Richard N. Kessler

Chicago Managing Member

Practice Focus

Professional Experience

Richard is a well versed and experienced trial attorney having tried numerous jury trials to verdict as well as more than 100 bench trials. A former prosecutor with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office, Richard brings extensive trial experience to bear in a variety of complex disputes. He has prosecuted and defended commercial cases, defended consumer class action cases and extensively litigated non-compete cases in various state and federal courts throughout the United States. Richard has been consistently recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyer since 2010 as well as being rated AV, the highest rating available, from the Martindale–Hubbell rating service.

Richard, a founding member of a prior law firm, understands the effort and stamina required to run a business, whether it be public or private, and the dynamics of litigation and its human and capital impacts on a business. Richard’s experience and knowledge, along with his skill as a listener, set Richard apart from other trial attorneys who too often work their own agenda at the expense of the client.

Richard has authored numerous articles and frequently lectures in the areas of employment agreements and the enforceability of covenants restricting competition, shareholders’ statutory rights and civil and criminal contempt. He was featured in the Crain's Chicago Business article, "Open to the public," regarding the expansion of the definition of business records under the Illinois Business Corporation Act.


  • Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D. (1982)
  • University of Illinois, B.A. (1979)

State Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • 7th Circuit Federal Trial Bar
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Professional Associations

  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Lake County Bar Association - Chair of Civil Trial and Appeals Committee
  • Jefferson Inns of Court


  • Liquidated Damages Provisions - Pigs Get Fat; Hogs get Slaughtered, January 2014, Business Advocate
  • Words are not always worth the paper they are written on, January 2014, Business Advocate
  • Ramifications for Employers and Lawyers resulting from Lawlor v. North American Corporation of Illinois, 2012 IL 112530 (Ill. 2012)  Lake County Docket, May 2013
  • E-discovery Preparation: The Rule 26(f) Conference – Knowledge is Half the Battle, The Journal, Fall 2008
  • Non-Reliance Clauses as a Bar to Fraud Claims – How to Reduce Your Risk of Liability in a Transaction, Lake County Docket, July 2007
  • The Harsh Reality of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 216 and Federal Rule 36 – Requests for Admission of Fact or of Genuineness of Documents – The Movement to Increase Flexibility in its Application, Lake County Docket, June 2006
  • Featured in the Crain's Chicago Business Article Open to the public, June 6, 2005
  • Shareholder’s Right to Inspect Books and Records under the Illinois Business Corporation Act – Lake County Docket, June 2004
  • Anatomy of a Covenant – A Look at Restrictive Covenants in Illinois, Lake County Docket, June 2003


  • How to Secure Non-Dischargeability in Bankruptcy of a settlement sum – Lake County Bar Association Civil Trial and Appeals Committee, December 2013
  • Anatomy of a Covenant – Employment Law Committee and the Civil Trial and Appeals Committee of the Lake County Bar Association, November 2012
  • Direct Examination, Young Lawyers Division of the Lake County Bar Association, October 2012
  • Prosecuting a Successful TRO – Employment Agreement Restrictive Covenants, Lake County Bar Association Spring Seminar, May 2012
  • Electronic Discovery – A Brave New World, Lake County Bar Association Spring Seminar, Lake Geneva, WI, May 2007
  • How to Protect Your Business and Employees from Walking Out The Door Through Effective Employment Agreements, University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana, February 2007
  • Illinois Supreme Court Rule 216, Requests for Admissions of Fact, Lake County Bar Association Spring Seminar, Lake Geneva, WI, May 2006
  • Shareholders' Rights Under Illinois BCA Sec 7.75, Lake County Bar Association Spring Seminar, Lake Geneva, WI, May 2004

Awards and Honors

  • Recipient of the Distinguished Member Award from the Lake County Bar Association (2012)
  • Selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers (2010-2014)
  • AV Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Voted Volunteer “Lawyer of the Year” by the Lake County Volunteer Lawyer Program (1992)
  • Honored as a Jaycee Outstanding Young Man of the Year (1984)
  • 300 N. LaSalle Street
    Suite 2100
    Chicago, IL 60654