Meet Our Team
Mike King is an experienced trial lawyer with more than 45 years of first chair responsibility in significant trials, appeals, hearings, and investigations. He has tried civil and white-collar criminal cases and handled hearings and proceedings in federal and state courts across the country and overseas. He has developed and implemented strategies in complex commercial matters involving class actions, MDL proceedings relating to antitrust, environmental and personal injury/product liability claims, mass torts, and bankruptcy proceedings, among others. Mike has served on multiple steering committees in antitrust and mass tort multi-district litigation and class actions and argued multiple cases in the state and federal appeals courts, including the Supreme Court of Illinois.
As a former federal prosecutor, Mike has a deep background in grand jury and regulatory investigations. He has represented corporations and executives facing government-related investigations, grand jury proceedings and companion civil litigation across the United States as well as in China, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Hong Kong and Canada. He has represented Fortune 100 companies faced with raids, seizures, and investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Defense, State Department, Health and Human Services, Department of Treasury, and the Environmental Protection Agency as well as the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office. Mike has also been engaged to represent corporate audit committees and boards of directors.
Mike began his career in the Honors Program of the U.S. Department of Justice’s organized crime and racketeering section (Chicago Strike Force) and later served as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. In private practice, Mike served as Chairman of the Executive Committee at Ross & Hardies, a member of the Board of Partners at McGuireWoods LLP, and as managing partner of the Chicago office of Dewey & LeBouef LLP. Most recently, Mike was a partner at Locke Lord LLP.
Mike graduated from the School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, where he was awarded an Honor Scholarship. While in law school, Mike was a member of the Honor Council and an editor of the Urban Law Annual. Mike also earned his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis. While an undergraduate, Mike was elected President of his fraternity and awarded the I.E. Goldberg ring as national outstanding undergraduate.
In addition, Mike has written, lectured, and spoken on various legal topics for a range of audiences, including BP plc’s Law Department, Eaton Corporation’s Law Department, McGeorge Law School (Salzburg, Austria), Akron University Law School, and the M5 group of leading UK Law Firms retreat (Cambridge, UK).
Mike has also served on a number of charitable and civic boards, including, among others, the Chicago Youth Centers, Goodman Theatre Chicago, Mid-America Club, The Cove School, and the Admissions Committee of the Economic Club of Chicago.
King is ranked as a Leading Lawyer and has been named an Illinois Super Lawyer in business litigation and white-collar criminal litigation for almost 20 consecutive years and is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, J.D. 1970
Washington University in St. Louis, B.S. 1967
Admitted to Practice
Supreme Court of the United States
Illinois Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals for the Second District
United States Court of Appeals for the Third District
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth District
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth District
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh District
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth District
United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh District
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
United States Tax Court
Trial Bar United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Represented corporations and individuals facing government-related investigations involving FCPA and UK Bribery Act/Serious Fraud Office; antitrust and major toxic episodes, including environmental grand jury proceedings, mass torts, OSHA investigations; Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Defense and other regulatory and criminal investigations and companion civil litigation.
Represented Fortune 100 companies and individuals faced with raids, seizures and investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Departments of Defense, State Department, Health and Human Services, Office of the Treasury, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Managed litigation involving questionable employee conduct around the world, whistleblower issues and other employment-related litigation.
Handled class actions involving antitrust, securities, mass torts, theft of intellectual property, and patent infringement claims as well as employee raids, age discrimination and plant closings, including wrongful discharge cases in various states (Florida, Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio, among others).
Led litigation and tried cases involving significant bank and trust interpretation issues, real estate and construction, including insurance-related issues arising from construction disputes, wrongful discharge, product liability and criminal cases.
Participated in significant bankruptcy proceedings in New York, Florida, Illinois, and other jurisdictions.
United States v. Louis Guido, et al. Prosecuted one of the leaders of an infamous torture terror gang that attacked elderly people in their homes and tortured them to reveal the location of their valuables. The conviction was a major factor in disrupting nationwide attacks.
United States v. Chris Cardi, et al. Prosecuted Chris Cardi and senior members of his organization in a narcotics sales distribution case. Cardi was represented by the famed Texas trial lawyer Percy Foreman at trial and by Bert Jenner and Tom Sullivan in post-conviction proceedings and on appeal.
United States v. Silvio Irali. Prosecuted corruption and extortion case against Irali, including claims under the Hobbs Act. This was the first case that involved direct cash payments to a senior official in Chicago City Hall.
United States v. Marzano, 388 F. Supp. 906 (N.D. Ill. 1975). Led major investigation, involving state and federal investigators as well as British Colonial Police, in connection with the Purolator (Armored Carrier Corp.) robbery, one of the largest cash robberies ($4.3 million) in the history of the United States. The case established new precedent, as it was the first case to recognize that cash collected by an armored car service intended for deposit in a United States insured bank was deemed bank property and thus covered by the federal bank robbery and incidental crimes statute, 18 U.S.C. § 2113.
Imperial Food Products Fire Litigation. Acted as lead counsel for a hydraulic hose manufacturer and served on the defendants’ steering committee in this case which involved twenty-six (26) deaths and multiple injuries as a result of a fire in a chicken processing plant in North Carolina. The litigation had multiple defendants and involved both the civil litigation and criminal investigation.
