Barry MacEntee
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Commercial litigation
40 Under Class – 2015

Barry MacEntee – a commercial litigator and partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP – was four years out of law school when he argued his first case in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals before a panel that included Judges Richard A. Posner and Frank H. Easterbrook.

A year later, MacEntee was back at the Seventh Circuit arguing another appeal. In both cases, which MacEntee handled by the time we was 30, the Seventh Circuit affirmed in favor of Hinshaw’s client.

In his 13 years at Hinshaw, MacEntee has built a practice defending claims brought against attorneys and accountants and litigating and arbitrating a broad range of commercial cases. He has tried cases in federal courts in Florida, Kentucky and Illinois.

While MacEntee has significant trial and appellate experience, he has built his reputation on the scores of cases that he has resolved before trial, either through a dispositive motion or a mediated settlement. One nominator an attorney at a prominent carrier that writes legal malpractice insurance noted that MacEntee’s sense of the big picture distinguishes him from many lawyers his age. The nominator recounted MacEntee’s work defending a multimillion dollar legal malpractice claim against a prominent intellectual property firm. “The plaintiff sought damages in excess of $10 million, including a multimillion dollar lost profits claim. Barry and his partner developed a strategy to expose the lost profits claim for what it was: a highly speculative, inflated damage claim that should never be presented to a jury.At the close of fact discovery, Barry drafted a partial motion for summary judgment that resulted in the court barring more than $8 million of plaintiff’s lost profits claim. More than two years before that motion was filed, before the discovery was issued and before the depositions were taken, Barry had a sense for what the record needed to look like in order for the trial court to grant that motion.”

MacEntee is particularly experienced in handling lost profits claims, having litigated them in numerous cases and presented thoughtful, aggressive at seminars and CLE programs on strategies for evaluating and defeating such claims.

Daymon Ruttenberg, general counsel with Incredible Technologies in Vernon Hills, Illinois, said that he has been well served by MacEntee’s work. “I was always impressed by the quality of Barry’s work,” Ruttenberg said. “He is a thoughtful, aggressive attorney who knows how to litigate the big, commercial dispute. As a general counsel, I value outside counsel who will be proactive, think independently and give me straight, unvarnished advice that I need to hear. Barry fits this bill.”

A look at the high-profile cases on which MacEntee has worked is proof of the trust that his fellow attorneys have in him. In 2010, MacEntee tried a multi-million-dollar breach-of-contract claim in federal court with Kevin Joseph Burke, Hinshaw’s chairman. In 2012, Hinshaw’s former chairman, Donald L. Mrozek chose MacEntee to try a key case for an important client in federal court in Miami.

James Kopecky, an attorney with Chicago law firm Kopecky, Schumacher, Bleakley & Rosenburg, has known MacEntee since he was a 1L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. “To have accomplished what Barry has at such a young age is truly unique and exceptional,” Kopecky said.

MacEntee lives in La Grange, Illinois with his wife Ellen and their three kids. He is an avid runner and has finished seven marathons, including the Boston Marathon.