Eric N. Macey


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Eric N. Macey is a founding partner of Novack and Macey LLP, a sophisticated business litigation boutique.  Eric is considered one of the country’s top commercial litigators.  He is consistently rated as one of the top 100 Lawyers in Illinois per Super Lawyers, is recognized by Chambers USA for commercial litigation, and is repeatedly named on the “Best Lawyers of America” list for commercial and real estate litigation, and has twice been selected as the “Best Lawyer” in Chicago for Real Estate Litigation (2017/2019).

Since its inception in 1984, Novack and Macey LLP has built a national practice involving complex business litigation and litigation counseling.  His clients consist of a wide range of business corporations and institutions, investment ventures, partnerships and individuals.  Among other clients, Eric has represented or currently represents International Game Technology, Groupon, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., Sears Holdings Management Corporation, Medline Industries, Inc., Kohler Co., Sunoco Logistics, L.P., Yahoo! Inc., General Growth Properties, Inc., Constellation Energy Group, Mirant Corporation, Central Purchasing LLC, North American Corporation of Illinois, Checker Taxi Association, Inc., The Lurie Co., GES Exposition Services, Inc., Travelweb LLC, McDonald’s Corporation, affiliates of Time Inc., Hyatt Corporation, ExxonMobil Corporation, and Harbor Freight Tools.

Although he is always happy to see a client’s case through to a successful settlement short of trial, Eric is most at home in the courtroom. He has extensive trial experience in state and federal courts throughout the country and has acted as both an arbitrator and mediator in various alternative dispute resolution settings. In the past several years he has obtained:

  • Multimillion dollar jury verdict in federal court for a Chinese manufacturer against a manufacturer’s representative for fraud, breach of contract and defamation;
  • Decision in federal court against Walgreens for unjust enrichment on behalf of a manufacturer;
  • Denial of a motion for class certification by a consumer against an internet service company for an alleged violation of a state’s right to publicity act;
  • Summary judgment for an internet gaming company on copyright owner’s theory seeking billions under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act;
  • Obtained summary judgment plus attorneys' fees against a national bank on behalf of the landlord in a commercial lease dispute;
  • A resounding victory in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois obtaining dismissal of a four-count class-action complaint against their client, Double Down Interactive, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Game Technology PLC (IGT);
  • A judgment for a publicly traded master limited partnership against a former executive’s claim for post-termination equity;
  • An arbitration award for the owner of a Michigan Avenue property, finding no substantial completion as alleged by the developer;
  • A reduction of a $1.75 million punitive damages award to $65,000 by the Illinois Supreme Court;
  • A $70 million judgment against a pharmaceutical company in a royalty payment dispute;
  • A multi-million dollar judgment for the nation’s largest wholesale power producer after a bench trial;
  • An arbitration award restraining $100+ million litigation in Guatemala against a U.S. domestic power wholesaler, which was confirmed by the federal court in Washington, D.C.;
  • A settlement agreement for a regional transmission organization in a $50 million energy market dispute with hedge funds;
  • A damages award against an insurance company for breach of the duty to defend;
  • An $8 million judgment in a stock buy-out suit for Gerry Kenny, former CEO of Kenny Construction Company;
  • A judgment for his client at the close of plaintiff’s case for a $10 million breach of warranty claim on large power generators;
  • An injunction for an Internet travel service against Orbitz for breach of contract;
  • A jury verdict in federal court in Chicago to rescind his client’s multi-million purchase of fake antique statues;
  • A favorable multi-million dollar settlement of lender liability litigation;
  • A multi-million dollar judgment against a corporation and its president for bilking the federal government;
  • A successful result defending a senior Fortune 500 executive in claims by his former employer; and
  • A successful defense at trial in federal court in Chicago for a corporation’s board of directors against claims by shareholders for breach of fiduciary duty and shareholder oppression.

For many years, Eric has been an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University School of Law teaching courses in Trial Advocacy and Discovery, and has been an instructor with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.

Eric is a member of the Chicago and American Bar Associations, and selected as a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers.  He is a current officer and past President (2007-2009) of the Chicago-Lincoln American Inn of Court.  He has also been selected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and is ranked as a Preeminent Attorney, the highest Peer Review Rating of the Martindale-Hubbell lawyer rating service.  He has been chosen as a Leading Lawyer by Leading Lawyers Magazine annually since 2004.  He is a member of the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Abraham Lincoln Circle of Justice, a prestigious group of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals who support the long-term sustainability of the Foundation’s mission.