Kearney, Nebraska Spill. Led the defense of Eaton Corporation in a series of cases that resulted from a spill of trichloroethylene from underground storage tanks. The matter included a criminal investigation by the Environmental Crimes Section of the United States Department of Justice, as well as commercial claims and regulatory proceedings. The investigations were closed with no action and the company was able to remediate the site without liability.
In Re Estate of Alexander MacArthur and First American Bank v MacArthur. Trust litigation in McHenry County, Illinois that involved multiple banks, multiple generations of beneficiaries, QTIP elections within a limited time frame, and management of an organic farm. After multiple hearings, the selection of a trustee, provision for the decedent’s widow, preservation of liquid and real estate assets, and timely tax elections were completed.
CBS Westinghouse v Eaton Corporation. Responsible for planning and structuring the hiring by Eaton Corporation of a significant number of Westinghouse employees to operate a competitive business division of Eaton Corporation which serviced complex electrical components of power distribution equipment. Also represented Eaton Corporation in resulting restrictive covenant litigation which followed in Pennsylvania and Florida.
United States v. Consolidated Packaging Corporation (MDL 250) and In re Folding Carton Antitrust Litigation. Multidistrict civil class actions and opt out litigation and companion criminal cases indicted by a grand jury in Chicago. Cases involved more than twenty (20) corporate defendants and hundreds of millions of dollars. Led the defense of one of the corporate defendants and developed a course of action that resulted in a settlement with all claimants.
United States v. Consolidated Packaging Corporation (MDL 310) and In re Corrugated Container Antitrust litigation. Multidistrict civil class action and opt out litigation was a companion to criminal felony and misdemeanor criminal cases indicted by the grand jury in Houston. Led the defense of one of the corporate defendants in both a felony indictment and the civil litigation. Was able to resolve all claims against client on favorable terms. There were multiple contested hearings, appeals and trials involved, which required working together with many leading nationally recognized firms across the country.
In re Ocean Shipping Antitrust litigation and In re Corn Derivatives litigation. Acted for a member of the plaintiffs’ control group pressing horizontal price fixing claims against multiple defendants. Participated in the settlement negotiations on behalf of the class which resulted in a resolution of these cases.
SL Montevideo v Eaton Aerospace, 491 F.3d 350 (8th Cir. 2007). Acted for Eaton Aerospace in the defense of claims of alleged theft and misappropriation of intellectual property related to the design and components of the tail assembly motor of a major Boeing commercial airliner. Following the cross-examination of the plaintiff’s expert and the direct testimony of the defense expert at trial, the district court granted the defense motion to dismiss the case.
Northrup Corporation v AIL Systems, Inc., 959 F.2d 1424 (7th Cir. 1992). Acted as trial counsel for lead defendant in civil action seeking more than $50 million that involved several lawsuits relating to a teaming agreement for avionic repairs and parts for B-1 bomber radar systems. All claims by Northrup were defeated.
Semetex et al v UBAF Arab American Bank, 853 F. Supp. 759 (S.D.N.Y. 1994). Multi-million dollar dispute regarding the obligations of an issuing bank for a stand by letter of credit when the securing collateral was frozen by consequence of an executive order from the President of the United States as part of an embargo on goods sold to Iraq. A shipment of equipment was diverted to a storage facility and the seller demanded payment from the bank for the sales price of the equipment. When the bank refused to make payment, Semetex filed an action and the district court granted summary judgment and ordered the bank to make the payment to the seller. Acted as lead trial counsel for the plaintiff in the district court and before the Second Circuit Court on appeal.
Pension Plan Litigation. Acted as lead counsel for large multinational energy company that involved a demand for the transfer of approximately $1 billion managed by a major national bank during the economic recession of 2007-2008. The bank refused to transfer the funds around concerns that the withdrawal of such significant amounts could trigger similar withdrawals of other such managed funds which might adversely impact the bank. The company sought injunctive and declaratory relief in Illinois. The matter was resolved with the funds being transferred as requested by the company.
In re Tribune Bankruptcy. This bankruptcy involving the Tribune LBO was filed in the SDNY and in relevant part involved an effort by the Unsecured Creditors’ Committee to attempt to force selling shareholders required by the LBO to sell their shares to repay their proceeds to the unsecured creditors. While such unraveling of securities transaction were barred by federal securities safe harbor laws, the Committee tried to end run that prohibition by filing state constructive fraud claims. Acted as counsel to BP Corporation and argued that Section 549(e) of the bankruptcy code and the preemption of such claims by the federal law was necessary to protect fiduciary investors who were forced to surrender stock in LBO’s and then distributed the proceeds on which taxes were paid. The district court dismissed the claims and the Second Circuit affirmed. The Supreme Court ultimately declined to allow the use of state constructive fraud claims to be an end-run around federal law.
Eaton v. Rockwell Int’l. This patent infringement case was one of several patent infringement cases tried to juries in Delaware and Michigan involving heavy duty class 8 trucks and various transmission issues. Acted as lead counsel to plaintiff on patent infringement cases involving quick connect hydraulic hose connections, corn planters and ground fault circuit interrupters in Delaware, Iowa and Illinois.
Responsibility for leading internal investigation of a major international construction firm in connection with federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and UK Bribery Act concerns involving multiple countries including China, the Middle East, the United Kingdom and other locations involving both the Department of Justice and the Serious Fraud Office, which resulted in no charges.
Deepwater Horizon Litigation. Represented multiple BP engineers in connection with the investigation of the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
In re General Motors Ignition Switch Litigation. Acted on behalf of a senior engineer in the GM ignition switch investigations.