strategic financial solutions, transaction structuring and new business unit startup services to Catholic and other non-profit organizations on a national basis
IMMACULATA LAW FIRM
WHAT WE DO
Professional Experience. Exceptional Results.
Immaculaw provides strategic financial solutions, transaction structuring and new business unit startup services to Catholic and other non-profit organizations on a national basis. Immaculaw serves as Bond Counsel for non-profit borrowers on a national basis and has completed over 75 bond transactions for Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools, housing organizations and other Catholic ministries over the last decade. By completing a high volume of transactions in this specialized space, ImmacuLaw has developed special expertise in the areas of taxable and tax-exempt bond offerings, estate giving and endowment-building, insurance-policy financing, new foundation and business unit startups, for-profit to non-profit conversions, non-profit governance and taxation, and the development of innovative market-based financing structures which satisfy the requirements and unique approval processes for transactions within non-profit entity governance structures. ImmacuLaw is experienced in designing transaction and funding structures which involve the integration of finance and philanthropy. ImmacuLaw’s client base includes Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools and religious orders, non-profit hospitals and healthcare organizations, non-profit housing organizations, Coughlin & Company (the largest Catholic bond underwriter in the United States), and other national non-profit organizations.
MICHAEL J. SCHIERL
312-726-5016 ext. 100
Michael Schierl is the founder of ImmacuLaw. Mr. Schierl is a recognized leader in the non-profit financial community for his work developing sophisticated “evergreen” conduit bond financing structures with embedded shelf-offering capabilities that enable the funding of high-impact projects often viewed as beyond the reach of non-profit organizations. Mr. Schierl’s life’s work is to help his non-profit clients create new “financial ecosystems” that integrate finance (borrowing) and balance sheet philanthropy (structured and planned giving) in order to fund mission-critical initiatives and new business units.
ImmacuLaw bond financing structures typically involve the use of a master bond indenture and standardized documentation, thereby increasing speed and lowering financing costs which can be shared among multiple affiliated non-profit organizations. The funding solutions typically combine techniques drawn from Mr. Schierl’s unique experience in several disparate worlds: (1) bond financing techniques from his experience practicing law in New York with a major international law firm; (2) balance sheet philanthropy techniques utilized by leading foundations; and (3) business startup experience from Mr. Schierl’s involvement with dozens of for-profit and non-profit startups.
A graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Notre Dame (’84 Great Books Program), has practiced law for over 30 years. Mr. Schierl is a licensed member of the Bar in Illinois, New York and Wisconsin. He is consecrated to Our Lady and a member of the Militia Immaculata, founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe. Mr. Schierl has for many years served on various Advisory Boards for the University of Notre Dame, including the University Libraries and the Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values. He resides in LaGrange Park, IL with his wife, Valerie. He has five children, two in college and three in high school.
WALTER M. PIECEWICZ
312-726-5016 ext. 102
Walter Piecewicz joined ImmacuLaw in 2009. He is a graduate of Colgate University and Columbia Law School. Mr. Piecewicz has practiced as a tax and business planning attorney for over 30 years, with a particular focus on developing sophisticated, tax-favored financing structures for the insurance, health care, non-profit, and real estate development industries. After beginning his career with a tax boutique, he spent most of his career as a partner with Peterson & Ross, a major Chicago law firm. For nearly five years, Mr. Piecewicz also served as associate general counsel to the American Dental Association, where he provided extensive tax advice and handled corporate governance and related business and charitable issues, all directed to the non-profit arena. He is also very familiar with securities laws and relevant transactional exemptions as they affect securities and bond issuances, and has served as special counsel to the Illinois Securities Department. He is a licensed member of the Bar in Illinois and Arizona. Mr. Piecewicz resides in Oak Park, IL, with his wife, Anne. He has two adult daughters.
Terry D. Criss
Terry Criss joined ImmacuLaw in 2012. A graduate of the University of Kansas and Washburn University School of Law, Mr. Criss has practiced law for over 30 years, primarily in business and commercial areas of the law, with a particular focus on finance, restructuring, sales and acquisitions, employment and ERISA law as well as providing general business advice and counsel. Mr. Criss spent most of his career with the firm now known as Hampton & Royce in Salina, Kansas, where he became a member in the firm in 1992 and remained in that capacity until January, 2012. For over five years, Mr. Criss served as legal counsel for the Diocese of Salina and was a member of the National Diocesan Attorneys Association. In this role, Mr. Criss advised and represented the Diocese of Salina, its parishes, schools and related entities on all legal matters. With ImmacuLaw, Mr. Criss has served as a senior transactional attorney in several Catholic bond financing transactions in which the Firm has been engaged as Bond Counsel and/or Issuer Counsel. Mr. Criss is a licensed member of the Bar in Texas and Kansas. He resides in Coppell, TX with his wife Patty. He has two adult children.
