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Susan M. Burke

T 312 261 2120
F 312 261 1120
Susan Burke, Pedersen & Houpt Photo

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Illinois
  • New York


Northwestern University School of Law, 1987 J.D.

  • Northwestern University Law Review, 1986-1987

Barnard College, Columbia University, 1984 A.B., cum laude


Susan Burke, a member of Pedersen & Houpt's Corporate and Business Counseling Practice Group, leads the firm's Private Capital and Public Securities Practice.

Susan handles a broad range of matters for private equity fund clients as well as clients with manufacturing, services, consumer products and real estate businesses, concentrating much of her practice on private capital and merger and acquisition transactions and securities law compliance. She also provides comprehensive legal support and counsel on both personal and business issues to closely-held and family-run businesses, including their governance, employment and intellectual property matters.

Forging productive relationships with her clients by listening closely to their needs, Susan analyzes the legal implications of their issues, and responds with strategically appropriate solutions. Susan's deep understanding of individual client business goals and objectives is the basis for her exceptional track record in negotiating private capital transactions for newly formed and operating businesses for both companies seeking investment and potential investors through angel or venture capital funds. She has also successfully handled complex ownership and management agreements for hospitality clients and performed in-depth blue sky, or state securities, analyses for numerous transactions.

She has extensive experience in fund formation and operations, initial and secondary public offerings of equity, PIPEs, 144A and Regulation S private placements. Susan has negotiated with significant shareholders, underwriters, regulatory authorities and exchanges involved in numerous IPOs. She counsels publicly-held entities and individuals associated with them on all aspects of ongoing reporting and compliance matters, including Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Dodd-Frank Act compliance.

Representative Experience

  • Extensive "blue sky" experience in connection with the representation of municipal bond issuers.

  • Extensive experience in the securities law aspects of the issuance and ongoing disclosure obligations of municipal bond fund portfolios.

  • Represented an apartment complex developer as the borrower in connection with an Industrial Development Bond from State of Nebraska.

  • Completed a PIPE transaction for a gaming and amusement hardware manufacturer.

  • Led refinance of $400+ million manufacturing and services company to provide liquidity and diversity to family owners.
  • Registered two public real estate limited partnerships versus insurgent limited partners in a proxy contest.
  • Achieved redemption of shareholders owning 44% of a manufacturing company valued at more than $200 million.
  • Counseled a client seeking first and second round equity investment to develop a colonoscopy alternative.
  • Guided a $20 million first round equity investment for a news and information broadcasting company for the Caribbean basin.
  • Advised two charter air transportation companies on several rounds of private equity investment, as well as provided counsel on aircraft acquisitions and financing.
  • Conducted management agreement negotiations on behalf of hotel owners of major market and suburban hotels with major hotel management companies.
  • Served as lead counsel to distressed equity real estate fund, including fund formation, acquisitions, dispositions and line of credit.
  • Represented franchisors of various restaurant concepts and counselor to various franchisees of restaurants and other concepts.
  • Served as seller's counsel for a specialized staffing business with operations in 20 states.
  • Served as buyer's counsel for a network of branded ATMs located in four Midwestern states.
  • Represented lender for a $100M+ acquisition line of credit to a private equity fund.
  • Served as company counsel in agreement among shareholders of an urban-focused advertising agency.
  • Represented purchaser in connection with first transfer of the original franchise location of a prime steakhouse.
  • Represented issuer for first two rounds of private placements by a green energy/energy efficiency consultancy and services business.

Honors & Recognitions

2016, 2017 & 2021 Illinois Leading Lawyer

News & Alerts


Professional Affililations

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association

Chicago Bar Association

New York State Bar Association

Community/Civic Activities


  • Defy Ventures Volunteer and Advisory Board Member