Courtney is an experienced commercial, business, and employment litigator with a lengthy record of success in bench and jury trials. He represents employers, companies, executives, and officers in a broad range of industry sectors. Courtney’s clients have included hedge funds, their founders and valued employees, private equity firms, property managers, major food producers, manufacturers, retailers, and fine art collectors, among others.

Clients have described his litigation style as deliberate, considered, and tenacious. Courtney prides himself on truly understanding each client’s business and objectives, and presenting complex issues in a relatable way to judges and juries.

Before joining Michael Best, Courtney was a partner in a Chicago litigation boutique firm for many years. In his early career, Courtney was an associate at a top New York firm, where he was part of a team that tried a ten-week jury trial in the Eastern District of New York against the five major tobacco companies.  


Highlights from Courtney’s trial practice include the following:

Labor and Employment:

  • Defended a major food producer in Fair Labor Standards Act and Illinois Minimum Wage Law collective and class actions. The producer won on summary judgment, and the judgment was affirmed on appeal.
  • Represented the officer and owner of a food producer in a suit against the company for breach of a retirement and termination agreement.
  • Represented the former CEO of a Chicago food producer in her suit against the company for breach of a settlement agreement. The client won on summary judgment, and the food producer did not appeal.  
  • Successfully represented the former CEO of a construction company in his suit to force his former company to comply with the stock buy-out provisions of a shareholders’ agreement.  
  • Successfully represented a Chicago-based hedge fund in claims for breach of contract and fraud.
  • Defended the founder of a hedge fund against claims for breach of contract brought by his former partner.
  • Defended a major food producer against allegations of age and pregnancy discrimination. 
  • Regularly counsels employers regarding their potential rights and liabilities arising from restrictive covenants signed by their employees, former employees, and prospective employees.
  • Regularly counsels employers regarding the negotiation and drafting of termination agreements.

Real Estate:

  • Successfully represented the owner of a downtown Chicago hotel in connection with a dispute over payment for the construction of a multi-million dollar parking garage.  
  • Advocated for a regional property management company in its suit for tortious interference related to 10 property management agreements.  The management company won after a three-week jury trial.
  • Represented the landlord of a downtown Chicago office building in a lease dispute with one of its anchor tenants regarding the tenant’s alleged overpayment of operating expenses.
  • Represented a parking lot operator in a business license dispute with the City of Chicago.

Trade Secrets:

  • Successfully defended a New York-based private equity firm against claims arising from the sale of one of the firm’s portfolio companies. The plaintiff alleged that the sale price of the company had been wrongfully inflated through the use of allegedly misappropriated trade secrets. All such claims were dismissed.
  • Defended a technology firm against claims of trade secret misappropriation. The lawsuit was favorably resolved, with no payout from the client to the plaintiff.
  • Successfully defended the president of a major manufacturer against claims for misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duty brought by the company.  The lawsuit was favorably resolved, with no payout from the client to the plaintiff. 
  • Successfully defended the founder and owner of a start-up employment benefits firm against claims for trade secret misappropriation brought by his former employer.

Other Business Disputes:

  • Represented a New York-based private equity firm in a contract dispute versus a German equipment manufacturer, which had refused to return a multimillion dollar deposit upon termination of a supply contract. After successfully establishing jurisdiction over the German company in Illinois, the conflict was favorably resolved before any significant litigation had commenced. 
  • Represented the operator of a data center in claims against its maintenance service provider arising from the catastrophic breakdown of essential power equipment.  
  • Obtained favorable settlements for five former clients of a securities broker who misappropriated over $100 million from several dozen of his clients, while misrepresenting that the broker’s clients’ accounts had grown to approximately $275 million in value.
  • Successfully defended a major international retailer in an arbitration against a breach of contract claim brought a Chinese manufacturer.

Honors & Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Commercial Litigation, 2023

Professional Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association


Bar Admissions

Court Admission



Bar Admissions

Court Admission

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