Other Pursuits

Peter Steinmeyer Hiking

"Outside of the office, I am a history buff, a hacker (at golf), and a hiker.  I am a member of St. Francis Xavier Parish (La Grange, Illinois) and the University Club of Chicago."

— Pete Steinmeyer

Focus Areas


  • Defeated multimillion-dollar claims against a financial services company including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent concealment, and tortious interference. At trial, Pete systematically whittled down the case to show it had no merit, ultimately compelling the court to issue a directed verdict or finding in favor of his clients on all claims. The plaintiffs received nothing.
  • Defeated efforts to prevent three individuals from assuming new positions at a competing oil industry company. At trial, Pete confronted difficult facts to prove that the plaintiff overreached, with the end result being that the individuals were allowed to assume their new positions.
  • Represented a manufacturing industry client in a trade secret misappropriation case in which, through dogged discovery, Pete ultimately convinced the court to issue a default judgment and award nearly $300,000 in attorney’s fees and costs as a sanction for evidence spoliation and lying under oath.
  • Defeated a five-count complaint against two former insurance industry employees and their new employer for alleged violations of restrictive covenants, alleged tortious interference, and alleged trade secret misappropriation. Pete focused on the real-world implications of the facts and succeeded in proving the plaintiff was overreaching. He got the case dismissed and then argued and won on appeal.
  • Defeated reverse discrimination claims against a financial services firm. The day after Pete took the plaintiff’s deposition, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed his case and received nothing.
  • Argued and won Contempo Design, Inc. v. Chicago & N.E. IL Dist. Council of Carpenters, 226 F.3d 535 (7th Cir. 2000) (en banc). Following a victory at trial and even though he was just 10 years out of law school, Pete convinced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to affirm an award of $445,000 against the carpenters’ union for an illegal strike and a declaration that a collective bargaining agreement signed to end the illegal strike was null and void. This was the only en banc decision issued by the Seventh Circuit in 2000.


  • The Best Lawyers in America©: Employment Law—Management and Labor Law—Management (2016 to 2024), "Lawyer of the Year" for Employment Law–Management, Chicago (2023)
  • Chambers USA: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business: Illinois—Labor & Employment, "Leader in Their Field" (2022 to 2024)
  • Crain's: Notable Leaders in Employment & Labor Law (2023)
  • Illinois Chamber of Commerce Tony Reinhart Champion of Free Enterprise Award (2023)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers: Employment & Labor: Employer (2006 to 2024)
  • The Legal 500 United States: Labor and Employment Disputes (Including Collective Actions): Defense (2021); Trade Secrets (Litigation and Non-Contentious Matters) (2024)
  • Leading Lawyers: Employment Law: Management and Trade Secrets/Unfair Competition Law (2013 to 2021)
  • Martindale-Hubbell®: Rated “AV Preeminent”

Key Publications

A sampling of Pete's recent publications includes:

Spilling Secrets Podcast Series

Pete is a co-host of Spilling Secrets, a podcast series on the future of trade secrets and non-compete law. Each episode features an all-star panel of attorneys talking about real-life problems, developments, and strategies when dealing with trade secrets, non-competes, and other types of restrictive covenants.



  • University of Chicago Law School (J.D., 1990)
  • University of Virginia (B.A., 1987)

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Chicago Council of Lawyers (President, 2009 - 2010)
  • Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission Hearing Board (2013 – 2022)
  • Illinois Chamber of Commerce: Board of Directors; Employment Law & Litigation Committee
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Thomson Reuters Practical Law’s Labor & Employment Service, Advisory Board





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