James R. Ferguson

Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property, International Arbitration

“...‘phenomenal’ ‘incredible trial lawyer’ whose ‘high energy’ practice includes IP and complex commercial litigation and arbitration.”
Chambers USA

Visión general

James R. Ferguson focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation, complex commercial litigation, and US and international arbitration. He has been lead trial counsel in patent, trademark, trade secret, antitrust, insurance, IT, breach of contract and employment cases in federal courts and domestic and international arbitral tribunals. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Jim has first-chaired more than 35 cases to verdict or final judgment and argued more than 25 appeals in federal appellate courts. As part of his practice, Jim also counsels multinational clients on licensing and protecting IP portfolios.

In US and international arbitration, Jim has been lead counsel for a wide range of multi-national companies in the pharmaceutical, medical device, IT, financial services, global technology, aviation and other industries.


  • Won dismissal on jurisdictional grounds as lead trial counsel for three corporate parents in an NIL case. (2024).
  • Won a post-acquisition litigation as lead trial counsel for a US financial services company in a Delaware Chancery case involving the disputed valuation of mortgage servicing rights. (2022).
  • Won an award of attorneys’ fees as lead trial counsel in a Delaware bankruptcy proceeding involving the breach of a court order dealing with the ownership of certain patent rights. (2022).
  • Won a patent litigation as lead trial counsel for a global coalition of the 18 largest automobile manufacturers in Europe, Asia, and the US. The case involved a novel touch-based technology that measures blood alcohol levels when a driver's finger touches the ignition button. (2020).
  • Won summary judgment as lead trial counsel for a US financial services company in a case involving alleged misrepresentations in the sale of premium-financed insurance. (2019).
  • Won a US arbitration as lead trial counsel for a global pharmaceutical company in a patent licensing dispute with the manufacturer of diagnostic technology. The arbitration resulted in a complete victory for the client after four days of hearing before a three-arbitrator panel. (2018).
  • Won a patent infringement case as lead trial counsel for a diversified global technology company in a dispute involving sensor-based technology. The litigation resulted in the stipulated dismissal of the opposing party’s entire case based on evidence showing the asserted patent to be both invalid and not infringed. (2018).


Described by clients in Chambers USA, Legal 500, IAM 250 and IAM Patent 1000 as:

  • A "phenomenal" advocate
  • An “incredible trial lawyer”
  • "Very responsive and very smart" . . . with a "high energy" practice that includes IP and complex commercial litigation and arbitration
  • "Creative," "dynamic"
  • "Incredibly impressive," an "exceptional attorney"
  • An "extraordinarily hardworking guy"
  • Possessing "sophisticated contentious expertise"
  • "Give clients complete confidence in his abilities"
  • "Consistently provides outstanding work product and is a pleasure to work with"


  • Northwestern University School of Law, JD, Law Review - Articles Editor

    Clerkship - Honorable William J Bauer, US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Indiana University, BA
    Phi Beta Kappa


  • Illinois


  • US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • US Tax Court
  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • US District Court for the District of Connecticut
  • Trial Bar of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Participación Profesional y Comunitaria

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Member, ICC Commission on Intellectual Property
  • Member, US Council for International Business Intellectual Property Committee
  • Board of Directors, Manne Research Center, Ann and Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
  • Lecturer, University of Chicago Law School (2013-2020)
  • Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
  • Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation