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Brian D. Straw is an associate in the Litigation Practice of the firm’s Chicago office. His practice focuses on consumer class actions, commercial and business litigation, financial services and securities litigation. Within the consumer class action space Brian defends companies against false advertising claims including challenges to nutrition, origin and utility labeling under the Lanham Act and other state consumer protection statutes. Brian also has a wealth of experience defending officers, directors, broker-dealers, investment advisors, and public issuers against related investor class-actions, FINRA and financial services litigation for clients.

In addition to the above Brian maintains an active sports law practice representing institutions, coaches, and student athletes on issues surrounding athletic eligibility, national letters of intent, student-athlete transfers, and compliance issues. Brian played an active role defending Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions LLC in a multidistrict litigation proceeding stemming from the Mayweather/Pacquiao boxing match.

Brian is also strongly committed to pro bono work and providing legal support to non-profit organizations. In this capacity Brian focuses on immigration, asylum, discrimination and constitutionality issues and is a board member and Development Chair of Northern Illinois Justice for our Neighbors. Brian was recognized as the GT Chicago Outstanding Pro Bono Individual, 2017, and received the GT Team Pro Bono award, 2019.


  • Commercial and business litigation
  • Financial services litigation
  • Consumer class actions
  • Sports law



  • Represented a large broker-dealer in a FINRA arbitration alleging, among other things, financial elder abuse under California law. After an eight-day hearing, the panel entered an award dismissing all claims, awarding the respondent its requested attorneys’ fees, and assessing most of the forum fees to the Claimant.
  • Represented a financial advisor in a FINRA enforcement action alleging, among other things, that the financial advisor intentionally made unsuitable recommendations and creating false or misleading records. Following extensive discovery, FINRA accepted an Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent letter limited to a misunderstanding instead of an intentional violation.
  • Defended a large investment manager in a AAA arbitration with a former employee who alleged, among other things, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract. Claimant was seeking in excess of $15,000,000 in damages plus attorneys’ fees.
  • Defended champion boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his company, Mayweather Promotions, in an MDL proceeding stemming from the Mayweather/Pacquiao boxing match.
  • Representation of Fortune 50 retailer in a multidistrict litigation proceeding in the Northern District of Illinois involving allegations that the labeling and marketing of several brands of grated parmesan cheese as “100% Grated Parmesan Cheese” is misleading and deceptive. The retailer is actions which were originally filed in 14 different jurisdictions. The complaints allege that the matters exceed $5 million for CAFA jurisdiction.
  • Represented a Fortune 50 retailer in a putative nationwide class action in the Northern District of Illinois involving allegations that the labeling and marketing for certain pita chips as “All Natural” was misleading and deceptive. The complaints alleged that the matters exceeded $5 million for CAFA jurisdiction.
  • Represented the producer of a broad range of juice products which are labeled “No Sugar Added” in a class action proceeding under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act in the Southern District of Illinois. Based upon the complaints, the matters exceeded the $5 million threshold for CAFA jurisdiction.
  • Represented the football coaching staff (including head coach) of a Power Five conference member institution in an investigation by the NCAA Enforcement Staff, presenting the Head Coach and two assistants for testimony before the Staff.
  • Represented a national award winner at his football position in an NCAA investigation which threatened to strip him of his eligibility to participate during his award-winning senior year.
  • In Illinois state court, represented an Illinois high school in lawsuit against Illinois High School Association challenging mistaken application of an outcome-determinative contract provision.
  • Represented a minor student-athlete seeking a release from her National Letter of Intent. Prepared a letter by the student-athlete disavowing the NLI based upon the principle that minors cannot be bound by contracts made while they are minors and, on the basis of that theory, secured a release of her NLI.
  • Consulted clients in California, Florida, Illinois, and Michigan, on sports law questions, including athletic eligibility and issues regarding the National Letter of Intent.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Illinois Super Lawyers, "Rising Stars," 2022-2023
  • Trustee, Village of Oak Park, 2023-Present


  • J.D., cum laude, University of Michigan Law School, 2014
    • Comment Editor, Michigan Journal of Law Reform
    • Student Supervisor, Michigan Environmental Crimes Project
  • B.A., cum laude, Hope College, 2008
  • Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
  • Supreme Court of the United States