- Business Services
- Creditors' Rights & Bankruptcy
- Electronic Information Management
- Employee Benefits
- Employment & Labor
- Intellectual Property
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois - General & Trial Bar
- U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law, 1994
B.A., Denison University, 1989
With more than 20 years of experience seeing business conflicts through trial and mediation, Thad Felton brings a trained eye for potential risks and long-term strategy to his corporate clients.
In litigation and as outside corporate counsel for a variety of national clients, Thad has handled business and complex commercial and construction matters including:
- Misappropriation of trade secrets and the enforceability of restrictive covenants
- Fraud, misrepresentation, fraudulent transfer and consumer fraud act claims
- Breach of contract claims, including issues related to interference with contract and prospective economic advantage
- Breach of fiduciary duty matters
- Construction scope and schedule disputes
- Products liability
- Declaratory judgments
- Section 1983 civil rights matters
- Creditor's rights
- Complex insurance coverage disputes, including the availability of coverage for environmental claims.
Thad has directed litigation in large commercial matters and reached favorable settlements for clients, including manufacturers and real estate brokers. As first or second chair, he has successfully tried a number of cases as well in federal and state courts.
In his role as corporate counsel, he advises business owners and executives in areas that include corporate governance, employment and personnel matters, contracts, litigation, risk management and intellectual property. He has worked with businesses to draft shareholder and operating agreements, purchase and sale agreements, confidentiality agreements, non-compete and non-solicitation agreement, employment agreements, and licensing and distribution agreements. Recently, he has helped several clients with mergers and acquisitions.
As a contributor to the firm’s blog, IMPACT | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, Thad writes about non-compete agreements, trade secrets and other topics related to the legal concerns of businesses. Thad is a member of the firm’s Board of Directors.
- American Bar Association
- Illinois Bar Association
Honors & Awards
Honors & Awards
- Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star, 2015-2019
- Illinois Leading Lawyers, Closely & Privately Held Business Law, Commercial Litigation and Trade Secrets/Unfair Competition Law, 2016
- Directed litigation in a large commercial matter in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, that involved complex breach of contract, fraud, and deceptive practices issues and hundreds of thousands of documents.
- Successfully defended a claim brought by an employer against an employee salesperson to enforce non-competition and non-solicitation clauses in an employment agreement. The court ruled that both restrictive covenants were unenforceable.
- Enforced non-competition and non-solicitation clauses in an employment agreement against a physician who was terminated from a practice group. The court upheld both restrictive covenants.
- Defended a large international manufacturer's representative in a trade secret case in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey. Although damaging evidence was uncovered during discovery, the case was settled on favorable terms for the client.
- Represented the owner of a prominent high-end hotel chain in a dispute with its general contractor regarding overages.
- Obtained a $42.5 million settlement in an environmental insurance coverage matter on behalf of a bankruptcy trustee.
- Defended a motor coach manufacturer in product liability litigation resulting from catastrophic accidents throughout the United States.
- Represented owners in a dispute with general and subcontractors regarding deficiencies in the design of a medical office building, specifically involving the design of the HVAC system, the plumbing system, and the humidity controls for the MRI room.
- Successfully represented a regional multiple listing service as plaintiff in a breach of contract and false advertising action and defended it as a counter-defendant in an antitrust claim in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The defendant entered into an agreed injunction, paid monetary damages and dismissed the antitrust counterclaim.
- Negotiated settlement terms favorable to a national real estate brokerage firm in a breach of non-solicitation agreement against a former office manager.
- Successfully represented real estate brokers in 50-plus matters concerning allegations of fraud, consumer fraud, negligence and violation of the Illinois Real Estate License Act. Most matters were dismissed on motion practice or settled for under $10,000 (“cost of defense” settlements).
- Successfully barred plaintiff's damages expert through motions in limine from testifying at trial in a mold/property damage case which led to plaintiff lowering its settlement demand from the high six-figure range to the mid five-figure range. Case was settled before trial for less than cost of defense.
- First-chaired a jury trial in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois representing three plaintiffs in a Section 1983 action. Jury awarded plaintiffs the full amount of damages sought, which was in the high six-figure range.
- First-chaired a bench trial in Cook County, Illinois, representing the plaintiff in a breach of a partnership agreement dispute. The judge awarded the full amount of relief sought, about $250,000.
- Second-chaired jury trial in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois representing a minor plaintiff in a section 1981 and 1982 action. Jury awarded damages in a high six-figure range.
- Second-chaired two-month jury trial in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa representing a commercial client in a Lanham Act case. The client was awarded the full amount of damages.
News & Insights
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- "Great Expectations or Bleak House: Protecting Client Communications to Avoid Ending Up in a Dickens of a Situation"Association of Corporate Counsel, January 2015
- Webinar, "Negotiating Letters of Intent"The Business Development Academy, 2012
- "Managing the Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine: Considerations for In-House Counsel"February 10, 2015
- "Food Industry Management and Economic Development"2012
- "Real Estate Broker Law & Litigation"Chapter 8S, Commercial Real Estate, 2011
- State of Illinois files suit to declare non-competes that bind low wage employees are unlawful and unenforceableImpact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, November 6, 2017
- Another judge in the Northern District of Illinois rejects bright line test for restrictive covenantsImpact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, November 1, 2017
- Impact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, July 7, 2016
- Impact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, June 8, 2016
- Impact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, March 22, 2016
- Impact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, February 10, 2016
- Impact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, February 9, 2016
- Impact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, February 1, 2016
- Impact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, January 5, 2016
- Insurance against being wrongly sued: The duty to defend even when extrinsic facts suggest no coverageImpact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, July 8, 2015
- Impact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, July 6, 2015
- Impact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, May 21, 2015
- Consider The Enforceability of Restrictive Covenant Provisions By Third Party Purchasers When Drafting AgreementsImpact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, January 21, 2015
- Impact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, October 27, 2014
- Setting Forth the Damages the Employer is Entitled to if an Employee Breaches His/Her Non-Competition Agreement Will Help Deter Breaches and Save Money in LitigationImpact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, October 7, 2014
- Make Sure Your Non-Competition, Non-Disclosure and Non-Solicitation Agreements Have Extension ClausesImpact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, October 2, 2014
- Financial Information, Aging and Sales Reports and Laboratory Equipment Wish List Found To Be Trade SecretsImpact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, September 30, 2014
- Impact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, September 26, 2014
- Impact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, September 24, 2014
- Impact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, September 18, 2014
- Impact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, September 15, 2014
- If You Overreach, A Business Owner May Find Employee Restrictive Covenants to be Useless and UnenforceableImpact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, August 13, 2014
- Impact | Understanding and Managing Business Risk, August 8, 2014
- SimplyHR | Employment & Labor Blog , November 15, 2013