PETER G. WHITE
312-726-5016 ext. 103
Peter White joined ImmacuLaw in 2013. Mr. White graduated from the University of Dallas in 2001 where he studied a Great Books curriculum, majoring in political philosophy. After graduating from UD, he returned to Chicago and worked in investment banking at the Northern Trust Company for two years before accepting a full tuition St. Thomas More Scholarship to Ave Maria School of Law. After his law school graduation in 2006, Mr. White completed a two-year judicial clerkship in the Circuit Court of Cook County. He has practiced civil and constitutional litigation and also has experience in institutional fundraising. As an attorney for ImmacuLaw, Mr. White has developed a special expertise with ImmacuLaw’s X/A-B conduit bond financing structure. Mr. White also handles several corporate law and contract matters for ImmacuLaw non-profit clients. Mr. White is a licensed member of the Illinois Bar. He resides in West Chicago, IL with his wife, Carol, and their four children.
DAVID L. SKELDING
Director of Client Service
312-726-5016 ext. 104
A graduate of the University of Chicago and Cornell Law School, David began his career as a securities and corporate attorney at Lord, Bissell & Brook (now Locke Lord, an AmLaw 100 firm). There he spent 15 years working on public offerings and private placements of various securities in a number of industry segments, as well as mergers & acquisitions and other projects. Providing advice to investment managers was a particular emphasis of his practice. After five years as an equity partner of the firm, David joined Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc., the country’s largest investment management firm for Catholic institutions. Over his 20 years at CBIS, David served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer; he also served in a variety of business capacities, most recently as Head of Distribution between 2012 and 2017. At CBIS, David acquired a broad and deep knowledge of the particular needs and challenges facing Catholic ministries and apostolates, including dioceses and religious orders and sponsored entities. He himself served as CEO of a small non-profit for three years and has served on a number of non-profit boards. David practices corporate and securities law as a partner of Croke, Fairchild, Morgan & Beres, a Chicago-based law firm. He resides in River Forest, IL with his wife, Karen. They have four adult sons.
Who We Work With
CFO, Catholic Diocese of Phoenix
"We closed our latest bond issuance using Immaculata Law Firm this summer. I believe this was the 16th transaction they have helped us with over the last eleven years. As has been the norm, we closed this latest transaction on schedule and without drama. Immaculata has assisted us with secured and unsecured general obligation bonds, tax exempt school bonds, and taxable mortgage bonds. If bond financing is appropriate for a particular financial need, Immaculata Law Firm works creatively with us to determine what structure will best meet our requirements.
CFO, Archdiocese of Dubuque
"For more than a decade, Immaculata Law Firm has provided the Archdiocese of Dubuque with outstanding legal services for a wide-ranging set of financial transactions. Michael Schierl and his seasoned set of attorneys have provided expert and creative service in helping us complete several bond financing transactions. We have also utilized ImmacuLaw to structure, form and obtain IRS tax-exempt status for our Catholic Foundation Archdiocese of Dubuque and to structure and form our Alternatives Fund, LP which operates within our existing Archdiocesan endowment. We rely on ImmacuLaw for quick and creative responses to a wide range of financial issues as they arise, such as ImmacuLaw’s recent assistance in preparing a summary of the Paycheck Protection Program that I shared with all of our Parishes in order to enable them to quickly take advantage of that program. Michael Schierl and his team bring a unique aptitude for financial analysis, a thorough understanding of canon law and a practical knowledge of how the church operates in order to provide the Archdiocese of Dubuque with solid and creative financial solutions to our ever-changing needs. I would heartily recommend ImmacuLaw to each of my fellow Finance Officers."
Chief of Real Estate Services, Foundation for Senior Living
"For more than a decade, Immaculata Law Firm has been FSL’s preferred legal counsel for all of our bond financing transactions. Michael Schierl and his all-star team of attorneys are easy to work with, quick, knowledgeable, responsive, and very thorough. ImmacuLaw has imagined and implemented several new financial structures and instruments that have enabled us to creatively finance our mission, which is ever-evolving to meet the community’s needs. Over the years, ImmacuLaw has helped us design and close more than a dozen financing transactions, including several affordable housing/tax-credit bond deals, rated and unrated transactions, a headquarters refinancing, real estate acquisition and solar projects. ImmacuLaw’s partnership and tenacity have served FSL well over the years and we look forward to working with ImmacuLaw for decades to come."
President, St. John Northwestern Military Academy
"We have worked with Immaculata Law Firm since late 2018 primarily on documentation and other aspects of our fundraising projects with its sister firm, Julius Capital.
Our work with ILF has included:
Legal advice and documentation to the release previously restricted endowment gifts
Legal documentation for our project to monetize real estate assets
Legal documentation for our bridge financing to the upcoming closing
Preparation of documentation for our planned 2021 bond offering
We have been very pleased with the quality of the advice and deep transactional experience that Michael Schierl and his team bring to our projects."