Louis D. Bernstein







Lou personally represents high-profile families, entrepreneurs, real estate developers, and international banking companies in state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout the United States, including before the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, and Illinois and New York intermediate appellate courts. He is known for his aggressive advocacy on behalf of his clients, his track record of litigation success, and his “leave no stone unturned” approach to lawyering. Lou’s skills are matched only by his extensive knowledge of business and finance law and practice. As a Certified Mediator and Arbitrator with the Center for Conflict Resolution, he also knows well the value of minimizing conflict so that his clients can get back to their business – whether that is growing their start-up or running their multi-million dollar corporations. The results for Lou’s clients speak for themselves.

A cornerstone of the Bernstein Law Firm is Lou’s belief that the best lawyers are those who develop strong relationships with their clients. Lou has built his reputation on this foundation. He has become dedicated counsel to some of the country’s most affluent individuals and to the world’s fastest growing companies. Lou’s notable cases and successful outcomes include:

  • Defeating claims against a natural resources company based on a long-term contract valued at $300 million.
  • Winning dismissal with prejudice on all counts in a putative class action lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase.
  • Defending Pepperidge Farm in sensitive litigation brought by one of its distributors.
  • Current representation of high-profile regional real estate developers, including Friedman Properties and the owners and tenants of Chicago’s “Block 37”.
  • Defending the owner of a Caribbean island against numerous conflicting claims in several states and federal court.
  • Defeating claims of trade secret violations by Exelon Corp. against Chevron Energy related to multi-employee switch
  • Increasing our client’s ownership interest in a family-owned company, securing both a severance package and real property for our client– andensuring her continued control of the company for an additional term.
  • Winning a judgment of more than $500,000 for an indigent widow against fraudulent home repair scam artists.
  • Successful representation of a major charitable foundation in its claims against a securities firm, resulting in substantial restitution.

Lou is Chairman Emeritus of The Mankind Project International and a member of The Executives’ Club of Chicago. He is a featured speaker and regular panelist on timely issues of business, banking, real estate, and finance law at legal and business conferences around the country and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Northwestern University School of Law.


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

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



Illinois Supreme Court

New York

New York Supreme Court

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. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana

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 (pending))
  • Ukrainian Builders Union, LLC v. 2800 W. North Condominium Association (Case No. 17-1343, 1st Dist. 2017 (pending))
  • 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)


Member of Illinois Leading Lawyers


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


Chicago Volunteer Legal Services on behalf of abused children