Chair, Affirmative Litigation practice
Co-Chair, US Antitrust & Competition group
John Hamill is a nationally recognized first chair trial lawyer and competition and commercial litigator who advises Fortune 500 companies and individuals on their most important matters. His diverse practice runs the full range of complex litigation, including in highly regulated sectors such as healthcare, telecommunications, insurance, and life sciences. He is also a leading member of DLA Piper's Global Media Sports & Entertainment sector and spearheads the firm's litigation practice in the sports world.
John's practice includes a particular focus on competition and antitrust matters, including claims of price fixing, no poach agreements, monopolization, and other anticompetitive behavior. He also handles high-stakes disputes and class actions involving RICO, ERISA, failed transactions, professional liability, and all types of commercial tort and contract matters, including affirmative litigation to protect clients' business interests.
John's commitment to excellence in serving his clients has been broadly recognized, including by Chambers USA, Legal 500, and the National Law Journal. Chambers noted his capabilities across a wide range of commercial disputes and class actions and quoted sources calling him "extremely talented" and "exceptionally client-focused," with "a tremendous ability to learn and understand" his clients' businesses and "provide guidance that makes business sense." He is also singled out for his ability to develop "very creative theories and defenses in litigation matters."
John is deeply committed to pro bono work and has been recognized for his "vigorous" practice representing plaintiffs seeking relief under §1983, including multiple civil rights trials.
- Secured a complete dismissal of all claims against a manufacturer in an antitrust case alleging restraint of trade and monopolization of the rebar steel manufacturing market.
- Prevailed on a motion to dismiss in a market allocation antitrust and reverse payment putative class action under the Sherman Act alleging that defendants' actions delayed the entry of biologically similar generic drugs onto the market. Affirmed by the Seventh Circuit.
- Prevailed on a motion to dismiss on behalf of a hospital system in a putative class action brought by physicians and a physician's group alleging that defendants' referral practices and relationship with an insurer violated the Illinois Antitrust Act. Affirmed by the Seventh Circuit.
- Secured the dismissal of plaintiffs' complaint alleging that changes to health insurer's reimbursement policy harmed competition in specialty testing markets by steering business away from out-of-state labs in violation of the Sherman Act and California laws.
- Obtained the dismissal of all claims against a telecommunications company in a complex RICO, conspiracy, and communications law case.
- Secured a complete victory in a putative class action alleging that a franchisor required its franchisees to agree not to solicit, poach, or hire one another's employees in violation of the Sherman Act. The district court granted defendants' motion to compel arbitration (affirmed by the Sixth Circuit), and the arbitrator subsequently dismissed the matter.
- Prevailed on a motion for primary jurisdiction referral to the NLRB in a putative class action alleging that property owners and managers engaged in a racketeering enterprise by requiring tenants in their commercial lease contracts to use union-only labor. Secured a favorable settlement after the NLRB dismissed plaintiff's charge that defendants had entered into a hot cargo agreement, a predicate for plaintiff's RICO claims.
- Represented an insurance company in a putative class action alleging a 15-year price-fixing conspiracy among nearly 20 sureties, two bail agents and two former executives to artificially inflate the price of bail bonds in California. Secured the dismissal of one client of two clients named as defendants and led joint defense efforts on two of three successful motions to dismiss all defendants. This matter is ongoing.
- Prevailed on a motion to dismiss under antitrust "filed rate" doctrine in an economic conspiracy case.
- Secured a favorable settlement on behalf of a telecommunications company in a long-running dispute against a group of affiliated companies over fees charged as part of an access stimulation scheme in violation of RICO and California and Illinois state laws, and successfully defended against multiple breach of contract counterclaims.
- Prevailed on a motion to dismiss in a putative class action alleging defendants engaged in a scheme to deny, delay and reduce payments to physicians and physician groups in violation of RICO, ERISA, and Florida law.
- Represented client in antitrust predatory pricing jury trial.
- Obtained the dismissal of all claims on behalf of a telecommunications company in a putative class action brought by local phone companies alleging defendants engaged in a scheme to perpetuate call connection issues in rural areas in violation of the Communications Act, RICO, and state laws.
- Prevailed on a motion to dismiss on behalf of a major insurance company and member plans in a putative class action alleging that defendants engaged in a scheme to deny, delay, and reduce payments to physicians in violation of RICO.
- Won a defense verdict on behalf of a soccer club following a month-long bench trial in a case brought by plaintiffs seeking to halt the construction of an MLS soccer stadium and attacking multiple commercial contracts.
- Represented insurer in the defense of a matter brought by the DOL against major retailers and insurers alleging defendants violated ERISA in managing retailer wellness programs and processing certain out-of-network claims.
