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shakman Mr. Shakman serves as lead counsel in a wide range of litigation including corporate, contractual, commercial and partnership disputes, professional liability matters, construction disputes and arbitrations, antitrust, trade regulation and product liability litigation. He has also served as lead counsel for public bodies and private citizens in litigation involving governmental actions across a wide range of subjects.
Mr. Shakman frequently represents attorneys, law firms and other professionals in partnership and professional responsibility matters. He may be best known for the federal court Shakman Decrees, which have enjoined patronage hiring and firing of public employees in Chicago and Illinois.

Selected Engagements

  • Defended law firms against allegations of transactional and litigation legal malpractice. These matters have involved lawsuits, arbitrations and mediations.
  • Represented lawyers and law firms in matters involving legal ethics, disciplinary proceedings, professional responsibility and lawyer mobility.
  • Defended parties in antitrust litigation involving price fixing, territorial allocations and related claims in direct and class action litigation.
  • Represented directors and special litigation committees of corporate boards in responding to shareholder litigation.
  • Represented international energy industry contractor in state and federal court litigation involving power plant construction, ownership disputes and environmental remediation work.
  • Represented bankruptcy trustee in bankruptcy court proceedings and related matters removed to the District Court.
  • Represented investors in broadcasting industry disputes involving accounting issues, RICO and allegations of fraud.
  • Represented purchasers and sellers of business entities in a wide range of disputes.
  • Served as Special Assistant Illinois Attorney General in representing state governmental agencies in disputes over land use and operations, including representation of the State of Illinois in disputes with the City of Chicago over the closure of Chicago’s Meigs Field airport.


  • B.A., University of Chicago, 1962.
    Graduated with honors
  • M.A., University of Chicago, 1963.
  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 1966.
    Graduated cum laude
    Order of the Coif
    Managing Editor and Articles Editor, University of Chicago Law Review


  • Admitted to the Illinois Bar, 1966.
  • Law clerk to the Hon. Walter V. Schaefer, Justice, Illinois Supreme Court, 1966-1967.
  • Associate with this firm, 1967-1972; became a partner in 1972.
    Chair, Professional Responsibility Committee, Chicago Bar Association, 2007-2008.
  • Chair, Professional Responsibility Opinion Subcommittee, Chicago Bar Association, 2006-2007.
  • Member, Advisory Committee for the Law Governing Lawyers, American Law Institute.


  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Former Board member, Chicago Council of Lawyers
  • American Law Institute
  • Former board member and former chair, Institute for Psychoanalysis
  • Former Assistant Editor, American Bar Association, Litigation Journal

Selected Publications