About Steven

Focused, reasonable and thoughtful trial and litigation counsel

Steven Hunter is an experienced trial lawyer with first-chair experience representing companies in the U.S. and abroad and 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 non-compete 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 United States 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 Inc. (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. Mr. Hunter focuses a significant amount of his practice on navigating the complexities of crossborder disputes. I
  • 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 United States.
    • 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 the 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

  • Illinois State Bar Association "2012 Young Lawyer of the Year"
  • 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)
  • Public Interest Convocation Award" Loyola University Chicago School of Law (2010)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers® (2014-present: Business Litigation)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers® "Rising Stars" (2009-2013: Business Litigation)
  • "40 Illinois Attorneys under 40 to Watch," Law Bulletin Publishing Company, Chicago Lawyer Magazine and The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (2008)
  • Chicago Bar Association "Maurice Weigle Exceptional Young Lawyer Award" (2006)
  • "National Pro Bono Associate Award" DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, US LLP (2006)
  • "Chicago Office Pro Bono Associate of the Year" DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, US LLP (2005)
  • Chicago Volunteer Legal Service Foundation "Distinguished Service Award" (2004)
  • "National Pro Bono Associate Award" Piper Rudnick, LLP (2003)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • Quarles & Brady National Diversity Committee
  • American Bar Foundation, fellow
  • The Economic Club of Chicago, member
  • Chicago United, member
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, fellow
  • Brown University Club of Chicago, member
  • Quarles & Brady National Diversity Committee
  • Art Institute of Chicago, co-chair, leadership advisory council; ex officio member of board of trustees
  • Museum of Science and Industry, vice chair, president of the President's Council, ex officio member of board of trustees
  • Boy Scouts of America, Inc., Northeast Illinois Council (NEIC), general counsel
  • Chicago Child Care Society, board member
  • Delta Research and Education Fund, board of directors
  • Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Committee, hearing officer
  • Iona Calhoun School of Classical Ballet, Inc., board member
  • The Chicago Sinfonietta, former board member
  • HealthConnect One, Inc., former board member
  • Chinatown Legal Clinic, former clinic co-chairman
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., member, Chicago Alumni Chapter
  • Chicago Bar Association, former chairman of committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity
  • The Chicago Bar Foundation, former member of the Young Professionals board
  • Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, Inc., former board member and clinic chairman
  • National Bar Association, member
  • Illinois State Bar Association, member
  • New York State Bar Association, member
  • Chicago Committee on Minorities In Large Law Firms, former associate's committee member
  • Asian Legal Services Clinic, former clinic chairman
  • 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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