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About Steven

Focused, reasonable and thoughtful trial and litigation counsel

Steven Hunter, an experienced trial lawyer with first-chair experience representing companies in the U.S. and abroad, is the Chicago office chair of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Group. He has handled all aspects of dispute resolution — from discovery and motions practice to arbitration, mediation, jury trials, bench trials and appeals — representing clients in a wide variety of disputes, including:

  • Commercial litigation, including cross-border and international disputes
  • Regulatory litigation
  • Construction and real estate litigation, including commercial leasing disputes
  • Trust and estate litigation
  • Personal liability litigation

Steven zeroes in early on the real pressure points in a dispute so as not to get mired in minutiae. He strives to be thoughtful and reasonable and to resolve disputes without litigation whenever possible. When litigation is necessary, though, he brings extensive courtroom experience to trial preparation and the negotiating table.

He is frequently invited to speak about trial practice, legal ethics, pro bono work and diversity in the legal profession.

Experience in Action

  • Representing public and private companies in U.S. and international disputes, including disputes among partners, shareholders and parties to joint ventures as well as ownership, breach of contract, commercial leasing, construction, warranty and other disputes and in proceedings before regulatory agencies such as the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Chicago Department of Finance (Tax). Licensed to practice in the United States and the United Kingdom, Steven has represented companies from Asia, Europe and South America in disputes around the world and has conducted arbitrations all around the world.
  • Representing financial institutions and other companies in syndicated loan, lender liability, fraud/consumer fraud, RESPA, TILA, FCRA, FDCPA and TCPA defense matters and enforcing commercial loans and guarantees (including the recovery and disposition of secured assets) in litigation over noncompete and trade secret issues.
  • Representing construction companies and managers, building owners, construction managers and trades people in construction disputes.
  • Counseling entertainers and professional athletes in a variety of disputes, including business, personal liability and probate/estate/trust litigation.
  • Leveraging his significant experience in high-volume electronically stored information (ESI) productions to manage computer forensic analysis and complex data preservation. Steven is a certified electronic discovery specialist (CEDS) and is regularly invited to speak on issues related to electronic discovery.


  • Represented clients in more than 50 arbitrations in the U.S. and abroad, including in securities claims before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and other commercial disputes before the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) and the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS), as well as others.
  • Advised a variety of jointly held businesses (e.g., partnerships, joint ventures and companies) on separations, whether amicable or not. Examples include:
    • A European manufacturer in a $26 million shareholder oppression claim brought by the minority shareholder of a jointly owned Indiana manufacturing company.
    • A U.S. health care company in a $70 million claim against the majority shareholder for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and oppression.
    • A U.S. development company in a $570 million dispute with a purchaser.
    • A European manufacturer in a $190 million dispute with its long-term distributor alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary duty related to the termination of the parties' relationship.
    • A Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) in a dispute with the majority member claiming $6 million in accounting fraud related to the jointly held airport concession business.
    • As the world becomes smaller and more companies rely on international relationships to drive business, it is important to know how (and where) to handle the inevitable dispute. Steven focuses a significant amount of his practice on navigating the complexities of cross-border disputes.
  • Guided an array of clients through complex cross-border disputes, including:
    • A chemical company from New Zealand in a dispute with its realtor related to the commission associated with moving the company's headquarters to the U.S.
    • A U.S. design company in a fraud/breach of contract dispute with a Chinese developer in an arbitration conducted in Guangzhou, China.
    • A Mexican company in a dispute with a U.S. company related to a data center lease.
    • A U.S. auto parts manufacturer in an $80 million warranty dispute against its material supplier (with simultaneous complaints filed in Connecticut, Germany and Mexico to preserve jurisdiction).
    • Assisted the U.S. State Department in the recovery of minors taken to Ireland, Mexico and Korea without their parent's permission.
  • Counseled various parties in construction disputes related to anything from design defects to construction delays, including:
    • The owner in a $7 million construction delay/defect claim brought by several trade companies.
    • The manufacturer/designer of a food conveyor system in a $20 million design/construction defect dispute.
    • A European manufacturer/engineering firm in a $70 million Kentucky dispute related to defective design and assembly of factory equipment.
  • Guided clients through a wide breadth of commercial and chancery disputes, ranging from commercial leasing to collateral recovery to managing the defense of a portfolio of mass tort litigation. Examples include:
    • The commercial tenant in a $4.5 million lease dispute with landlord related to expense allocation.
    • National associations (e.g., golf, polo, chess, literary and fraternal) in disputes related to the discipline of members.
    • Financial institutions in the enforcement of their loan documents and recovery (e.g., foreclosure and replevin) of collateral.

Professional Recognitions

  • Crain's Chicago Business "Notable Leaders in DEI" (2023)
  • Crain's Chicago Business "Notable Minorities in Accounting, Consulting and Law in Chicago" (2019)
  • Chicago United "Business Leader of Color" (2017)
  • Chicago Magazine "Top Attorneys in Illinois" (2016)
  • Michael L. Gonring "Pro Bono Partner of the Year" (2015)
  • James P. Lykes "African-American Male Image" (2015)
  • Leading Lawyers "Emerging Lawyer" (2015)
  •  Illinois State Bar Association "Young Lawyer of the Year" (2012)
  • National Bar Association "Nation's Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40" (2011)
  • Chicago Defender "Men of Excellence" (2011)
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law "Public Interest Convocation Award" (2010)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers® (2014-present: Business Litigation)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers® "Rising Stars" (2009-2013: Business Litigation)
  • Law Bulletin Publishing Company "40 Illinois Attorneys under 40 to Watch," (2008)
  • Chicago Bar Association "Maurice Weigle Exceptional Young Lawyer Award" (2006)
  • DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP "National Pro Bono Associate Award" (2006)
  • DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP "Chicago Office Pro Bono Associate of the Year" (2005)
  • Chicago Volunteer Legal Service Foundation "Distinguished Service Award" (2004)
  • Piper Rudnick LLP "National Pro Bono Associate Award" (2003)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • Quarles National DEI Committee, co-chair
  • American Bar Foundation, fellow
  • The Economic Club of Chicago, member
  • Chicago United, member
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, fellow
  • Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, general counsel, board member 
  • National Bar Association, ADR Section, board of directors 
  • Chicago Committee on Minorities In Large Law Firms, board member
  • Brown University Club of Chicago, member
  • Art Institute of Chicago, Leadership Advisory Council
  • Museum of Science and Industry, president of the President's Council, ex officio member of board of trustees
  • Boy Scouts of America Inc., Northeast Illinois Council, general counsel
  • Family Focus, board member
  • Delta Research and Education Fund, board of directors
  • Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Committee, hearing officer
  • The Chicago Sinfonietta, former board member
  • Chinatown Legal Clinic, former clinic co-chair
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Chicago Alumni chapter, member
  • Chicago Bar Association, Racial and Ethnic Diversity Committee, former chair 
  • The Chicago Bar Foundation, Young Professionals board, former member
  • Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, former board member and clinic chair
  • Illinois State Bar Association, member
  • New York State Bar Association, member
  • Asian Legal Services Clinic, former clinic chair
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals, member
  • ISBA Commercial Banking, Collections & Bankruptcy Law Council, member (2015-2016)

Commitment to Pro Bono

Steven has a long-standing commitment to giving back to his community and those in need by providing pro bono legal services. In this video, he offers perspective on what it’s like to know you’re making a real difference in someone’s life.

Published Cases

  • Corus Bank, N.A. v. Eduard De Guardiola, 593 F.Supp.2d 991 (December 17, 2008)

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