Brian E. Cohen



Brian E. Cohen focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, including cases involving contract disputes, restrictive covenants, misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition, consumer class action defense, and business torts.  Brian has represented a wide range of clients, including some of the world’s largest companies to private business owners, closely held companies and startups.  He has represented and counseled clients through all phases and forms of litigation, including alternative dispute resolution, emergency injunctions, jury and bench trials, and appeals in a variety of jurisdictions in the United States.  In addition, Brian is experienced in pre-litigation counseling, helping clients navigate disputes before they end up in court.

He is a member of the firm’s Real Estate Litigation and Energy Disputes Practice Groups. For the past three years, Super Lawyers has selected Brian as an Illinois Rising Star, an honor given to fewer than 2.5 percent of all Illinois lawyers.

Notable engagements in which Brian has participated include:

  • Successfully defended various clients from suits alleging trademark infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, and violation of restrictive covenants;
  • Second-chaired a 9-day trial victory on behalf of a women-owned construction company against a Texas company and its multi-national German parent. Brian examined expert and fact witnesses from both sides;
  • Earned dismissal for Citadel LLC in a national class action captioned, In re Biozoom, Inc. Securities Litigation;
  • Earned a multi-million dollar judgment for a hotel management group in a breach of contract action;
  • Represented the world’s largest independent cost maintenance program for private business jets in various business disputes;
  • Represented a Chicago music club, concert and festival promotion company in various contract-based business disputes.
  • Successfully defended a major law firm in an alleged malpractice action — the plaintiffs were convinced to voluntarily dismiss their claims during discovery.

Brian graduated cum laude in 2010 from Northwestern University Law School where he served as Note and Comment Editor of the Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy. He also completed a judicial externship with Illinois Northern District Judge Wayne Andersen and served as a law clerk in the Illinois Attorney General’s Civil Appeals Division. Brian was certified as a mediator by the Center for Conflict Resolution and mediated cases in the court system.

Brian currently serves as a member of the Northwestern University School of Law’s Center for Practice Engagement and Innovation, and has been a visiting guest lecturer for the school’s Professional Organization, Team Advancement and Leadership program, an orientation program designed to teach incoming law students about the core professionalism values integral to the legal profession.

Brian holds a master’s degree in American History from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree in American history from Northwestern University.

Brian was previously an associate with Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP. Before attending law school, he was a high school teacher at Highland Park High School and Ida Crown Jewish Academy. He volunteers as the Director of Grants for the Board of the Evanston School Children’s Clothing Association. Brian resides in Evanston with his wife Lindsay and three sons.


  • Northwestern University, B.A. American History, 1999
  • DePaul University, M.A. American History, 2006
  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 2010

Speeches & Publications

  • “Are Handshake Deals Still Good,”, The Midwest’s Leading Source for Commercial Real Estate News, January 27, 2015.
  • “An Order to Compel Arbitration Is Not Appealable,” Case Note on Johnson v., No. 11-57184, 2014 WL 1085078 (9th Cir. Mar. 20, 2014), American Bar Association Section of Litigation Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Website, May 6, 2014. View PDF.
  • “Arbitration vs. mediation: How alternative dispute resolution can take the place of litigation,” Smart Business Chicago, January 2014. View PDF.