George M Pearce

  • T 312.715.5836

George Pearce is a partner in Holland & Knight's Chicago office. Mr. Pearce represents individuals and businesses in the manufacturing, distribution, retail, promotion services, construction and professional design industries with frequent day-to-day corporate counseling and business and succession planning issues. This includes entity formation documents, shareholder agreements, operating agreements, transactional documents, merger agreements and ancillary business agreements. Many of his clients are family-owned businesses.

Estate planning and business succession planning are two particular foci of Mr. Pearce’s practice. He was a member of the firm's Private Wealth Services Group and has worked with numerous individuals and business owners to reach their estate planning goals and design succession plans. He assists clients in gifting, estate tax analysis and minimization, trust arrangements and advises clients on numerous other estate planning techniques. 

Mr. Pearce has negotiated numerous agreements for purchases and sales of businesses. Representative transactions include the sale of a privately held manufacturing business to private equity firm; the purchase of a temperature control business; the sale of a propane heating company; sale of an O-ring distributor to a UK company; the combination of a national restaurant chain with another restaurant chain; the sale of a band and orchestra business to a publicly owned company; sale of a Chinese consulting practice to a U.S. buyer; purchase of a structural engineering firm; sale of a management consulting practice to a publicly owned company; sale of a family-owned newspaper; and the purchase of a fastener business.

Over the past 35 years, Mr. Pearce has represented numerous minority and women-owned businesses with respect to procurement and maintaining M/WBE certification. He has represented numerous manufacturing, advisory, consulting and design firms seeking M/WBE certification from state and local agencies throughout the U.S. and has handled several appeals of certification denials.

Mr. Pearce serves as adjunct faculty at the John Marshall Law School Business Transactions Externship Program, where he supervises student clinicians in the representation of clients in business formation and transactional matters on a pro bono basis.

Honors & Awards

  • DePaul University College of Law, Outstanding Service to the DePaul Community Award, 2016
  • Village of Wilmette, Community Relations Commission Citizen of the Year, 2017
  • Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2005-2007, 2009-2011
  • Christefideles Award, Archdiocese of Chicago, 2005
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated


  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Illinois Bar Association
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Village of Wilmette, Trustee, 1997-2005
  • Wilmette Police and Fire Commission
  • Rotary Club of Wilmette Harbor
  • Village of Wilmette Zoning Board of Appeals, 1993-1997
  • Metra-Citizens Advisory Board, 2011-2016
  • DePaul University, College of Law, Dean's Advisory Council, 2009-present