Tilghman IV Richard H

Richard H. Tilghman IV

Rich Tilghman assists clients in resolving complex commercial litigation matters. He represents a broad range of clients in state and federal courts and alternative dispute resolution forums throughout the country, with an emphasis on healthcare, life sciences, and biometric privacy disputes. Rich also co-leads the firm’s biometric privacy team.

What do you focus on?

Health Care and Life Sciences Disputes

Many of the disputes I handle involve the health care and life sciences industry, including commercial disputes with vendors and customers, breach of contract actions, and claims for violation of restrictive covenants and theft of confidential information and trade secrets. I have prosecuted several high-stakes litigation claims against companies that have acted as third-party service providers for our clients’ health, welfare, and retirement plans.

I keep the client’s interests at the forefront at all times by looking for efficient, cost-effective ways to avoid or resolve litigation. When cases cannot be resolved, I act as a forceful advocate to meet my clients’ business and legal objectives. I have tried numerous cases to verdict in various state and federal courts as well as arbitration forums. I have also successfully argued appeals before state and federal appellate courts.

Biometric Privacy Litigation

I have represented numerous clients in defending claims alleging the misuse of biometric data. I also counsel clients on compliance with biometric privacy rules and regulations. I have been a leading contributor to news articles, industry presentations, and publications regarding all facets of biometric privacy litigation.

Trade Secrets, Restrictive Covenants, and Confidential Information

I frequently advise clients on protecting, licensing, and leveraging company data, trade secrets, and other confidential business information. I have litigated numerous cases involving allegations of trade secret misappropriation, breaches of confidentiality provisions, and breach of post-employment restrictive covenants. I also counsel clients on how to avoid the misappropriation of confidential and proprietary data through non-disclosure agreements, confidentiality provisions, and restrictive covenants.

What do you see on the horizon?

The Illinois Biometric Privacy Act was the first biometric privacy legislation to allow for a private right of action by individual plaintiffs and has spawned numerous class action cases in Illinois and other United States jurisdictions. I am currently monitoring the growth of other privacy laws that regulate biometric information and the potential for ensuing class action litigation under these new regulations.

Representative Experience

  • Currently prosecuting claims against a third-party service provider to a client’s health and welfare plan arising from the approval of tens of millions of dollars of fraudulent, wasteful, and abusive prescription drug claims.
  • Currently involved in advising clients on biometric privacy issues, as well as defending several class actions filed under the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (BIPA).
  • Currently defending a hospital and health care center in a significant dispute with a third-party service provider.
  • Currently defending a claim against a manufacturer of pharmaceutical drugs brought by one of the company’s clients alleging breach of contract and gross negligence.
  • Successfully prosecuted claims of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of restrictive covenants, and trade secret misappropriation against a regional sales director for a medical device manufacturer.
  • Successfully prosecuted and resolved third-party professional liability claims on behalf of a client that had been improperly advised by its actuaries regarding the computation of benefits under its ERISA-qualified benefit plan.
  • Successfully defended claims of alleged employee poaching, breach of confidentiality, and breach of fiduciary duty on behalf of one of the largest mortgage loan originators in the country.
  • Represented a manufacturer of in-store advertising displays in a case involving allegations of trade secret misappropriation, and breaches of restrictive covenants; we helped the client defeat the plaintiff’s request for preliminary injunction, which would have essentially shut down the defendants’ businesses, by showing that the plaintiff’s employment agreements were likely unenforceable and that there were no protectable trade secrets at issue.
  • Represented the defendant in a class action case, and subsequent appeal, in which the plaintiff sought over $70 million in damages. After obtaining a dismissal in the trial court, the appellate court affirmed, and the plaintiffs recovered no damages.


  • “Fingerprint Scans and Other Biometric Privacy Claims: Limiting Your Company’s Exposure,” CHRMS Risk Management and Patient Safety Law Day 2020, Webinar, November 20, 2020

Planet Fitness scores end to two suits over fees in pandemic

Law360 | March 26, 2021

This article covers an Illinois federal judge’s decision to toss out a lawsuit filed by two Planet Fitness members claiming the gym had unlawfully charged them fees during the pandemic. Chicago partner Rich Tilghman and associate Henry Caldwell, and Manchester partner Dan Deane and associate Nate Warecki, all in the Complex Commercial Disputes group, were mentioned for representing Planet Fitness.

Big questions for BIPA case law in 2021

Cybersecurity Law Report | February 17, 2021

In this article focusing on case law developments around Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act in the year ahead, Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partner Rich Tilghman is quoted extensively for his outlook on facial and voice recognition cases, extraterritoriality, arbitration defenses, what counts as a BIPA violation, and collected data.

NY, FTC Lead Charge to Expand Biometric Privacy Shields

Law360 | January 15, 2021

In this article on the increasing regulatory scrutiny around biometric data, Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partners John Ruskusky and Rich Tilghman are quoted for their outlook on New York’s bill introducing a biometric privacy bill and the move toward more disclosure and transparency in the way companies collect biometric data.

5 BIPA Cases That Moved the Needle in 2020

Law360 | December 17, 2020

Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partner Rich Tilghman is quoted in this article for his thoughts on two major BIPA cases in 2020: Bryant v. Compass Group USA Inc. and McDonald v. Symphony Bronzeville Park LLC.

Illinois Workers’ Comp Law Doesn’t Pre-Empt Biometric Privacy Claim

HR Magzine | September 28, 2020

Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partners Rich Tilghman and John Ruskusky, and associate Henry Caldwell contributed this article, based on their recent blog post, on the rise in putative class actions in Illinois by employees against entities that employ biometric technology.

What’s Next: Why Facebook’s $550M biometrics settlement isn’t a huge deal

The American Lawyer | February 05, 2020

This article features Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partners John Ruskusky and Richard Tilghman analyzing Facebook’s recent $550 million settlement in a class action suit alleging violations of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act.

Biggest Illinois Decisions of 2019

Law360 | December 19, 2019

This article includes quotes and legal insights from Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partners Seth Horvath and Richard Tilghman discussing some of year’s biggest Illinois decisions.

Ruling against Facebook could propel additional biometric lawsuits

Business Insurance Magazine | August 20, 2019

In this article, Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partner Rich Tilghman discusses the impact of a recent Ninth Circuit ruling recognizing the plaintiffs’ standing in a class action suit accusing Facebook of violating Illinois’ biometric law through its use of facial recognition technology.

3 legal trends will affect retailer strategies

Retail Environment | February 07, 2019

Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partner Rich Tilghman authored this article about how legal trends related to data protection and monetization, ADA accessibility, and leasing will impact retailer strategies.


Richard H. Tilghman IV



Phone: 312-977-4881

DePaul University College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude; Managing Editor of Notes and Comments, DePaul Law Review; Order of the Coif

Boston College, B.S., cum laude


U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Federal Trial Bar, Northern District of Illinois

U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

  • Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2012-2015
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