Louis D. Bernstein







Lou began his practice of law in New York in 1984 prior to moving to Chicago, where he became an equity partner at Gould & Ratner in 1992.  He also held the same position at Neal, Gerber, & Eisenberg and Much Shelist, prior to forming the Bernstein Law Firm in 2009. During those formative years, Lou garnered experience representing clients throughout the United States, in complex civil litigation matters before trial courts, arbitration panels, mediators, and numerous state and federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Lou also served as chairman of the litigation department and governing bodies of several of those firms. However, large firm politics and adherence to the bottom line took its toll. As Lou liked to joke, “I could not wait to get out of the office and into court for some peace and quiet.” Lou then decided to build upon his experience and open his own law firm to better represent his clients and provide a work environment more conducive to relationship building and fostering collegiality among the attorneys and staff of the firm.


Over the years Lou has primarily focused his area of expertise on complex civil litigation matters. The breadth of these representations has run from a multitude of real estate developers in the Chicagoland area, the Crown family, class action defense for Bumble Bee Foods and JP Morgan Chase, franchise litigation on behalf of Pepperidge Farm and in the fashion industry, most prominently, Tom Ford, AG Jeans and Carine Roitfeld. Some highlights include:

·  Successful resolution on behalf of developers of Block 37 in $300  million lawsuit, including appellate practice in both the Illinois Appellate Court and Illinois Supreme Court.

·  Obtaining dismissal with prejudice on all counts in putative class action lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase, which included a successful defense of the appeal before the Illinois Appellate Court.

·  Obtaining dismissal of putative class action lawsuit in Federal Court against Bumble Bee Foods.

·  Successful resolution of franchise litigation on behalf of Pepperidge Farm, including appellate practice before the Illinois Appellate Court.

·  Obtaining entry of court order, in excess of $30 million, authorizing the sale of defendants’ interests in over 50 different companies.

·  Representation of several Chicago business institutions, and Chevron Energy, in delicate trade secret violation litigation matters.

·  Aside from the pro bono services that the Bernstein Law Firm takes pride in, and being appointed guardian ad litem for abused children through Chicago Volunteer Services, Lou has served on the board of directors for the Oisktrakh Symphony Orchestra and the Mankind Project Chicago, where he is Chairman Emeritus.



Hofstra University School of Law (J.D. 1983)

Indiana University (B.A.1980), Magna Cum Laude



New York

U.S. District Court of Illinois for the Northern District of Illinois

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. Supreme Court


Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

  • State of Illinois v. Chiplease, Inc. (Case no. 11-1633, 7th Cir. 2013)
  • Wachovia Securities, LLC v. Leon Greenblatt, Ill 674 F. 3d 743 (7th Cir. 2012)
  • In re Resource Technology Corp., 624 F. 3d 376 (7th Cir. 2010)
  • In re South Beach Securities, Inc., 606 F. 3d 366 (7th Cir. 2010)
  • Illinois Investment Trust No. 92-7163. American Grading Company, 562 F. 3d 824 (7th Cir. 2009)
  • Freeman United Coal Mining Company v. Office of Workers’ Compensation Program, 999 F. 2d 291 (7th Cir. 1993)
  • Freeman United Coal Mining Company v. Benefits Review Board, 942 F. 2d 414 (7th Cir. 1991)
  • Chastain v. Freeman United Coal Mining Company, 919 F .2d 485 (7th Cir. 1990)
  • Poole v. Freeman United Coal Mining Company, 897 F. 2d 888 (7th Cir. 1990)
  • Freeman United Coal Mining Company v. Benefits Review Board, 879 F. 2d 245 (7th Cir. 1989)

Illinois Appellate Court

  • Jane Doe v. John Doe (Case No. 1-17-0078, 1st Dist. 2017 (pending))
  • Jane Doe v. John Doe (Case No. 1-17-0339, 1st Dist. 2017 (dismissed on 5/31/17))
  • Jane Doe v. John Doe (Case No. 1-17-0937, 1st Dist. 2017 (dismissed on 3/16/17))
  • 2201-09 Development, LLC v. Yaroslav Kot (Case No. 16-2236, 1st Dist. 2017 (reversed 12.11.2017))
  • Ukrainian Builders Union, LLC v. 2800 W. North Condominium Association (Case No. 17-1343, 1st Dist. 2017 (dismissed 12.1.17))
  • 401 Properties Inc. v. 401 LaSalle General Partner, LLC (Case No. 17-0778, 1st Dist. 2017 (pending))
  • Northbrook Bank and Trust v. Green & Kenzie Property Corp., 2015 IL App (1st) 14-0427-U
  • McKeever v. Pepperidge Farm, Inc. 2014 IL App (2nd) 131093-U
  • Bank of America v. Laurance H. Freed, et al., 971 N.E. 2d 1087 (1st Dist. 2012)
  • Bank of America v. Laurance H. Freed, et al., 983 N.E. 2d 509 (1st Dist. 2012)
  • Akinyemi v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 908 N.E. 2d 163, 330 Ill. App 3d 334 (1st Dist. 2009)
  • Heller v. Link (Case No. 07-1454, decision issued May 27, 2008)
  • Revolution Portfolio, LLC v. Beale, 332 Ill. App 3d 595, 774 N.E. 2d 14 (1st Dist. 2002)
  • Pronto Two, Ltd. v. Tishman Speyer Monroe Venture, 274 Ill. App. 3d 624, 653 N.E. 2d 1327 (1st Dist. 1995)
  • Elipas Enterprises, Inc. v. Silverstein, 243 Ill. App. 3d 230, 612 N.E. 2d 9 (1st Dist. 1993)
  • In Re Riverwoods Park Dist., 247 Ill. App 3d 702, 617 N.E. 2d 464 (2d Dist. 1993)


Illinois Super Lawyers® – 2016-2017

Member of Illinois Leading Lawyers® – 2015-2017


Northwestern Law School

Real Estate Finance: Debt and Equity

Considerations in Real Estate Transactions

November, 2011

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Restructuring Strategies, Aspatore, Looking for Out of the Box Solutions for Real Estate Developer Chapter 11 Clients

July, 2010


Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, on behalf of abused children