Eric is also a past Chairman of The Posse Foundation in Chicago and was a member of its National Board.  The Posse Foundation identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes.  The Foundation extends to these students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams (“Posses”) of 10 students.  The Foundation’s partner universities award Posse Scholars four-year, full tuition leadership scholarships. 


  • Princeton University (A.B. 1973), Magna Cum Laude
  • Annenberg School of Communications, University of Pennsylvania (M.A. 1975), full tuition scholarship; research scholarship
  • George Washington University Law School (J.D. 1978), High Honors, Order of the Coif; member, George Washington Law Review

Speeches & Publications

  • Speaker, "How to Manage and Resolve Complex Commercial Disputes: A Practical Guide," The Knowledge Group, August 20, 2020.
  • Speaker, "How to Effectively Use Expert Testimony to Prove Damages in Commercial Litigation: Winning Strategies for 2020," The Knowledge Group, April 30, 2020.
  • Speaker, "Force Majeure and the Effect of COVID-19 on Real Estate Contracts," RE Journals, April 8, 2020.
  • "TCPA Opinion Highlights Strategies For Avoiding Class Claims," Law360, August 12, 2019.  View PDF.
  • Speaker, "Lost Profits in Commercial Litigation: How to Effectively Prove and Defend Damages," The Knowledge Group, July 16, 2019.
  • Speaker, "The Future of Commercial and Business Litigation: Everything You Need to Know," The Knowledge Congress, December 2017.
  • "Current Trends in Consumer Class Action Litigation,” Perrin Conferences' Class Action Litigation Conference, May 2017.
  • “Knowing what’s at stake: How understanding damages is critical in commercial litigation,” Smart Business Chicago, November 2013.
  • “Getting it right: Is arbitration really the answer for resolving your business disputes?” Smart Business Chicago, September 2012. View PDF.
  • “Don’t let technology changes put you at risk,” An interview with Smart Business Chicago Online, October 5, 2011. View PDF.
  • “Building a Successful Law Career,” Speaker for the Judicial Intern OpportunityProgram (JIOP) Orientation held by the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation (2010)
  • “2009 Case Evaluation Conference,” Panelist for Law Bulletin Seminars (2009)
  • Arbitration: Issues & Drafting,” Presentation for the Corporation & Business Law Committee of The Chicago Bar Association (2009)
  • “What Every Corporate Lawyer Needs to Know About Valuing a Private Business,” Presentation for The Chicago Bar Association (2006)
  • Co-author, “Are Your Attorney-Client Retention Agreements Enforceable?” CBA Record, January 2001
  • “Appeals Court Warns A New Retainer Agreement Pitfall,”
  • “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,” USA Today,v.130, no.2676, p. 28, Sept. 2001
  • “The Collateral Estoppel Effect of Administrative Agency Actions in Federal Civil Litigation,” 46 George Washington Law Review, 65 (1977)

Representative Cases

  • Dancel v. Groupon, Case No. 18 C 2027, 2019 WL 1013562 (N.D. Ill. March 4, 2019).
  • PNC Bank v. LLJ Retail Ventures 5, LLC and YGDAL, LLC, Case No. 14 CH 10836 (Circuit Court of Cook County, Sept. 30, 2016).  View PDF
  • Phillips v. Double Down Interactive, LLC, Case No. 15 C 04301 (N.D. Ill. March 25, 2016). View PDF
  • Sunny Handicraft Ltd. v. Envision This!, LLC, Case No. 1:14-cv-1512 (N.D. Ill. Sep. 16, 2015).
  • Sunoco Partners, LLC v. Ronald A. Russo, Case No. 12-03342 (Chester County (Penn.) Ct. of Common Pleas, Nov. 15, 2013). View PDF.
  • Kathleen Lawlor v. North American Corp. of Illinois, 2012 WL 4950860 (Ill. 2012). View PDF.
  • Gerard M. Kenny v. Kenny Industries, 406 Ill. App. 3d 56 (2010). View PDF.
  • Pentech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Par Pharmaceutical, Inc., 597 F. Supp. 2d 758 (N.D. Ill. 2009). View PDF.
  • PJM Interconnection, LLC v. Gorton, et al., Case No. 1:08-cv-216 (D. Del.) (filed April 16, 2008).
  • Mirant Americas Energy Marketing LP v. 1st Rochdale Co-op. Group, Ltd., 363 F. Supp. 2d 679 (S.D.N.Y. 2005). View PDF.
  • Pentech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Par Pharmaceutical, Inc., No. 04 C 3149, 2004 WL 2390088 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 21, 2004). View PDF.
  • In re USinternetworking, Inc., 310 B.R. 274 (Bkrtcy. D. Md. 2004). View PDF.