Turning points happen to all of us.
We help you navigate your way forward.
Transitions are simply a fact of life. Whether it is creating a family and planning a prenuptial agreement, divorcing and reconstituting a family in a different way, or modifying or enforcing a previous judgment, you must have expert legal counsel.
Gaynor Law offers more than 30 years of experience to help you make family transitions successfully. Our practice encompasses the entire range of family law issues. We work throughout Cook and the collar counties, appearing in numerous courts, as well as managing collaborative law cases.
Some family transitions are welcomed and anticipated. Others may occur when you’re least expecting them. Regardless, we approach your matter from a holistic perspective, working to find solutions that address the well-being of both you and your family.
With empathy, a focus on creative problem-solving, and a healthy measure of practicality, we guide you in reaching resolution. Meticulous preparation is a distinctive quality of our practice. It gives you the information and confidence to make sound decisions for your children and yourself and also strengthens the presentation of your case, whether in the courtroom or at the negotiating table. Further, it’s work done by seasoned professionals. Gaynor Law is an exclusive boutique comprised of experienced attorneys who go toe-to-toe with larger firms.
Throughout, our goal is to empower and enable you to take control of your future. A family transition is just that—a passage, and not a place you will stay permanently. Better days for you and your family are ahead, and that conviction informs every aspect of our counsel.
Family transitions may be common, but we strive to understand what makes yours unique. For that reason, we are able to effectively serve everyone from families with multi-generational wealth to teachers, entrepreneurs, doctors, nurses, stay-at-home parents, federal employees, high-level executives and other professionals. Our attorneys have extensive experience with the often complex compensation issues of privately-held and publicly traded corporations, and clients who are the beneficiaries of trusts. Since most of our clients have children, we also offer expertise in developing parenting plans, college plans and allocation of costs, and working with children who have special needs. In addition, we effectively manage parental alienation issues, and have specific training and strategies to address parental estrangement, or a rejected parent where reunification is required.
When family transitions occur, too much is at stake to leave the outcome to chance. The choice of Gaynor Law means protection for all that’s important, and preparation for a successful life ahead.
Audrey L. Gaynor  |  Principal
I’m passionate about giving clients smart, compassionate representation that fits their family situation and uses all available means to their best advantage.
Audrey founded Gaynor Law in 1998, after practicing complex commercial litigation in San Francisco for 5 years and family law in Chicago for 6 years. Audrey’s philosophy has always been to provide the most sophisticated, top-shelf legal work and representation in a boutique environment.
Audrey has consistently practiced with and against the largest firms and succeeded because she was professionally raised in that environment. Audrey’s clients have the benefit of large firm training and small firm attention.
Family law, however, requires a more nuanced and thoughtful approach than commercial litigation. In a divorce, prenuptial agreement, parentage matter or post-decree issue, everything is personal. So, while Audrey can walk the walk of a hard-edged litigator, it is important to speak and think in a manner that fits the family and recognizes emotional issues, understands how children will be affected and respects the economic values of the family.
As one judge was fond of saying about Audrey, she is an iron fist in a velvet glove.
Audrey is one of the most creative negotiators and collaborative lawyers in Chicago. She has cultivated meaningful relationships with other counsel, supportive professionals, therapists and mediators with the goal of forming teams to support the family and guide it through what is always a challenging transition, regardless of whether the marriage is short or long, has children or not or substantial or not so substantial financial assets.
Audrey is particularly skilled at addressing complex financial matters that arise in family law legal matters, such as closely-held corporate interests, partnerships, executive compensation plans, cash flow assessments and valuation issues. She also is able to help families solve parenting disputes and learn to find the most effective methods to work with each other to raise their children holistically when they are no longer together.
Audrey is adept at compassionately representing and supporting people with health challenges while they go through a divorce or post-decree process. Many families must address mental health and other health issues in the course of family legal proceedings. It is critical that the lawyers and other professionals involved in the action protect and respect that information while appropriately addressing limitations and consequences within the family law matter of a party’s or child’s condition and treatment.
Audrey remains passionately committed to the smart and compassionate representation of individuals who must address the legal issues that arise within a family’s journey and uses all available tools and processes to their best advantage. No one ever gets married with the intention of getting a divorce.
Audrey graduated with honors from the University of Michigan in 1983 and received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1986. Prior to concentrating in family law, Audrey practiced securities law and complex litigation in San Francisco, California and clerked for former Chief Judge Clarence A. Brimmer of the United States District Court for the state of Wyoming.
Audrey shares her life with her husband, Paul, and their grown children who are a vibrant source of optimism, critical thinking and creativity. Paul and Audrey have enthusiastically devoted their resources to sustaining our planet through their organic farm and event venue, White Oak Savanna, located in Dodgeville, WI. They can be found biking, hiking, swimming, paddling, and skiing in the hills and valleys of the Driftless Region, or supporting live theatre and music in Wisconsin and Chicago.
Lisa Ben-Isvy  |  Associate
I learn each family’s story to reach successful and personalized outcomes for clients through compassionate and zealous representation.
Lisa’s passion for family law stems from her desire to help clients navigate through what can be one of the most difficult and challenging times in their lives. Lisa approaches each case with compassion, strength, and tenacity. Her background in psychology provides her with a unique understanding of issues that arise.
Lisa has extensive experience in legal research and writing and is skilled at crafting persuasive and sound legal arguments to achieve positive outcomes for clients. She strives to bring each matter to a successful conclusion in order to bring stability to the family, while ensuring her client’s financial well-being.
Prior to family law, Lisa practiced commercial litigation in Chicago where she handled complex business disputes and gained invaluable knowledge to understand the intricate, financial aspects of divorce and structure favorable financial solutions for clients. She also has experience in mental health law, which is particularly helpful within the family law area, where mental health and other health issues are common.
Lisa graduated from the University of Michigan in 1990 with a B.A. in psychology and received her J.D. from Northwestern University in 1993.
When not working, Lisa enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, who continue to amaze and inspire her.
Ashmal Ali  |  Associate
Equipped with both legal knowledge and a deep understanding of each client’s unique narrative, I work to design legal solutions that not only stand the test of law but also honor the authenticity of each client’s story.
Ashmal knows that the practice of family law is unlike any other. Instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach, Ashmal tailors his advocacy according to each client’s unique situation. After all, he knows that it is not his story, but he is there to help his clients tell theirs. Ashmal is a careful listener and an astute judge of character. He is a skilled storyteller and adept at translating personal experiences into legal positions and claims.
Ashmal earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences (B.A., Communication Studies, 2018) and graduated cum laude from Michigan State University College of Law (J.D., 2022).
While in law school, Ashmal was a part of the Trial Practice Institute, a two-year litigation intensive certificate program that covers every stage of the trial process. Ashmal was also a member of the Civil Rights Clinic where he represented incarcerated individuals in Section 1983 litigation. In addition, Ashmal was on the Dean’s Honors List and served as President of the Student Bar Association.
Ashmal is a member of the Illinois State Bar. Ashmal has over 7 years of legal experience, working in both non-profit and private practice. Ashmal began his legal career as an undergraduate intern at the University of Georgia School of Law’s Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation Clinic, where he worked with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. During law school, Ashmal clerked at a boutique firm in Detroit, Michigan, where he handled a variety of legal issues including estate planning, employment, real estate, tort, and contract litigation. Prior to joining Gaynor Law, Ashmal worked as an associate attorney for an insurance defense firm in Chicago.
In his free time, Ashmal enjoys traveling, performing stand up comedy, and searching for the best southern barbecue in Chicago.