Experience - Overview

Gary Leydig is a trial attorney and counselor for commercial and business matters.  Gary Leydig is also a mediator and arbitrator of commercial and business disputes. He handles jury and bench trials, injunctions, equitable remedies, arbitrations and appeals in state and federal courts in Illinois and throughout the United States.  While Gary is a nationally recognized leader in the representation and protection of dealers, distributors and franchisees in their disputes with their suppliers and franchisors, his practice encompasses the broad range of commercial disputes, including:

  • Franchise and dealership terminations, territorial encroachment and other disputes
  • Contracts
  • Fraud
  • Deceptive trade practices
  • Unfair competition and antitrust
  • Trade secrets
  • Restrictive covenants – covenants not to compete
  • Corporate and partnership control and dissolution
  • Uniform Commercial Code
  • Construction industry disputes
  • Real property
  • Mortgage and mechanic's lien enforcement and foreclosure


  • College of William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law. JD (Order of Barristers), 1980
  • University of Illinois at Urbana. BA, 1977
  • University of Chicago, Graham School. Certificate in Mediation, 2005
  • University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh, Scotland U.K., 1975


  • “AV” Preeminent Peer Review Rating (highest rating for both legal ability and ethics) Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Best Lawyers in America, peer selection in the practice area of Franchise Law
  • “Illinois Super Lawyer” (peer selection of top 5% of Illinois lawyers) Thomson Reuters
  • “Leading Lawyer” (peer selection of top 5% of Illinois lawyers) Law Bulletin Publishing Company
  • Who’s Who Legal, the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, published by the International Bar Association
  • “Legal Eagle” - Top 100 Franchise Lawyers in the United States. Franchise Times

Practice History:

  • Of Counsel to Riordan Fulkerson Hupert & Coleman (2006 to present)
  • Of Counsel to Worker Sitko & Hoffman LLC (1999-2005) and, following merger of firms, Partner in Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP (2005-2006)
  • Partner in Levin McParland Phillips & Leydig (1993-1998)
  • General Counsel to American Railway Corporation, Inc. (1990-1993)
  • Partner and Associate in Hinshaw & Culbertson (1980-1990)


  • State of Illinois

Admitted to Practice:

  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals, 7th and 8th Circuits
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois (including its Trial Bar) and other district courts in other states

ADR Certifications and Appointments:

  • Mediator, Circuit Court of Cook County Law Division Major Case Court-Annexed Civil Mediation
  • Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association - Commercial Panel

Memberships and Associations:

  • Member, American Bar Association (Forum Committee on Franchising, Section on Litigation)
  • Member, Illinois State Bar Association


  • “Girl Scouts of Manitou Council and the Application of Franchise and Dealership Laws to Nonprofits”, 31 Franchise Law Journal 187 (Spring 2012) (with A. Toscas Gordon)
  • “Survey of State Dealer Law Topics”, American Bar Association Forum on Franchising (October 2010) (with M. J. Lockerby)
  • “Franchise Laws: How They Can Protect You As A Dealer”, The Material Handling Wholesaler (November 1998)
  • Contributor, W. Holloway and M. Leech, Employment Termination: Rights and Remedies. The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (BNA), 1985

Reported Decisions:

A representative list of published opinions from cases in which Mr. Leydig was the principal attorney includes:

  • Girl Scouts of Manitou Council v. Girl Scouts of the United States of America, 646 F.3d 983 (7th Cir. 2011) (Finding application of Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law does not interfere with Girl Scouts of USA’s First Amendment right of expressive association, and entering judgment on local Girl Scouts council’s wrongful termination claim)
  • Hytel Group, Inc. v. Butler, 405 Ill. App. 3d 113, 938 N.E.2d 542 (Ill. App. 2010) (Affirming, under Illinois Citizens Participation Act, dismissal of “SLAPP” suit brought against former employee in retaliation for making wage claim; and affirming award of attorneys’ fees)
  • Girl Scouts of Manitou Council v. Girl Scouts of the United States of America, 549 F.3d 1079 (7th Cir. 2008) (Finding local, nonprofit Girl Scouts council and the national organization are covered by the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law, and entering preliminary injunction in favor of local council)
  • Minnesota Supply Company v. The Raymond Corporation, 472 F.3d 524 (8th Cir. 2006) (Affirming $13+ million  jury verdict on equipment dealer’s wrongful termination claim)
  • Kingbrook, Inc. v. Pupurs, 202 Ill.2d 24, 779 N.E.2d 867 (Ill. Sup. 2002) (Affirming dismissal of commercial  real estate broker’s commission claim)
  • H.R.R. Zimmerman Co. v. Tecumseh Products Co., CCH Business Franchise Guide 12,445 (N.D. Ill. 2001) (Issues relating to franchise termination)
  • Pyramid Controls Inc. v. Siemens Indus. Automation, Inc., CCH Business Franchise Guide 11, 461 (N.D.Ill. 1998), affd. 172 F.3d 516 (7th Cir. 1999) (Issues relating to franchise termination)
  • To-Am Equipment Co., Inc. v. Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America, Inc., 953 F.Supp.987 (N.D. Ill. 1997), affd. 157 F.3d 658 (7th Cir. 1998) (Affirming jury verdict on fork lift dealer’s wrongful termination claim)
  • Mid America Title Co. v. Kirk, 867 F.Supp. 673 (N.D. Ill. 1994), affd. 59 F.3d 719, 1995 Copr.L.Dec. 27, 418, 35 U.S.P.Q.2d 1502 (7th Cir. 1995) (Issues relating to copyright infringement)
  • Cleveland Wrecking Co. v. Central Nat. Banking in Chicago, 216 Ill. App.3d 279, 576 N.E.2d 1055 (Ill. App. 1991) (Issues relating to construction delay damages and mechanic’s liens)
  • Dean v. KIS Corp., 121 F.R.D. 74, 11 Fed.R.Serv.3d 1185 (N.D.Ill. 1988) (Issues relating to procedure)
  • Hartford Acc. And Indem. Co. v. Sullivan, 846 F.2d 377, 10 Fed.R.Serv.3d 1331 (7th Cir. 1988) (Issues relating to civil conspiracy, bank fraud and banker’s blanket bond)
  • Rebaque v. Forsythe Racing, Inc., 134 Ill.App.3d 778, 480 N.E.2d 1338, 42 UCC Rep. Serv. 222 (Ill. App. 1985) (Issues relating to breach of Indy Race Car contract and conversion)