuPage, Board Member, 2014 Rotarian of the Year


    • Illinois

    Brian K. LaFratta, a Senior Director with the Firm, focuses his practice on all areas of employment law, including employment litigation, employment contracts and covenants not to compete, and employment law counseling and compliance issues. In addition, Brian counsels employers on compliance with employment laws, prepares employment and non-compete agreements, drafts employee handbooks, and conducts employment law training. He also represents buyers and sellers with respect to employment law issues arising out of mergers and acquisitions. Brian represents employers in federal and state courts in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, and breach of contract lawsuits. He also represents both employers and employees in non-compete and trade secret litigation, including TRO and preliminary injunction proceedings. He routinely defends employers before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR).

    Following his graduation from the University of Illinois College of Law, Brian began his career in the employment law group of Winston & Strawn. Prior to joining Huck Bouma PC in 2011, he worked at the national employment law firm of Fisher & Phillips.

    Brian has been a Wheaton resident since 2002. In his free time, Brian enjoys exercising, reading and spending time with his wife and two very active children.

    Speaking Engagements:
    Brian speaks on employment law topics for trade groups and business associations.

    Bar Admissions:
    State of Illinois Bar
    U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
    U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
    U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana

  • Posted on December 9, 2020


    • University of Illinois, College of Law, J.D.
    • University of Illinois, B.S. (Psychology)

    Admissions, Associations & Memberships

    • Illinois
    • DuPage County Bar Association

    Carl joins Huck Bouma after thirty years’ experience as in-house counsel for Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., a large, publicly-held insurance brokerage firm, where he served in a variety of roles and provided a broad range of legal services to all sectors of the business, including retail and wholesale property and casualty insurance, group benefits and claims adjusting.

    With extensive experience in Mergers and Acquisitions, Carl has primarily represented buyers, handing all aspects of the transaction, from the term sheet through post-closing resolution of escrows and earn-outs.

    Carl has also negotiated complex vendor agreements for IT and telecommunications systems, and assisted businesses with non-disclosure and non-competition agreements.

    An active Toastmaster since 2009, Carl lives in Naperville.

    See Chapter 9 – “Regulation of Producers, Agents and Brokers”; Insurance Industry (Illinois): Laws and Regulations 2010 Edition; Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education