Erik J. Ives

Erik Ives is a capital partner in the Litigation and Employment Law Groups. His practice involves representing clients in all phases of commercial litigation at the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts, as well as in arbitration proceedings. This includes representative cases involving breach of contract; breach of fiduciary duty; fraud; antitrust; negligence and privacy claims; employment-related actions; insurance coverage disputes; investment and securities actions; white collar claims and investigations; minority shareholder disputes; commercial landlord-tenant disputes; and class and collective actions. Erik also has experience representing clients in a broad range of bankruptcy proceedings. Among Erik’s other areas of focus, he has:

  • Significant experience representing companies and executives in the negotiation, documentation and enforcement of employment contracts, including with respect to confidentiality, non-solicitation, non-compete and restrictive covenant agreements.
  • Successfully represented commercial property owners in a variety of real estate disputes, including breach of contract cases, forcible entry and detainer actions, contractor and mechanic’s lien claims, and post-judgment collection proceedings.
  • Successfully represented corporate clients in multiple bankruptcy matters arising with respect to the prosecution of claims against the estate, creditors and related parties, and the defense of litigation claims arising in bankruptcy adversary proceedings.
  • Representation of pharmaceutical manufacturers in connection with a variety of matters, including multiple internal and government investigations involving healthcare fraud and abuse.

In addition to his litigation practice, Erik serves as outside general counsel for a number of start-up, emerging growth and middle-market companies operating in a broad range of industries. In this capacity, Erik routinely provides representation and counseling to clients in a wide variety of commercial, contracting and employment-related matters.

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.

  • Represents and counsels multiple start-up, emerging growth and middle market companies in the role of outside general counsel in a wide variety of commercial, contracting and employment-related matters.
  • 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 a variety of real estate disputes, including breach of contract cases, forcible entry and detainer actions, contractor and mechanic’s lien claims, and post-judgment collection proceedings.
  • Successfully represented multiple companies in defending against minority shareholder/member actions, and also successfully represented minority shareholders/members in prosecution of the same.
  • Successfully represented affiliates of litigation finance provider in multiple bankruptcy disputes arising with respect to the distribution of litigation proceeds.
  • Defended Fortune 500 department store chain against nationwide class action claims alleging consumer fraud and breach of warranty arising from the sale of certain products, resolved through a favorable settlement prior to trial.
  • Successfully represented global single-source warranty provider in connection with the defense and/or prosecution of multiple commercial litigation matters.
  • Defended CEO of asset management firm against securities and investment claims brought by former employees against the company and certain board members. Along with co-counsel for the company and other board members, successfully obtained dismissal of all claims with prejudice at motion to dismiss stage.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Defended mid-size bank in action brought by loan participant related to the bank’s sale of foreclosed property. Obtained dismissal of claims seeking injunctive relief to enjoin the pending sale, and favorable settlement of remaining claims.
  • Represented former executive in action against publicly traded aerospace company involving multiple claims related to wrongful forfeiture of employment benefits and discrimination claims. Also represented former executive and additional former employees (and their current employer) in defending against alleged counterclaims arising from formation and operation of a start-up aerospace company.
  • Successfully defended major insurance institution in negligence action related to the issuance of variable annuity contracts by obtaining dismissal at pleading 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 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. Also represented client as co-author of brief in successful opposition to appeal of interlocutory order to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
  • Successfully represented multiple pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in internal and federal investigations and qui tam litigation regarding alleged False Claims Act (FCA) and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations.
  • 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 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).

From 2016 – 2021, Erik was selected to the list of Illinois Rising Stars, a list published by Super Lawyers, and since 2022, he has been selected to the list of Illinois Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers and Rising Stars use 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 lists of Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars make up 5 and 2.5 percent, respectively, of lawyers in Illinois to receive the distinctions.

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.

  • “Fourth Circuit Confirms Commission-Based Formula for Trustee Compensation,” National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees – N. Neville Reid and contributing author Erik J. Ives
  • “At-Will Employment Not Enough: Two Years Of Continued Employment Or Additional Consideration Needed To Enforce Restrictive Covenants,” Client Alert – Erik J. Ives and Brian J. Wilson
  • “The Evolving Ethics of E-Discovery: Raising the Bar for Counsel” – Colleen M. Kenney, Jeffrey C. Sharer, Donovan S. Borvan, and contributing authors Erik Ives and Justin C. From
  • Innovation in E-Discovery Conference 2018, Lead Panelist for N.D. Ill. Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Program, Seventh Circuit Pilot Program Projects, and Federal Rules Amendment Sessions

Erik 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. He authored the merits brief and presented oral argument in a criminal appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Erik also completed a judicial externship for Honorable Judge James B. Zagel, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Erik received his B.A., with high distinction and honors, in political science from Pennsylvania State University.

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