T.J. Leake concentrates his practice in the areas of business transactions and estate and financial planning. T.J. has been involved in advising corporations, associations and not-for-profit corporate entities on various corporate formation matters, mergers, acquisitions and governmental issues. He also advises clients regarding estate planning and administration matters. In addition, T.J. focuses his practice on advising closely held and family businesses on ownership relations and succession planning issues.

He is active in the pro bono program at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, assisting various charitable organizations in all aspects of corporate matters.

Professional Background

T.J. joined Hinshaw in August 2002.

During law school, T.J. served externships with both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Honorable George Lindberg of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

In addition to his other law school accomplishments, T.J. was a member of the John Marshall Law Review, Phi Delta Phi and Staff Editor of the Review of Intellectual Property Law.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
    • Business Law Section
    • Real Property Trust & Estate Law Section
    • Young Lawyers Division
  • Illinois State Bar Association
    • Trust and Estate Section
  • Winnebago County Bar Association
    • Estate Section

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by his peers as a "Leading Lawyer" in the areas of: Closely & Privately Held Business Law, 2018; Mergers & Acquisitions Law, 2018; and Trust, Will & Estate Planning Law, 2018 
  • Recognized as an "Emerging Lawyer" by Leading Lawyers Magazine, 2015 – 2017
  • Recognized as a "Rising Star" by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2012 – 2017
  • "40 Leaders Under 40 Awards," Selected by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, for leadership in the community and work with the March of Dimes, 2009


T.J. speaks to many organizations on a number of topics, including estate planning, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), as well as medical practice issues and record keeping. Some of his presentations include:

  • Co-Presenter, "Business Succession Planning: 'Where do I start?'" Blackhawk Bank, Webinar, September 24, 2020
  • Co-Presenter, "Understanding the Main Street Lending Program," RAEDC Webinar, Rockford, Illinois, June 30, 2020
  • Co-Presenter, "How Small Businesses Can Navigate the Pandemic," Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) Webinar, May 27, 2020
  • "Learn about Succession Planning for your Business," Rock Valley College, Rockford, Illinois, April 2016
  • "Estate Planning," Wells Fargo LaLoggia Group Investment Discussion Series Seminar, Illinois, February 2016
  • "Business Succession Planning," Winnebago County Bar Association, Estate Planning Section, Rockford, Illinois, February 2016
  • "Estate Planning Update for Financial Advisors," Monarch Solutions, Rockford, Illinois, 2015
  • "Estate Planning Workshop," Rockford University, Rockford, Illinois, September 2014
  • "Wills vs. Trusts," Edward Jones, Roscoe, Illinois, November 2008
  • "Asset Protection in Estate Planning to Managing an Accounting Practice," MAP Group, Rockford, Illinois, June 2008
  • "Medical Records Law in Illinois," Lorman Education Services seminar, Rockford, Illinois, May 2008
  • "Asset Protection in Estate Planning" Winnebago County Bar Association, Estate Planning Section, Rockford, Illinois, May 2008
  • "Estate Planning Workshop," Grand Victorian, Rockford, Illinois, April 2008
  • "Estate Planning Workshop," Rockford Public Library Summer Reading Club, Rockford, Illinois, June 2006
  • "Current Estate Planning Issues (Including How to Prevent the IRS or Other ‘Undesirables’ from Being your Primary Beneficiaries)," Hinshaw’s 2005 Breakfast Seminar Series, Rockford, Illinois, April 2005


  • Co-Author, Chapter 4 "Limited Liability Company Operating Agreements," Limited Liability Companies IICLE 2018, November 27, 2017

Community/Civic Activities

  • Northern Illinois Division of the Illinois Chapter of the March of Dimes
    • Board of Directors, 2009 – 2016
    • Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chairman, 2009 – 2014
  • Aldeen / United Cerebral Palsy of Blackhawk Region Committee of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois

  • Professional Advisors Council for the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, Member
  • Professional Advisors Council of Rockford Park District Foundation
  • Leadership Rockford, Past Participant
  • Actively involved in Our Savior's Lutheran Church

J.D., cum laude, The John Marshall Law School, 2002

  • Member, The John Marshall Law Review
  • Staff Editor, Review of Intellectual Property Law
  • Member, Phi Delta Phi

B.A., cum laude, Luther College, 1999