Erik J. Ives

Erik J. Ives Partner


Erik J. Ives

University of Chicago Law School, J.D. (with honors, Law Review, Order of the Coif)

Pennsylvania State University, B.A. (with high distinction and honors)

Practice Areas

Northern District of Illinois



District of Columbia

Erik Ives is a partner in the Firm’s Litigation Group. His practice involves representing clients in all phases of commercial litigation at the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts. This includes representative cases involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, negligence and privacy claims, employment-related actions, white collar claims and investigations, and class and collective actions.


Erik has significant experience representing companies and executives in the negotiation, documentation and enforcement of employment contracts including with respect to confidentiality, non-solicitation and non-compete agreements. He has successfully represented commercial property owners in a variety of real estate disputes including breach of contract cases, forcible entry and retainer actions, and post-judgment collection proceedings. Erik has also represented pharmaceutical manufacturers in connection with a variety of matters, including multiple internal and government investigations involving healthcare fraud and abuse.

Additionally, Erik also maintains a great level of knowledge and experience with all aspects of electronic discovery. Pursuant to this knowledge, he has counseled corporate clients on how to efficiently and effectively manage e-discovery risks and obligations, develop applicable e-discovery policies and procedures, and successfully navigate all phases of discovery in commercial litigation.

Erik received his B.A., with high distinction and honors, in political science from Pennsylvania State University. He received his J.D., with honors, from the University of Chicago Law School, where he served on The University of Chicago Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. While at the University of Chicago, Erik received the Bell, Boyd & Lloyd prize for legal writing and the Thomas R. Mulroy prize for appellate advocacy, and authored the merits brief and presented oral argument in a criminal appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Erik also completed a judicial externship for Honorable Judge James B. Zagel, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Prior to joining Fox Swibel, Erik was an associate in the Chicago and Washington D.C. offices of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • Successfully represented multiple companies and former employees in actions related to the enforcement of post‐employment restrictive covenants, including non‐ competition, non‐solicitation, confidentiality and trade secrets provisions.
  • Successfully represented commercial property owners in landlord‐tenant disputes, including successful representation of clients in multiple forcible entry and detainer, and post‐judgment collection proceedings.
  • Represented aviation company in action against former officer related to his embezzlement of funds and usurpation of corporate opportunities, resolved through a favorable settlement prior to trial.
  • Represented former executive in action against publicly traded aerospace company involving multiple claims related to wrongful forfeiture of employment benefits and Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) claims. Also represented former executive and additional former employees (and their current employer) in defending against counterclaims for breach of fiduciary duties and breach of employment contracts based upon their planning, formation and operation of a start‐up aerospace company.
  • Co‐author of amicus brief for the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees in support of the prevailing appellant in seminal case of first impression before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on the interpretation of Bankruptcy Code trustee compensation provisions, with published opinion adopting amicus position and reasoning in full located at In re Rowe, 750 F.3d 392 (4th Cir. 2014).
  • Defended mid‐size bank in action brought by loan participant related to the bank’s sale of foreclosed property pursuant to the terms of a loan participation agreement.   Obtained dismissal of claims seeking injunctive relief to enjoin the pending sale, and favorable settlement of remaining claims.
  • Defended investment fund manager and individual director/principal against investor’s claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud, resolved through favorable settlement in mediation.
  • Defended major insurance institution in negligence action related to the issuance of variable annuity contracts.    Successfully argued and obtained dismissal of all claims with prejudice at motion to dismiss stage.
  • Represented big‐four accounting firm in defending against multiple wage and hour class and collective actions, which included coordinating affirmative and defensive discovery (including large‐scale document and ESI production) and drafting successful summary judgment filings resulting in dismissal of Fair Labor Standards Act claims (subsequently affirmed on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit).
  • Represented Fortune 100 food company in summary judgment, pre‐trial and five‐ month bench trial proceedings defending against federal and state tort and environmental claims. Pre‐trial and summary judgment motion practice resulted in successful dismissal of $1.6 billion damage claims. The trial court’s decision on claims for injunctive relief remains pending. Also represented client as co‐author of brief in opposition to appeal of interlocutory order to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which affirmed the trial court’s ruling in our favor.
  • Represented defendant pharmaceutical manufacturer in summary judgment and pre‐ trial proceedings related to FCA qui tam action arising from alleged kickbacks and off‐ label promotion, resolved through favorable settlement prior to trial.
  • Represented pharmaceutical manufacturer in internal and federal investigation regarding alleged False Claims Act (FCA) violations based on improper sales and off‐ label marketing practices.
  • In 2016 and 2017, Erik was selected to the list of Illinois Rising Stars, a list published by Super Lawyers. Rising Stars uses a patented multiphase selection process which includes peer nominations and evaluations combined with third party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys who have been selected to the list of Illinois Rising Stars make up 2.5 percent of lawyers in Illinois who have been in practice for less than ten years. These selections are made on an annual basis.

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    Erik has been named an Emerging Lawyer in commercial litigation by The Law Bulletin Publishing Company. Less than 2% of all lawyers licensed to practice law in Illinois receive this distinction.