Fast-Growing Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres Adds Public Finance and Non-Profit Advisory Practice Groups to Suite of Services

Responding to Client Demand, Firm Expands Advisory Services to Deliver Unparalleled Value

CHICAGO, January 4, 2024

Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres LLC (CFDB), the forward-thinking firm founded by entrepreneurially-minded Big Law alumni, has added two new areas of practice to its suite of services: Public Finance and Non-Profit Advisory. This expansion marks a significant milestone in the firm’s commitment to providing comprehensive and strategic solutions for its clients. CFDB’s new Public Finance practice group will work with governmental entities and other public bodies in the issuance of tax-exempt debt. In addition, CFDB’s new Non-Profit Advisory practice group will provide the wide range of legal services needed by non-profit and faith-based organizations, assisting them with tax, regulatory, governance, securities and other general corporate needs.

New CFDB partner Michael Schierl will chair the Public Finance practice group, drawing on his deep experience designing and executing financing structures for a wide variety of issuers. Schierl is a recognized leader in the non-profit financial community for traditional bond financing structures, both tax-exempt and taxable, as well as innovative structures that integrate finance (borrowing) and balance sheet philanthropy (structured and planned giving).

Prior to joining CFDB, Schierl founded Immaculata Law Firm, a Chicago-based bond counsel firm with a national practice. Counsel Peter White and two senior counsels, Walter Piecewicz and Terry Criss, are joining CFDB alongside Schierl.

Schierl will also co-chair the firm’s new Non-Profit Advisory practice group with current CFDB partner, David Skelding. Skelding joined the firm in 2020 after serving as general counsel and in other leadership roles at Christian Brothers Investment Services, a market-leading investment adviser to foundations, endowments, and other public charities. The Non-Profit Advisory practice group will work with non-profit clients, including public charities, private foundations, and faith-based organizations at all stages of their life-cycle from formation and qualification for tax-exempt status through growth, program expansion and strategic alliances. The addition of Schierl and his team will enable the firm to help non-profit organizations maximize total funding by utilizing balance sheet philanthropy as well as other tax-advantaged giving vehicles.

“Welcoming Michael Schierl and his team to spearhead this expansion illustrates our focus on strategic market growth,” said CFDB partner and Management Committee co-chair Lisa Duarte, “2024 marks the third consecutive year CFDB has expanded our offerings to complement our existing advisory services and deliver unparalleled value to our clients. Our goal is to be the premier woman-owned firm providing best-in-class public finance and non-profit legal advisory services.”

About Croke Fairchild:

A full-service law firm with offices in Chicago and Milwaukee, Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres LLC is home to a diverse team of trusted advisors and counselors valued for their legal skill, intellectual curiosity and commitment to forging pragmatic solutions. The firm’s clients include entrepreneurs, investors, growth-stage companies, family offices, family businesses, and Fortune 500 companies. Croke Fairchild is also a certified women’s business enterprise and a member of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF).  For more information, visit

Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres LLC’s lobbying and government affairs partner is Point of Difference Strategies. For more information, visit