Established in 1984 in the Windy City, BFKN has focused from the start on delivering high-quality, efficient, team-oriented service. The firm excels in a range of practice areas, with strong litigation teams and internationally renowned transactional practices. Its clients represent well known businesses—both U.S. and international—over a wide range of industries, including fashion, luxury goods, and retail; manufacturing; motor vehicle; technology; wine and spirits; and energy.
Bartlit Beck proudly labels itself as “a firm of trial lawyers, not litigators.” With more than 80 attorneys in two offices—one in Chicago and one in Denver—Bartlit Beck is best known for handling high-stakes litigation of all kinds and is often hired to “save the day” just before trial begins. It’s no wonder, considering the firm’s strong lineup—the majority of Bartlit Beck lawyers have completed a federal clerkship, and 15 percent have clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Neal Gerber serves clients from a single office in Chicago, with practices in intlellectual property, litigation, business, and private wealth. The firm has a diverse client base, with a few notable examples including AOL, Beats Electronics, Citigroup, Hyatt, Illinois Tool Works, Match.com, Northern Trust, Polaroid, and United HealthCare. When they aren't working on billable matters, the firm's attorneys are proud to dedicate time to pro bono and community service throughout the Second City.
Operating out of just one office in Chicago, Goldberg Kohn is one of the more respected mid-size firms in the Windy City. The firm has made a name for itself with practices including banking and finance, bankruptcy and financial services, real estate, class-action defense, labor and employment litigation work, and intellectual property, among other areas. Since its establishment by four attorneys in 1976, the firm has achieved success in middle-market dealings while maintaining a modest size.
Founded in 2000 in Chicago, Eimer Stahl is a litigation boutique firm with more than 30 lawyers among its ranks. The firm has three offices—two in the Midwest and one on the West Coast. The firm practices across various industries, including consumer products, energy, financial services, and insurance.
Windy City-based Banner Witcoff is a top IP boutique that offers a friendly, open-door culture. It also boasts a strong pro bono practice, which has included work on numerous amicus briefs related to novel IP issues. With its reputation as a firm that has helped shaped IP law, including through work on groundbreaking Supreme Court cases, the Banner Witcoff name certainly carries a lot of weight in the IP world.
Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila brings its trial and transactional expertise to clients from coast to coast, with offices in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Ann Arbor, and Los Angeles/Irvine. Whether for an individual or Fortune 500 client, the firm handily navigates disputes and deals across a variety of industries—including health care and life sciences, financial services and asset management, telecommunications and technology, and many more.
Founded in 1992, Swanson, Martin, & Bell is a litigation shop with Midwest roots. The firm is home to nearly 150 lawyers spread across Illinois and Missouri. The firm boasts dozens of practice areas—from appellate litigation and construction to family law and product liability. Lawyers at the firm are regulars in the courtroom and are trial ready.
In just over a decade of existence and with fewer than 40 attorneys, MoloLamken has quickly made a name for itself among the heavy hitters of boutique litigation shops. With offices in three of the country’s major metropolises—New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC—MoloLamken’s attorneys focus on complex business litigation, white collar criminal defense, and intellectual property. MoloLamken only hires laterally, putting a premium on experience when it comes to handling the high-stakes, complicated cases the firm takes on.
Founded in 1983 with only six lawyers, Freeborn & Peters has grown to over 200 professionals. Serving a wide-range of industries from food to transportation law, the firm has represented clients such as famed sandwich shop Jimmy John’s, CIVC – a seasoned private equity firm – and Canadian National Railway. Throughout the past 30 years, Freeborn’s main focus has expanded to include litigation, government and regulatory law, corporate, real estate, and bankruptcy and financial restructuring. The firm’s attorneys pride themselves as “litigators first,” and have proven so throughout the years.
*Effective July 2, 2021, Brinks Gilson Lione merged with Crowell & Moring. This profile is the legacy profile for Brinks Gilson Lione.
Levenfeld Pearlstein prides itself in having an entrepreneurial atmosphere and in building strong relationships with clients. The firm launched in 1999 and practices across nine main areas: Community Association, Corporate, Financial Services and Restructuring, Intellectual Property, Labor and Employment, Litigation, Real Estate, Tax, and Trusts and Estates. Efficiency and responsiveness are key to the firm's core values.
Small but mighty, Miller Shakman Levine & Feldman has a bench of 15 litigators. The firm was founded in 1946 by Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg and Carl Devoe. Today, this litigation boutique subscribes to the motto "Exceptional. Tenacious. Effective." The firm's clients range from Fortune 100 companies to individuals and also include law firms and lawyers.
McAndrews, Held & Malloy is an IP boutique in the Windy City, with a team of attorneys, patent agents, and technology experts who handle high-stakes, complex IP litigation and billions of dollars of IP transactions. McAndrews takes pride in its ability to not just hire great attorneys, but also to keep them. More than 70 percent of the firm’s attorneys have spent their entire legal career at the firm, and this includes some who have been with the firm since its inception in 1988.
Headquartered in Chicago, Marshall, Gerstein & Borun is an intellectual property firm that works with clients on six continents. The firm has participated in numerous Supreme Court cases related to IP law since its founding in 1955 and has been recognized as a leader in its field by major publications. Firm attorneys hold degrees in science or engineering—in addition to their juris doctorates—to ensure the best possible representation for their clients.
With a bench of experienced trial lawyers, Goldman Ismail is a litigation boutique with Midwestern roots and a national reach. The firm has around 30 lawyers who focus on five main practice areas: antitrust, commercial, intellectual property, products liability, and science. Goldman Ismail eschews traditional industry models and instead operates with an inverted partner model. The firm also uses alternative fee arrangements rather than a billable-hour model.
Much Shelist is a full-service firm with offices in Chicago and Newport Beach, California. Founded in 1970 by lawyer-friends Morrie Much and Michael Shelist, the firm has grown to about 100 attorneys strong today. Don't let the firm's small size fool you—the stats show that the firm can churn through high-value business transactions at an impressive pace.
McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff is an intellectual property law firm with offices in Illinois and California. The firm's client list includes Fortune 100 companies, midsize companies, startups, and academic institutions. MBHB attorneys are experienced in the procurement, licensing, enforcement, and defense of patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and unfair competition actions in a number of technological disciplines and product categories, including biotechnology, business methods, chemical, electrical, mechanical and materials, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, software, and telecommunications.
Hailing from the Windy City, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth was founded in 1995. This litigation boutique has a strong product liability practice and also focuses on such areas as insurance defense, professional liability, and more. Lawyers at the firm are no strangers to the courtroom, and DBMS has amassed a trove of honors for its work.
Midsize firm Gold & Ratner opened its doors in Chicago in the 1930s. Close to 50 lawyers practice at the firm, which prides itself in its generalist approach through which lawyers work across myriad legal areas. Among the industries the firm serves are cannabis, construction, entertainment, financial services, hospitality, real estate, and telecommunications—to name some.