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John Burke is the Chicago office managing partner. For decades, John has litigated commercial disputes involving complex contract and other business-related matters. He has successfully resolved serious, contentious, high-stakes disputes in and out of court and in practically every area of business, ranging from breach of contract, Uniform Commercial Code, fraud and legal malpractice claims, to partnership, real estate and construction disputes, to reorganizations and bankruptcy litigation.

Outside GC CTA

Having served as Ice Miller’s deputy managing partner for four years in charge of managing the entire firm, John understands, from hands-on experience, what it takes to run a business. As a result, John is frequently called upon to act as outside general counsel to middle market companies, helping them to resolve the day-to-day, real time legal issues associated with operating a business. Smart, calm and organized, John is appreciated for his ability to think multiple steps ahead when confronted with any challenge, obstacle or commercial objective—no matter how ambitious. His instinct for what will and will not work, honed over many years of legal practice and business leadership, frequently saves his clients time and money.

Undeniably skilled in seeking immediate relief for clients through temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, John has prosecuted and defended such order and injunction actions in Cook County and beyond. He has conducted a number of successful mediations on behalf of his clients where alternative dispute resolution provided an outcome better suited to their needs. Where state or federal court trial is the optimal path to safeguarding his client’s assets and market position, John thrives under the pressure of trial and represents his client’s interests with strong advocacy and intellectual fortitude. Believable and persuasive, John is able to establish immediate credibility with opposing counsel, judges and juries alike.

Appreciated for his ability to see big picture business objectives, John serves as a trusted advisor and essential member of his client’s core team. He is valued for offering consistently good and practical legal advice that takes into consideration his client’s industry and current and future commercial goals. Dedicated to consistently delivering the value-add, John takes the time to understand each client’s distinct business practices and offers legal solutions that are balanced with best practices and the mitigation of risk.
Establishing and maintaining strong relationships with everyone around him is a critical component of John’s strength as a counsellor and within the community at large. He consistently provides an honest assessment of each client’s chances for success and a roadmap that supports the client’s objectives. John’s people skills, professionalism, respectful communication style and undeniable flair for diplomacy allows everyone around him to retain a sense of dignity regardless of the stakes. As a result, the majority of John’s clients are referral-based, even from opposing counsel.

John comes from a family with a strong legal tradition. His grandfather, Joseph, emigrated from Ireland at the turn of the 20th century. Joseph Burke joined the bench at the age of 34 and remained a judge until he retired at the age of 88 as an Illinois Appellate Court Judge. John's father, Jerome, served as a Cook County trial court judge for more than 23 years. John's wife, Eileen, has served as an Illinois Appellate Judge since 2016.

John volunteers at his church and has coached kids soccer in the fall and spring for more than a decade. He is also a soccer player himself. In fact, John met another Ice Miller partner on the soccer field back in 1988, who convinced him to join the Firm in 2005. 

Reported and Representative Cases
  • 6154 North Oakley, LLC, et al. v. 6154 Oakley LLC, et al., No. 1-19-2072 (Ill. App. 2020)
  • Davis v. Kevin A. Scheck, et al, No. 2-19-0808 (Ill. App. 2020)
  • John Doe Corporations 1 and 2 v. Huizenga Managers Fund, LLC, et al., (Ill. App. 2018)
  • Blum v. Zalusky, (Ill. App. 2017)
  • Wade v. Stewart Title Guaranty Company, (Ill. App. 2017)
  • Caulfield v. Packer, (Ill. App. 2015)
  • DeGroate Petroleum Service, Inc. v. National Farmers Union Property and Casualty Company, (Ill. App. 2012)
  • In Re: Estate of Erla M. Feinberg, (Ill. App. 2011)
  • The State Journal-Register and Bruce Rushton v. University of Illinois Springfield, (Ill. App. 2012)
  • Botaba Realty Company, Ltd. v. Harris Bank Joliet, N.A., (Ill. App. 2011)
  • Chicago Tribune Company v. University of Illinois Board of Trustees, (7th Cir. 2011)(Amicus Brief)
  • Stewart Title Guaranty Company v. CVOF 71, LLC, (Ill. App. 2011)
  • Navistar, Inc. v. New Baltimore Garage, Inc., (N.D.Ill. 2011)
  • The Lamar Companies v. West Harrison Funding I, LLC, (Ill. App. 2007)
  • GD 22 Washington LLC v. Block 37 Office LLC,  (Cir. Ct. Ill. 2006)
  • Ethel Hill v. WMC Mortgage Corp., (Ill. App. 2005)
  • Mercury Skyline Yacht Charters v. The Dave Matthews Band, Inc., 2005 WL 3159680 (N.D. Ill. 2005)
  • Paul H. Schwendener v. Jupiter Elec., (Ill. App. 2005)
  • Board of Ed. of Sunset School Dist. No. 29 v. Village of Northbrook, (Ill. App. 1998)
  • Super Wash Inc. v. Darnall Concrete Products Co., (Ill. App. 1998)
  • GE Capital Mortgage Services, Inc. v. Joel L. Bernheim, (Ill. App. 1996)
  • Flair Communications Agency, Inc. v. Couture Intro West, Inc., (Ill. App. 1995)
  • Kurtz v. Solomon, (Ill. App. 1995)
  • County of Boone v. State of Illinois, (Ill. App. 1990)
  • Union Carbide Corporation v. Oscar Mayer Foods Corporation, (7th Cir. 1990)
  • United Steel Services, Inc. v. Northwestern University, (Ill. App. 1990)
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