- Obtained the dismissal of an ERISA class action brought by plaintiffs on behalf of union carpenters enrolled in two collectively bargained retirement plans and seeking over $250 million in damages.
- Represented a national insurer in a complex arbitration brought by a hospital system alleging that defendant improperly underpaid, misclassified or denied reimbursement claims for out-of-network emergency medical services over a multi-year period and seeking hundreds of millions in damages based on ERISA, breach of contract, and quantum meruit.
- Secured the dismissal of a taxpayer lawsuit challenging the relocation of an NFL franchise.
- Successfully argued that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court should strike down a state law that placed a tax on casinos and redistributed the revenue to underperforming casinos on the ground that it violated constitutional requirements of uniform taxation.
- Prevailed in a lawsuit against the Gaming Board and Pennsylvania Attorney General on behalf of an investor challenging a provision of Pennsylvania law barring campaign contributions from individuals holding ownership stakes in businesses with gaming licenses on the grounds that it ran afoul of constitutional free speech protections. Affirmed by the Third Circuit.
- Represented a university in litigation concerning concussion injuries in sports.
- Represented a professional sports team in an ownership controversy.
- Represented a professional sports team in various business litigation matters.
- Represented a prominent power utility in multiple class actions, appeals, and regulatory matters in state and federal courts and Supreme Court of Illinois.
- Represented a major energy company in a significant tax dispute.
- Represented a prominent power utility in unfair competition class actions.
- Represented several leading health insurance companies in a complex arbitration with a transportation company.
- J.D., Harvard Law School
- B.A., University of Notre Dame
- Chambers USA
- Illinois Litigation: General Commercial (2021-2023)
- The Legal 500 United States
- Antitrust, Civil Litigation/Class Actions: Defense (2019-2023)
- General Commercial Disputes (2022-2023)
- Plaintiff's Lawyer Trailblazer, National Law Journal (2021)
- Irish Legal 100 (2021-2023)
- Law Bulletin Publishing Company, one of "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch" (2007)
- Leading Lawyers Network
- Commercial Litigation
- Federal Regulatory Law
- Telecommunications Law
- The Best Lawyers in America, Communications Law (2006-2021)
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- "Ticketing lawsuits point to further turmoil," SportsBusiness Journal, 2017
- Editor, "RICO" chapter in the 2016 (Fourth) edition of Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts by Thompson & Reuters
- "RICO: A Guide to Civil RICO Litigation in Federal Courts," Jenner & Block Practice series, 2014
- "Antitrust & PPACA," presented to the Chicago Bar Association Antitrust Committee, 2014
- "Health Care Antitrust Cases and Strategies for Lawyers," Understanding Antitrust Issues in Healthcare (Inside the Minds): Aspatore 2010
- Panelist, "Sports & Entertainment Law Panel with DLA Piper," Harvard Law School, April 10, 2018
- "Antitrust and PPACA," Chicago Bar Association Antitrust Committee, January 2014
- "Carpenters Union Beats Retirement Plan Mismanagement Suit," Law360, May 12, 2023
- "Litigation Daily: Another Stacked Week of Litigator of the Week Runners-Up and Shout Outs," Bloomberg Law, August 5, 2022
- "Domino's Asks Justices To Keep No-Poach Suits In Arbitration," Law 360, December 22, 2020
- "6th Circ. Says Domino's Can Kick No-Poach Suit To Arbitration," Law360, June 17, 2020
- "Judge Urged To Ax Price-Fix Suit Against Bail Bond Entities," Law360, June 15, 2020
- "Gambling Business Stakeholders Can Contribute to Political Campaigns, 3rd Circ. Rules," The Legal Intelligencer, June 1, 2020
- "3rd Circ. Won't Revive Pa. Ban On Gaming Contributions," Law360, May 29, 2020
- "T-Mobile Urges Subpoena’s End In Access Fee Suit," Law360, August 30, 2019
- "Pa. Justices Say Casino Levy Violates Uniform Tax Rule," Law360, April 26, 2019
- "Telecom Gets Slowdown Counterclaims Cut In Access Fee Suit," Law360, May 23, 2018
- Adjunct clerk, the Honorable James Moran, US District Court, Northern District of Illinois 1994 – 1994
Memberships And Affiliations
- Supreme Court Historical Society
- American Bar Association – Antitrust Section
- Seventh Circuit Bar Association – Former Member, Board of Governors
- Fifth Circuit Bar Association
- Chicago Inn of Court
- Abraham Lincoln Association
My latest insights
DLA Piper partners Joseph G. Finnerty III and John Hamill named to Irish Legal 100 2021
2 November 2021 .2 minute read