Thomas F. Villanti
Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP
Family law
40 Under Class – 2019

Thomas Villanti is a partner in the family law firm of Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP where he handles matters of high-net-worth individuals who have complex marital estates and sources of income. You have probably heard of some of his clients, who include professional athletes, high-ranking business executives, ultra-successful real estate moguls or their celebrity spouses.

Villanti gets results for his clients. Two examples? He negotiated an equal parenting schedule for a Major League Baseball player over a stay-at-home mother, always a challenge in this field of law. Villanti also protected the tens of millions of dollars awarded to a disabled client from her spouse during their divorce. Similarly, he uncovered and obtained millions of dollars of assets that his client’s spouse had hidden in offshore accounts.

These are just a few of the many positive results Villanti has earned during his still-young legal career. What is the secret behind his strong record? Villanti’s peers say this family law pro is a keen legal scholar with a strong financial and mathematic acumen, who works diligently for his clients. At the same time, he possesses the perfect demeanor for family law: He is calm, practical and committed to earning the best possible outcomes for his clients.

Just ask Brian Blitz, an attorney with Chicago’s Berger Schatz, who has known Villanti for eight years as an opposing counsel and has been constantly impressed.

“Tom has always had a great head on his shoulders and an ease and confidence,” Blitz said. “He does not get heated, ever, and knows how to work in a calming and practical way with lawyers, clients, opposing parties and judges.”

Blitz said that he would confidently put Villanti on the other side of a contentious case any day, knowing that this young attorney would zealously advocate for his clients, spot the correct issues and work well with everyone to solve problems, not create them.

Other attorneys point to Villanti’s court record as proof that he ranks among the best family lawyers in Chicago. For example, Villanti obtained a favorable verdict defeating the entire $2 million dissipation claim against one of his clients. He also won 100% of the marital estate for a client from an intentionally underemployed spouse. Additionally, he obtained a verdict of a disproportionate share of the marital estate for a business-owning spouse.

Decision-makers in his field recognize his strengths. Family law mediator, Alex Jacobson says that Villanti “has a unique ability to sort through complex finances and present them in a common sense way to the court.” Jacobson says that Villanti “is known for being thoroughly prepared and advocating for his clients in a calm, composed and highly effective manner. He never lets the heat of the moment turn the situation into a shouting session.”

Family law mediator Karen Shields enjoys working on cases with Villanti because he has “a professional and intelligent approach,” and “patience which is hard to find in this area of law.”

Former domestic relations judge Lisa Ruble Murphy says that Villanti “conducts himself with an exceptionally calm temperament and remarkable civility,” and that he “has the ability to explain very complex financial issues to the court in a straight forward, concise and understandable way.”

Murphy says that Villanti is “a star among the domestic relations lawyers and enjoys the respect of his peers.”

As a way to give back to his profession, Villanti has served as a co-host on the fund-raising committee for the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network. He is also a board member for the Urban Initiatives Association and a volunteer for the Hispanic National Bar Association’s annual toy and clothing drive in Chicago.