Senior Counsel

Lee N. Abrams

Antitrust & Competition, Commercial Litigation, Litigation & Dispute Resolution

"It's scary because he is so good at what he does as a litigator."
Chambers USA 2007


Lee N. Abrams concentrates his practice on antitrust, franchising and commercial litigation (including international and domestic arbitrations). His antitrust representations have included counseling and defending some of the world’s largest companies. He has also represented the plaintiff’s side in major antitrust litigation. Lee’s antitrust experience includes counseling on mergers; distribution questions; Justice Department, FTC and state attorneys general investigations; and other antitrust issues.

Best Lawyers in America selected Lee as the Franchise Law Lawyer of the Year in Chicago for 2017. According to Chambers USA "senior lawyer Lee Abrams is universally regarded as excellent in antitrust matters. Sources agree that the firm benefits greatly from his experience and expertise."

Lee’s franchising litigation and counseling experience has involved work for numerous major franchisors, franchisees and franchisee associations. He has also litigated major commercial cases, including significant intellectual property cases, in federal and state courts throughout the United States.

He is the author of numerous articles and speeches on antitrust, trade regulation, litigation and franchising topics.


  • Provided antitrust litigation defense and/or counseling to such clients as General Motors Corporation, Ford Motor Company, NewsCorp, Eastman Kodak Company, Carnation Company, Dresser Industries, Pitney Bowes, Bell & Howell, International Paper, Hart, Schaffner & Marx, Sears Roebuck, PPG, Actelion Pharmaceuticals, and the United States Golf Association.
  • Served as antitrust counsel to major plaintiffs, including Bell & Howell Company (against Eastman Kodak), Citicorp (against Western Union), American Specialty Health (against Healthways) and Dairy Queen Franchisee Association (against International Dairy Queen).
  • Advised and litigated for a variety of franchisors, including Burger King, Shell Oil, Taco Bell, Computerland, ReMax, Perkins Restaurants, and Friendly's Ice Cream.
  • Counseled and litigated for a number of franchisee association clients, including Dairy Queen Operators Association, Pizza Hut franchisee association, Midas franchisee association, Nutri-System franchisee association and Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust.
  • Handled a wide range of commercial disputes, including representation of: Dome Petroleum in litigation regarding a tender offer for Conoco stock, First Wisconsin Corporation in securities litigation involving First Wisconsin Real Estate Investment Trust, Continental Bank in "prime rate" litigation, Ameritech in "Yellow Pages" litigation against Reuben H. Donnelley, Pitney Bowes in trade secret litigation against Burroughs Corporation, United States Golf Association as plaintiff in several trademark infringement actions, and Perkins Family Restaurants in a trademark infringement case against Perkits Yogurt.


  • The American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising named Lee Abrams the 2013 recipient of the Lewis G. Rudnick Award, in recognition of his accomplishments as a franchise lawyer; his contributions to the field of franchise law; his “high standards of professionalism, decency and collegiality”; and his service to the ABA’s Forum on Franchising. Mr. Abrams was the Forum’s chairman from 1982-1985.
  • Selected by Best Lawyers in America as the Franchise Law Lawyer of the Year in Chicago for 2017
  • "...'a true gentleman of noted brilliance.' His established antitrust counseling and litigation practice 'has the breadth that others aspire to'..." - Chambers USA
  • Recognized as a top lawyer in the area of Franchise & Dealership Law by Leading Lawyers for 2014.
  • Achieved the highest grade in the United States on the uniform CPA examination.


  • The University of Michigan Law School, JD, with highest distinction
    Law Review, Board of Editors
  • University of Michigan, AB
    Phi Beta Kappa (junior year)


  • Illinois


  • US Tax Court
  • US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • US Supreme Court

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Member, American Arbitration Association Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators
  • American Bar Association: Chairman, Forum on Franchising, 1982-1985; Vice Chair, Section of Antitrust Law, 1991-1992; Finance Officer and Council Member, 1977-1981; Chairman, FTC Committee, 1974-1977; Program Chairman, 1988-1991; Section of Business Law, Chairman, Antitrust Committee, 1995-1999
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers