Gerald J. Smoller

Jerry represents clients in matters of commercial real estate, business organization, professional practices, trust administration, and estate planning. For more than five decades Jerry’s clients have counted on him to represent them in the formation of shareholder, partnership, and employment agreements; drafting, reviewing and negotiating leases; and providing representation in the sale and purchase of commercial real estate. He counsels clients in the purchase and sale of their businesses and represents them though the complexities of the transaction, as well as structuring their family’s estate plan.

Jerry believes that it is his job as an attorney to educate a client as to their full range of options so they can make the best decisions regarding their business and estate planning.  Jerry began his practice at a firm that would become Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, where he was a partner for more than 40 years. As that firmed moved to represent exclusively condominium associations, Jerry took his practice, representing individuals, real estate companies, and other owner operated businesses to Hardt, Stern & Kayne in 2019.

Jerry is accredited as an arbitrator in the Cook County Mandatory Arbitration Program, and has lectured in the field of estate planning and asset protection.

Jerry lives in Northbrook with his wife Mary. They have 4 children and 7 grandchildren.


  • J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law, with high honors Chicago 
  • B.A., Political History and Political Science, University of Illinois

Licensed to Practice

  • State of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Articles and Publications

Volunteer, Community & Civic Activities

  • Greater North Shore Estate and Financial Planning Council
  • Board of Trustees, William Rainey Harper College Educational Foundation (2001-2010, 2012-present); continues to co-chair the Professional Advisors Committee and serve on the financial committee.
  • Erikson Institute (Board of Trustees – 1993-1998)
  • Temple Chai (Board member and a past president)
  • Wings, Advisory Board Member (organization that provides a safe haven to vulnerable families fleeing domestic violence)


  • Phi Alpha Delta
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • North Shore Estate and Financial Council

Awards & Recognition

  • Editor-In-Chief, Chicago-Kent Law Review (1966-67)
  • 2016 James McGrath Award recipient, presented by Harper College to “special people who have unselfishly given time, effort, and funds to uphold the excellence of the institution”.
  • Named by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine as being among the top attorneys in Illinois (2006, 2007,2009-2014)
  • Received an AV Preeminent Peer Review from Martindale Hubbell; their highest peer rating for ethical standards and professional ability.
  • Named by Madison’s Who’s Who in their 2005-2006 edition as having demonstrated exemplary achievement and distinguished contributions to the business community.
  • Recognized as a Leading Lawyer by the Leading Lawyers rating service from 2015 through 2019 in Closely & Privately Held Business Law; Real Estate Law: Commercial; Trust, Will & Estate Planning Law
  • Illinois State Bar Association Distinguished Counsellors honoree

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