Katherine M. O’Brien



Kate O’Brien is an experienced civil litigator in federal and state courts. Kate represents public and private clients in all stages of litigation, including cases involving emergency injunctive relief, at the trial and appellate court level, and in arbitration and mediation.

Kate’s practice includes counseling clients on matters related to contract disputes, trade secrets, non-competition agreements, corporate and partnership disputes, government contracts, and intellectual property. She regularly advises clients on complex e-discovery matters and the utilization of computer forensics in non-compete and trade secrets cases.

Kate currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Bar Foundation. In 2018, Kate was elected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. That same year she received the Amicus Service Award from the International Municipal Lawyers Association. The award recognizes attorneys who have been actively involved in legal advocacy for and on behalf of local governments and IMLA, and who have done exemplary work to protect and advance local government interests.


  • Amicus Service Award, International Municipal Lawyers Association
  • Illinois Rising Star, Illinois Super Lawyers (2019-2022)
  • Emerging Lawyer, Law Bulletin MediaLeading Lawyers (2017-2022)

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Women’s Bar Foundation, Board of Directors
  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association



  • University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude,2009
  • Notes Editor, University of Illinois Law Review
  • Villanova University, B.A., with honors, 2006

Court and Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

United States Court of Federal Claims


  •  Hon. Stuart E. Palmer, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division


  • Court Orders Production of Privileged Documents Reviewed by 30(b)(6) Witness, The Chicago Litigation Blog, January 15, 2020
  • Federal District Court Applies Newly Amended Rule 37(e), The Chicago Litigation Blog, March 6, 2016
  • Note, No Match? No Thanks: How the Department of Homeland Security’s No Match Rule Puts the Jobs of Legal Immigrants in Jeopardy, 2009 U. Ill. L. Rev. 975