Philippi Michael J

Michael J. Philippi

Michael Philippi is a litigator with extensive experience in jury trials, appeals and mediations in state and federal courts. While he resolves disputes across a range of industries and issues, a mainstay of his practice is serving as national and regional counsel representing medical device companies in toxic tort cases.

What do you focus on?

Complex Commercial Litigation

I handle the full range of disputes and litigation for companies of all sizes, whether the client faces recurring cases or a single high profile issue. My focus is on solving problems effectively and efficiently while providing excellent client service.

My experience ranges from medical device defense to fraud or contract disputes to employment related litigation. I’ve tried dozens of cases and arbitrated or mediated at least one hundred more. The venues for these cases span nearly every state, and I’ve developed strong relationships with local bars over most of the country.

I defended a major oil company in more than one hundred cases involving environmental issues, and national real estate companies in dispute resolutions involving real property ownership and fiduciary duties among partners in a complex lending structure. I’ve tried cases in state court involving subordinate lending issues, and arbitrated them before FINRA panels. I represented an Italian company in a multimillion dollar warranty case and obtained the largest sanctions award against my opponent in the history of the South Carolina court system.

What do you see on the horizon?

I see “alternative” billing arrangements evolving so that these approaches are the norm, not the exception. Increasingly, litigators need to be responsive to clients’ needs to understand the cost of dealing with disputes and become much more adept at early case assessment and case evaluation.

Representative Experience

  • Successfully tried a two week fraudulent conveyance trial in which a multibillion dollar Capitol Fund sought a $15 million dollar recovery against our client sounding in 15 counts, resulting in a defense finding on each count and an 86 page opinion impacting the “collapsing” doctrine in leveraged buy out situations.
  • Successfully tried a FINRA arbitration resulting in a zero recovery in a claim seeking $3.4 million from our client.
  • Regularly represents management in real estate litigation relating to commercial transactions and property management issues.
  • Favorably resolving a multimillion dollar commercial claim against our foreign client after obtaining an award for discovery sanctions of over one million dollars.
  • Obtaining the dismissal of a federal claim and favorable resolution of a selected state claim between two Fortune 50 companies for a fraction of the demand.
  • Gaining summary judgment in an earnout case in which the principals of an acquired lab sought several millions of dollars in damages.
  • Successfully trying a two week arbitration involving the calculation of an earn out provision in a medical device company acquisition case.
  • Serving as National Counsel to negotiate settlements in several hundred mass tort cases effectively closing out the tort.
  • Successfully defending Baxter Healthcare Corporation in a defective design and failure to warn case against allegations that their latex gloves caused a plaintiff to suffer from latex allergy. The five-week jury trial was the first federal trial of approximately 2,000 in multi-district litigation.
  • Serving as lead counsel in a one-day binding mediation of a multi-million dollar commercial dispute between two Fortune 100 companies.
  • Serving as National Coordinating Counsel for recurring products liability litigation for a Fortune 100 company and resolving hundreds of cases in a period of several months.
  • Representing financial institutions in litigation involving commercial paper, guaranties, real estate workouts, and commercial foreclosures.
  • Coordinating and resolving over 100 environmental claims in Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska for a major oil company.


  • Quoted, The American Lawyer, “Do Alternative Fee Arrangements Increase Burden on Associates?,” May 2021, regarding the use of alternative fee arrangements
  • Quoted, The American Lawyer, “Constrained by Crisis, Law Firms and Clients Are Learning to Compromise on Pricing,” January 2021, regarding value-based pricing strategies
  • Quoted, Illinois Bar Journal, “Beyond the Billable Hour,” February 2012, regarding the use of alternative fee arrangements
  • Quoted, Crain's Chicago Business, “Flat-fee advocates find that alternatives to the billable hour can be a tough sell,” February 2011, regarding the use of alternative fee arrangements
  • Quoted, Chicago Lawyer, “The right fit,” May 2009, regarding the appeal and benefits of a midsize law firm
  • Quoted, Chicago Lawyer, “Lawyers learn how to cross the communication divide," December 2007, regarding the use of consultants to develop good communication practices
  • Quoted, Chicago Lawyer, “Career choices: Attending a top law school can open more doors for new lawyers,” September 2007, regarding the pros and cons of attending top-tier law schools
  • Quoted, Chicago Lawyer, “Growing Ranks of Contract Lawyers try to Make it Work,” January 2005, regarding law firms' use of contract attorneys in litigation


  • Presenter, "Paying for Value and Budget Certainty: Digital Billing in an Analog World," Illinois State Bar Association, 2011
  • Presenter, Chicago Lawyer’s "Off the Pages: Taking Care of Business," September, 2011


  • Faculty, Louisiana State University, National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 2011

Do alternative fee arrangements increase burden on associates?

The American Lawyer | May 04, 2021

Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partner Mike Philippi is quoted in this article about alternative fee arrangements’ potential impact on associates, noting that the onus should rest with the intake partner to maintain efficiency.

Constrained by Crisis, Law Firms and Clients Are Learning to Compromise on Pricing

The American Lawyer | January 04, 2021

This article on alternative fee arrangements quotes Litigation Department Vice Chair and Chicago partner Ethan Trull and Chicago partner Mike Philippi, both of the Complex Commercial Disputes practice group, on the topic of value-based pricing strategies and how they can be applied to share risk and maximize predictability.


Michael J. Philippi



Phone: 312-977-4875

Fax: 844-562-8024

Valparaiso University School of Law, J.D., Articles Editor, Valparaiso Law Review

Illinois Wesleyan University, B.A.


U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Federal Trial Bar, Northern District of Illinois

U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court

  • Illinois Super Lawyers, Litigation, 2005-2011, 2013-2015
  • Illinois Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition - Business Litigation, 2009-2010
  • A/V Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Leading Lawyers Network 2013
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