John Haarlow, Jr.



John Haarlow, Jr. is a seasoned commercial litigation attorney focusing his practice in closely held business, employment, intellectual property and financial services disputes.  He has served clients ranging from individuals to large public corporations in the real estate, consumer goods, legal, manufacturing, food and beverage and technology industries, among others.  John is co-chair of the Closely Held Businesses Practice Group.

John has significant experience in the courtroom or hearing venue -- trials, arbitration hearings and multiple successful dispositive motions and arguments.  But, he is just as comfortable at the negotiating table or handling a key deposition.  Clients turn to John to set the strategy and bring a creative approach to solving their legal problems.  He frequently manages complex, multimillion dollar cases and generates effective outcomes in keeping with client needs.  

In 2017, Law Bulletin Media selected John as one of the 40 most talented young attorneys in Illinois for 2017.  The 2017 “Forty Under 40” honorees were selected by the Law Bulletin’s publishers from over 1,500 nominated attorneys across Illinois. John was recognized for his quick wit, professionalism and dedication to his clients’ needs. His nominators described John as “stunningly effective” and “destined to be a prize litigator.”

From 2013 through 2017, Super Lawyers selected John as an Illinois Rising Star, an honor given to fewer than 2.5 percent of all Illinois lawyers. John was also selected in 2015, 2016 and 2017 as an “Emerging Lawyer” by Law Bulletin Publishing Company. Emerging Lawyers are those who are age 40 or under or have been practicing law for 10 years or less. Less than two percent of all lawyers in the State receive this distinction.

Before joining the firm, John served as a clerk for Senior District Judge Suzanne B. Conlon of the Northern District of Illinois and was an associate at Jenner and Block.

John serves as a member of the Board of the Sue Duncan Children’s Center which provides free after-school educational and recreational programming for inner-city children. He currently resides in Chicago with his wife, Courtney, and three children.


  • Princeton University (A.B. 1999)
  • University of Illinois School of Law (J.D. 2004), Summa Cum Laude, Order of the Coif; administrative editor, University of Illinois Law Review

Speeches & Publications

Representative Cases

  • Second chairing arbitration of a $3 million corporate earnout  dispute that resulted in a complete victory.
  • Second chairing a trial victory on behalf of a recording artist who was accused of breaching her recording contract.
  • Second chairing a highly expedited 60 day JAMS arbitration of a multimillion dollar contract dispute.
  • Representing one side in a series of disputes concerning the management of a number of closely-held businesses, culminating in an eight-day trial of the largest case.
  • Managing an extensive internal investigation of a potential $500 MM claim against Fortune 200 consumer goods and manufacturing company.
  • Successfully obtaining summary judgment in arbitration on behalf of a financial services company based on res judicata and release of claims in a prior settlement agreement.
  • Assisting in obtaining summary judgment for an AmLaw 100 firm on the basis that the claims asserted against it constituted a fraud on the court.
  • Helping represent a media company in successfully defeating an attempt by the Chicago Tribune to obtain a preliminary injunction over trademark rights.