Steven M. Prebish
Steve Prebish is a partner in the firm’s Business and Finance Practice Groups. Steve has extensive experience in the merger and acquisition and finance practices, and also provides general business counseling to a litany of clients spanning myriad industries.
Steve believes that while legal negotiations or disputes can sometimes become contentious, the professional best able to reach the desired result is the one who can maintain his composure and his temperament. Humility and respect for others, including his adversaries, is a hallmark of Steve’s approach to the practice of law – often yielding far greater results than could be achieved through screaming or table pounding. In that respect, Steve considers himself a throw-back to the days when the practice of law was still considered a “noble profession.”
Over twenty five years have passed since Steve left “big law” to join PFS as a corporate/securities attorney, making Steve one of the longest tenured attorneys at the firm. As one of the PFS old-timers Steve explains his decision to join the firm in 1994 as follows: “If you intend to provide advice to entrepreneurs and business owners, then I think you owe it to them to have actually been an entrepreneur and business owner yourself. I believe in the old adage that you can’t really understand another person’s experience unless you have walked a mile in their shoes. I have walked that mile. Over the last twenty five years, I helped build a business that is tops in its field. Although my business may be different than most of my clients’, my business experiences are not, and those experiences are invaluable when I am talking to clients who are faced with many of the same situations I already have encountered.”
Although Steve’s clients engage in a variety of different businesses (e.g., furniture distributors, restaurants, suppliers of agricultural products and services, wire and cable companies, ad specialty companies, OEMs, commercial banks, investment advisors, family offices, private equity shops, and others), one thing they have in common is a business confidant in Steve. In fact, when asked to describe his practice, Steve explained “I probably spend more time talking to clients about general business matters than I do talking specifically about legal issues which arise in the course of their business. My clients ask my opinion on business strategy, structuring, growth decisions, purchase and sale negotiations, etc. – and I am not afraid to tell them what I think. Any lawyer can recite what a contract or a law says, but not every lawyer has the courage to tell a client what he should or shouldn’t do in any given situation. I’m willing to stick my neck out for my clients. That’s what providing value is all about.”
An Illinois guy through and through, Steve grew up in the North suburbs of Chicago and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for both his undergraduate (1987) and law school (cum laude) (1990) degrees.
When he is not in the office, Steve is most often found with his wife and three children engaging in one of the many diverse activities they pursue. Steve and his family enjoy traveling together, trying new and unusual foods, going to the theater and caring for a menagerie of pets. An avid Fighting Illini and Chicago sports fan – an oftentimes sad combination – Steve still works out regularly, mixing weight lifting, boxing and cardio work in his routine. Steve’s aspirations to become a professional comedian faded when his father told him to get a real job, but he still believes laughter is the best medicine and is quick with a joke. Steve has performed in community and high school theater and is a graduate of the Second City Improvisation Training Center – his claim to fame being that he matriculated Second City at the same time as Amy Poehler (who Steve says wouldn’t remember him on a bet).
Steve also claims to be the best bass fishing lawyer in Chicago – join him sometime and he’d be happy to prove it.
- Speech Communication, 1987, and J.D., cum laude, 1990)
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (B.A.)
- Illinois State Bar (1990)
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (1990)
- American Bar Association
- Chicago Bar Association