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John Joseph Pembroke

Park Ridge, Illinois
AV | PREEMINENT | Peer Rated For Highest Level Of Professional Excellence | 2016

A tax and transactional attorney since 1979, John Pembroke draws on a wealth of experience in serving corporate and individual clients, obviously comfortable in mastering and managing a large body of rules. Centering his practice on taxation and estate and business planning, he has earned over the course of his career a reputation for resolving seemingly intractable controversies by applying novel solutions. John’s financial background adds an important dimension to his work in organizing and structuring new businesses, acquisitions, joint ventures, contracts, informal workouts, shareholder disputes and minority buyouts. A licensed certified public accountant for more than 30 years, John has acted on occasion as interim chief financial officer for startups. His accounting background provides him an invaluable perspective when advising on tax, business and financial planning and related matters, either independently or as part of a client’s financial planning team. He enjoys helping clients to prepare their gift, estate and income tax returns, both state and federal, and to better plan for optimizing their tax burden.

Of law John says, “I continue to enjoy its intellectual challenge and the notion that each day, clients have pressing issues demanding attention.” He takes pleasure in applying the rule of law in a practical manner, striving to give each client an edge or the right answer.

Following brief bouts in business management and accounting, law is his third career. He passed his CPA exam on his first attempt while still a student, and ran his own tax practice during law school, when he conducted an audit for a founding member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Nominated for a Wigmore Scholarship, awarded annually to the graduating student most exemplifying the ideals of Northwestern University’s school of law, John served as social chair while there.

A lifelong resident of Illinois, widely traveled, John believes “one of the best places to pursue career and family goals is right here in Cook County, Illinois.” Gregarious and personable, he recently ran in the Democratic primary for the Tenth Judicial Cook County Subcircuit vacancy. In a field of meritorious candidates, he did not win, but from the experience gained incomparable exposure to a realm of government unknown to most and participated in a civics lesson few attorneys experience. In endorsing John, longtime client Adlai E. Stevenson III, U.S. Senator from Illinois, said: “I have known John Pembroke as a lawyer and accountant for 14 years. He has a solid record as a professional, undoubted integrity and an agreeable personality and demeanor. Based on my lengthy experience with John, he is a public-spirited citizen who would make a fine Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court.”

Married with two young children, John is committed to local education and to his own edification. He has taken dozens of continuing education classes over the years, both in law and taxation, often up to 40 hours a year. Beginning in 1999, John pursued various insurance agent licenses and took seminars on securities law and related subjects, culminating in certification as a personal financial specialist (PFS) in 2002. This designation is equivalent to a certified financial planner (CFP), but available only to licensed CPAs; it qualifies each bearer to Illinois licensing as an investment advisor representative.

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Certified Public Accountant, Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, 1976
  • Personal Financial Specialist, 2002

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1979
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1979
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1981


  • Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois
  • J.D. – June, 1979
  • Honors: Dean’s List
  • Honors: Nominated for Wigmore Scholar
  • Honors: Social Committee Chairman
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois – 1982
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • B.S. – December, 1975
  • Honors: With Honors
  • Honors: Distinction in Accounting
  • Honors: Beta Gamma Sigma
  • Major: Accounting


  • Adlai E. Stevenson III, Hanover, Illinois
  • John E. Owens, Park Ridge, Illinois
  • Robert A. McNees, Carol Stream, Illinois
  • William H. Haley, Park Ridge, Illinois
  • Edward A. Cohen, M.D., Chicago, Illinois
  • J. Thomas Gruenwald, Naperville, Illinois
  • Howard P. Frimark, Park Ridge, Illinois
  • James E. Rohan, Chicago, Illinois
  • Ellen E. McLaughlin, Chicago, Illinois
  • Richard E. Michaels, Chicago, Illinois

Honors and Awards

  • Rotarian of the Year (For the Club), 2002 – 2003
  • Junior Achievement – 1st Grade Instructor at Mary Seat of Wisdom, Park Ridge
  • Public Grade School in Des Plaines, IL
  • AV Rated by Martindale Hubble, 1992 – Present
  • Junior Achievement – 1st Grade Instructor at Public Grade School in Des Plaines, Illinois

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Rotary Club of Park Ridge, Chairman, Make a Difference Scholarship Committee, 2004 – 2005
  • Chicago Bar Association, Taxation Section, Member
  • American Bar Association, Taxation Section, Member
  • Illinois Secretary of State, Investment Advisor Representative, 2003
  • Rotary Club of Park Ridge, Officer and Board Member, 1994 – 2007
  • Rotary Club of Park Ridge, Chairman, Major Fundraiser, 2003 – 2005
  • Rotary Club of Park Ridge, Board Member, 1994 – 1997
  • Rotary Club of Park Ridge, Board Member, 2002 – 2005
  • Rotary Club of Park Ridge, Treasurer, 1994 – 1997
  • Rotary Club of Park Ridge, Chairman, Social Committee, 1993 – 1995
  • Rotary Club of Park Ridge, Chairman, Social Committee, 2002 – 2005
  • Major Donor Committee, Chair or Co-Chair, 1994 – 1997

Past Employment Positions

  • George Munoz and Associates P.C., Chicago, Illinois, Attorney, 1991
  • Schuyler Roche & Zwirner, P.C., Chicago, Illinois, Partner / Shareholder, 1988 – 1990
  • Schuyler Roche & Zwirner, P.C., Chicago, Illinois, Associate, 1980 – 1987
  • Arthur Young & Company, Chicago, Illinois, Tax Department, Tax Staff, 1979 – 1980
  • Coopers & Lybrand, Chicago, Illinois, Audit Staff, 1976

Ancillary Businesses

  • Schuyler, Roche & Crisham, PC, Of Counsel, 2006 – Present
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