• Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (trial bar)
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana


University of Illinois at Chicago, B.A., 2000

  • with honors; Phi Beta Kappa

University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 2003

  • cum laude


Nicholas A. Gowen is a partner in Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella’s Litigation and Labor & Employment practice groups. He represents companies, individuals and law firms in commercial disputes, including those involving shareholder disputes, real estate matters, intellectual property, trade secrets, employment matters and other business litigation matters in courts and arbitration forums throughout the country. Mr. Gowen approaches litigation with an eye toward results; understanding that advancing his clients’ litigation strategies should fit within their overall business interests. He counsels businesses on ways to avoid litigation and resolve disputes using alternative measures and has authored articles on various business litigation topics.

Mr. Gowen has extensive litigation experience that ranges from representing entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies in pre-suit investigations through discovery, trial, and appeal in a multitude of commercial litigation and employment matters. He also has considerable experience defending Am Law 100 and boutique law firms in professional liability matters.

Mr. Gowen was honored as one of Chicago’s “Top 40 under 40 Game Changers” by Ariel Investments and The Urban Business Roundtable and selected as an “Illinois Rising Star” by Illinois Super Lawyers Magazine from 2008 to 2017. He has a wide range of pro-bono experience from representing prisoners in federal civil rights litigation and appeals to providing voter protection services during federal and state elections throughout the Midwest.

Mr. Gowen received his B.A. in political science with honors from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2000, where he was admitted to Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D.,cum laude, from the University of Illinois College of Law in 2003.


Business and Commercial Litigation

  • Lead trial counsel representing a U.S. manufacturing company in an international arbitration against a Chinese metal packaging conglomerate in a multi million dollar contract dispute
  • Lead counsel representing global automotive supplier in a multi million dollar contract dispute with a global customer
  • Recovered millions of dollars on behalf of a U.S. based international investment firm against competitor for breach of an asset purchase agreement.
  • Lead trial and appellate counsel successfully defending a Chinese national in a breach of contract dispute related to the client’s facilitating the issuance of an EB-5 Immigrant Investment Visa.
  • Recovered several million dollars on behalf of a computer software design company in breach of contract against a professional services provider
  • Won summary judgment on behalf of North America’s largest industrial gas manufacturer in dispute with distributor for breach of distribution agreement

Trade Secret and Employment Litigation

  • Lead counsel representing closely-held company in prosecuting multiple successful actions to enforce restrictive covenants in employment agreements against former sales representatives
  • Second-chaired successful prosecution of trade secret action on behalf of electrical component manufacturer against two larger competitors. Negotiated favorable multimillion dollar settlement prior to empaneling jury
  • Lead counsel representing closely-held company in internal investigation of sexual harassment and discrimination claims brought by employees against senior executives
  • Lead counsel representing manufacturing company in an action to enforce confidentiality agreement against former senior sales manager
  • Defended global technology company against trade secret claims based on actions of former employees of plaintiff competitor
  • Successful representation of the former CFO of a manufacturing company to enforce employment agreement against former employer
  • Successful representation of sporting goods manufacturer in trade secret and restrictive covenant litigation against former product manager

Financial Services Litigation

  • Lead counsel in successful defense of private equity firm in multi million dollar contract dispute with a national bank
  • Lead counsel in successful defense of a commercial real estate investor in several multi million dollar disputes with a regional bank
  • Represented multinational corporation in Delaware Chancery Court on claims that defendants defrauded client relating to a $20 million sale of a manufacturing business. Case settled favorably for client
  • Defeated claims brought by Brazilian investment fund alleging breaches of contractual and fiduciary duties and conversion against multiple investor clients
  • Recovered millions of dollars on behalf of a nanotechnology company in securities claims against a leading European financial institution
  • Member of trial team that recovered more than $25 million in fraud suit on behalf of a biopharmaceutical company against one of the largest U.S. financial institutions
  • Represented an Irish bank in a multi-jurisdiction post-judgment asset collection matter against an Irish national residing in the U.S. and his affiliated businesses. Collection efforts yielded substantial recovery of assets

Shareholder and D&O Litigation

  • Lead counsel defending chairman of a private equity fund and portfolio company in a derivative action brought by former minority shareholders and former executives of the portfolio company
  • Defended majority shareholder of an LLC in a derivative action brought by minority shareholders who alleged breaches of contractual and fiduciary duties relating to licensing the use of various trademarks
  • Defended real estate services company in multiple shareholder disputes with minority shareholders

Real Estate / Construction Litigation

  • Lead trial counsel defeating TRO filed against real estate developer client by commercial tenant that sought to delay a $100 million redevelopment of a regional shopping center
  • Lead trial counsel securing arbitration victory and damages for construction-industry client in breach of contract dispute against one of the nation's largest construction companies
  • Lead counsel for a subcontractor in a dispute with a developer and prime contractor related to the multi million dollar redevelopment of a large research hospital
  • Defending construction industry client in a $10 million breach of contract dispute against residential building owner
  • Lead trial counsel for a large Chicago-based, industrial real estate investor in multiple actions against commercial tenants

Professional Liability Defense

  • Lead counsel representing boutique law firm in breach of fiduciary duty and malpractice claims asserted by former client arising out of a patent licensing dispute
  • Lead counsel representing boutique law firm in contribution action asserted by its predecessor counsel that was sued by former client for malpractice
  • Defended AmLaw 25 firm in malpractice action arising out of the prosecution of patents for a medical device
  • Defeated tortious interference claims asserted by competitor against AmLaw 25 firm and its partners
  • Represented AmLaw 25 firm as third-party in product liability litigation

Intellectual Property Litigation

  • Lead counsel in successful defense of major research university in patent infringement litigation related to use of electronic equipment
  • Represented former executive in a trademark infringement action against the software company he founded
  • Obtained judgment on behalf of a Fortune 500 automotive supplier against a distributor for unauthorized use of trademarks
  • Represented national franchisor in litigation against a former franchisee stemming from continued unauthorized use of trademarks
  • Prosecuted copyright infringement actions on behalf of a global manufacturing company against third-party distributors
  • Represented entertainer in copyright infringement dispute with music producer over use of vocal arrangements

Honors & Awards

  • Ariel Investments and The Urban Business Roundtable, honored as one of Chicago's Top 40 under 40 Game Changers for 2012
  • Illinois Super Lawyers, recognized as a Rising Star, 2008-2017


  • Chicago State University, Board of Trustees, member, 2017- present
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, Visiting Instructor, Political Science, 2005-2017
  • Project H.O.O.D. Advisory Committee Board of Directors
  • Chicago Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Committee, Investigative Division, member
  • National Bar Association

o Commercial Law Section

  • Chicago Bar Association

o Federal Civil Practice Committee, Past Vice Chair/Chair

  • National Employment Law Council



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Chicago, Illinois 60611-3607
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