Business Law

Choosing the proper business structure is imperative to smooth operations and a thriving enterprise.

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Commercial Litigation

Clinton Firm attorneys have extensive experience handling sophisticated business issues.

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Legal Malpractice

As a professional, the attorney owes the client a duty of due care. See how it may be subverted.

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Ethical Violations

Attorneys have heavy responsibilities. They have a duty to be competent and diligent.

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Chicago Business Litigation Lawyers

More than 50 years combined experience serving businesses throughout the Chicago area

The Clinton Law Firm is a general practice litigation firm assisting clients throughout the Chicago area in a variety of legal matters, with a particular focus on business disputes and commercial litigation issues. Established in 1992, our Chicago business litigation lawyers have been providing efficient, responsive, and cost-effective legal representation for Illinois corporations and individuals for nearly two decades.

Protecting the best interests of small businesses

Firm partners Edward X. Clinton and his son, Edward X. Clinton, Jr., founded the firm on a unique combination of professionalism, assertiveness, and personalized service. We are dedicated to promoting and protecting our clients' interests, while providing prompt, effective legal counsel. We take a results-oriented approach to the practice of law and are committed to responding swiftly to all inquiries and offering candid legal advice to every client we take.

Preeminent Illinois Business Lawyers Provide High-Quality, Cost-Effective Representation

In addition, our Chicago business litigation attorneys are dedicated to serving the community through charitable giving and sponsorships and regularly offer pro bono legal services to clients who would otherwise be without the means to obtain representation.

Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation

At The Clinton Law Firm, our attorneys put a great deal of effort into ensuring that each client receives a cost-conscious resolution to their legal problems, tailored to their particular needs. We offer flexible fee arrangements, including sometimes working on contingency. To schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case with one of our exceptional Chicago business litigation attorneys, call us at 312.357.1515 or contact us online today.

We represent clients only pursuant to a written engagement letter. The engagement letter sets forth the nature of the work and explains how we will charge for that particular matter. We do not accept any clients, or begin work for anyone who has not signed an engagement letter. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

We accept cases in the following areas:

Commercial Litigation and Business Litigation

Commercial litigation is a large category of litigation matters that consist of breach of contract, breach of employment contract, breach of non-compete agreement, breach of non-solicitation agreement. Commercial litigation can also include more complicated litigation matters such as breach of fiduciary duty litigation – a claim that a fiduciary or trustee breached a duty to a corporation, trust or estate. In some cases, commercial litigation can include claims that one party wrongfully interfered with the contract of another party - tortious interference with contract – or tortious interference with a business expectancy. These claims can be brought when a competitor or rival makes a false or derogatory claim about a business. Claims for tortious interference with a contract of business relationship can be very challenging cases to win, but we have significant experience with them.

The Business Divorce

One other major category of Business Litigation consists of disputes between business partners or between the shareholders of a business. In many cases, one party may attempt to lock out or exclude the other party from the business. The other typical scenario arises when there is a “deadlock” between two owners of the business. A deadlock usually occurs where there are two owners who each have an equal ownership in a business. The become deadlocked because they can no longer agree on how to manage the business or how to distribute profits or whether or not to seek financing. Clinton Law Firm lawyers have handed many such disputes.

If the business is an Illinois corporation, the disaffected shareholder can file a claim under 805 ILCS 5/12/56 which provides remedies for shareholders in privately held companies. The court can order one party to buy the shares of the other party. The court can also order relief to remedy the deadlock.

In the typical “business divorce” we file a lawsuit to obtain a relief for the shareholder or partner who has been locked out or excluded. In most cases, we attempt to resolve these matters before the case is tried before a judge or a jury. This can be beneficial in that it will allow our clients to keep their financial matters private and away from prying eyes of the public or the media. These are complicated and difficult cases requiring experienced lawyers.

Legal Malpractice

We are experienced in handling legal malpractice cases for both plaintiffs and defendants. A legal malpractice case is a case in which a former client sues a lawyer for damages. These cases require the plaintiff to prove that the lawyer made a mistake and that that mistake cost the plaintiff money. You can’t sue for legal malpractice if your lawyer was rude, did not return calls, or ignored you unless those actions can be traced directly to economic damages you suffered.

If you believe you have suffered as a result of a lawyer’s negligence, you should first do your best to compute the economic damages that you sustained. Then you should contact us to see if we can help you. One more thing – just because you lost your case does not mean that there was legal malpractice. It may merely mean that the other side had a better case than you had or that the jury or judge believed the other side.

Legal Ethics

Ed Clinton, Jr. has substantial experience in advising lawyers on how to handle ethical issues and dilemnas that may arise in practice. He has represented lawyers in responding to grievance letters submitted to the Illinois Attorney Regulation and Disciplinary Commission. If you received an inquiry from the ARDC do not hesitate to contact us. We can often provide valuable insight before an important decision is taken. Ed Clinton, Jr. has testified as an expert witness in legal malpractice cases.

Corporate Work

We will handle business formation and the preparation of the documents that will govern the relationship between the parties to the business. We will do our best to make sure that the partners or shareholders have a set of written rules that will allow them to resolve any disputes that may arise. The preparation of such a set of rules – sometimes known as an Operating Agreement or Shareholder’s Agreement – is essential to a successful business relationship if you ever have a dispute. Those agreements provide basic ground rules for handling disputes between owners of the business. As such, they can be extremely valuable. First, they can provide a mechanism for the corporation, LLC or partnership to purchase the interest of a retiring owner. A shareholder agreement, partnership agreement or LLC operating agreement should be carefully drafted to match the needs of each individual business or owner. While form documents are available online they often fail to provide the thoughtfulness and attention to detail that are necessary in this context. Second, the agreement can provide certain other important rules such as – preventing an owner from competing with the business or preventing an owner from soliciting employees after he departs the business.

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