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Brian P. Paul



Brian brings strategic business vision to his work representing companies engaged in employment-related disputes, both in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies. The focus of Brian’s practice is to deliver positive outcomes in litigation matters, including:

  • Class action discrimination
  • Wage and hour collective actions
  • Harassment and discrimination claims
  • Wrongful termination
  • Disability accommodations
  • Theft of trade secrets
  • Enforcement of restrictive covenants

A trusted advisor, Brian counsels a diverse range of manufacturing, logistics, government, financial and higher education clients of all sizes on labor and employment relations challenges. His expertise encompasses wage and hour compliance, reductions in force, employee leave, employment and separation agreements. He also provides counsel on employee handbooks, harassment and investigation training, and employee discipline.

Brian is former leader of Michael Best’s Advanced Manufacturing Industry Group. He is involved in state manufacturers associations of Illinois and Wisconsin and warehouse and logistics associations. A thought leader in labor and employment law, he speaks frequently at industry conferences.


Brian has a strong track record in court and administrative proceedings. He has:

  • Secured dismissal of a $100 million federal class action that challenged the classification of taxi drivers in Illinois as independent contractors. Brian argued the case successfully in both the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
  • Won federal jury trials for a major metropolitan city on claims of improper termination involving alleged violations of constitutional rights and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Both cases were before juries in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
  • Achieved dismissal of a $10 million class action discrimination finding by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against a manufacturer of auto parts
  • Obtained summary judgment on hotel employee’s claim that she was harassed and discriminated against because of her race and terminated in retaliation for complaining. Brian argued the case in both the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
  • Attained dismissal in Cook County Circuit Court of former employee’s claims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual orientation discrimination
  • Represented numerous clients before the Illinois Human Rights Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Defeated attempts by former employers to enforce non-compete agreements to prevent clients from hiring new employees and enforced non-competition agreements for clients to prevent departing employees from working for competitors
  • Counseled clients in responding to cyber-attacks by former employees
  • Conducted employment related due diligence around the purchases of companies, including the purchase of an information technology business for more than $200 million and the purchase of an international energy business for more than $125 million.
  • Provided executive succession planning for family owned businesses transitioning leadership from one generation to the next.
  • Conducted wage and hour audits, including an audit of more than 80 positions and 2,000 people for financial services client.
  • Defended against an unfair labor practice charge before the National Labor Relations Board where the warehousing client was accused of terminating an employee for supporting union activity.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Recognized Practitioner, Labor & Employment, Chambers USA, 2019
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Employment Law - Management, 2014-present
  • “40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch," Law Bulletin Publishing, 2010
  • “Illinois Rising Stars,” Super Lawyers magazine, 2008-2017

Professional Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce



Community Involvement

  • AYSO Soccer Coach, 2015-present; U9 Soccer Coach, 2015-present
  • Board of Directors, Mary Meyer School, 2011-2014; Executive Vice President, 2014-present
  • Member, The Economic Club of Chicago, 2011-present; Reception Committee, 2011-2015
  • Board of Directors, Executive Officer, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois, 2013-present; Associate Board, 2007-2012; Co-Nomination Chair (2008-2009); President-Elect, President and Past President, 2009-2012
  • President Circle Member, Chicago Botanic Garden, 2009-2012
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