"Sparring Partners" highlights the significant and unique problems faced by partnerships and family-owned businesses. With these very problems in mind, the Chicago Family Business Council formed the Consultants Referral Service, which consists of consultants from many different areas (law, accounting, marketing, psychology, among others) who specialize in family businesses and partnerships.

All too often, we have seen lawyers who ignore the impact of nonworking family members upon the business, only to have bitter inter- and intrafamily legal battles ensue. Marketing experts have formulated elaborate programs for successful family businesses without considering their capacity for growth, given the structure of the family and the business. Therapists have focused exclusively on "emotional issues" in a family business, without appreciating the consequences of stock participation.

The Chicago Family Business Council acts to minimize these very problems which compound the inherent problems of family businesses.