Deane B. Brown

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Employment Litigation Attorney in Chicago, IL

Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd.
 | 70 W. Madison Street, Suite 4000
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-604-2662
Fax: 312-604-2663
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2005, 2007 - 2021
Licensed Since: 1990
Practice Areas:
  • Employment Litigation: Plaintiff (60%),
  • Business Litigation (40%)
    Attorney Profile

    Deane B. Brown, a Shareholder with Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd., has earned a highly regarded reputation in the Chicago legal community as a tenacious, strategic and skilled advocate for her clients. An accomplished lawyer for 30 years, Ms. Brown has extensive experience representing executives and employees in all areas of employment law, including severance negotiations, employment discrimination claims and retaliatory discharge cases. Ms. Brown represents clients who have been the victims of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin and disability discrimination. She represents women who have been sexually harassed in the workplace, sales representatives who have been wrongfully denied bonuses and commissions, and executives in challenging overbroad and unenforceable non-competition agreements, among many other types of employment matters. Ms. Brown regularly represents clients in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights and in federal and state courts.

    Ms. Brown is extremely experienced in representing C-Suite and senior executives in public and private companies in negotiating and drafting employment agreements. She handles sophisticated equity and compensation issues involving long-term and short-term incentive plans, stock options, and restricted stock unit agreements. Ms. Brown also assists clients in negotiating signing and retention bonuses, non-compete and non-solicit provisions as well as confidentiality and trade secret agreements. She also handles shareholder and partnership agreements.

    Ms. Brown is a leader in the Chicago legal community. She currently serves as President of the Illinois Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), and previously served as President of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, Chair of the ISBA Bench & Bar Section Council, and Chair of the ISBA Professional Conduct Committee. In addition, Ms. Brown is a strong supporter of other professional women. She served as President of the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago and is a founder of the Exclusive Professional Women’s Networking Group (EPWNG).

    Admitted to practice in the state of Illinois, Ms. Brown is also admitted before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. In 2015, the Women's Bar Association of Illinois gave Ms. Brown the Top Women Lawyers in Leadership Award.

    Ms. Brown has also been named by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company in the Top 15 Women Attorneys and Leading Lawyers Network Magazine-Women's Edition named her one of the Top Ten Women Lawyers in Illinois. For her high ethical standards and long list of successful results, she holds the highest peer rating possible of AV Preeminent* from Martindale-Hubbell.

    In 1986, Ms. Brown graduated from the Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Arts. Ms. Brown then attended the University of Cambridge in England where she earned a master's degree in Philosophy. At Boston University School of Law in 1990, she graduated with her Juris Doctor. While in law school she was a noted contributor for the Boston University Annual Review of Banking & Financial Law.

    * AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

    Practice Areas
    • 60%Employment Litigation: Plaintiff
    • 40%Business Litigation
    Focus Areas

    Employment Discrimination, Wrongful Termination, Retaliation, Trade Secret, Non-Compete Agreements


    Selected to Super Lawyers for 16 yearsbottom-image

    Super Lawyers: 2005, 2007 - 2021

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    About Deane Brown

    Admitted: 1990, Illinois

    Professional Webpage:


    • Named Top 50 Women Lawyers in Illinois by Illinois Super Lawyers Magazine (2009, 2010 & 2012-2019) 
    • Named Top 15 Women Attorneys in the legal community making a unique impact on the profession by Law Bulletin Publishing Company (2012) 
    • Top Women Lawyers In Leadership Award (2015) by Women’s Bar Association of Illinois 
    • Named Top 100 Lawyers In Illinois by Illinois Super Lawyers Magazine (2013-2019)  
    • Named Top Ten Women Lawyers in Illinois by Leading Lawyers Network Magazine-Women’s Edition (2012)  
    • AV® Preeminent™ Rating by Martindale-Hubbell® 

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • United States Magistrate Merit Selection Panel and Merit Review Panel, Appointed as Panel Member by Chief Judge of the United States District for the Northern District of Illinois, 2012-2013  
    • Provisor’s Network, Executive Committee Member
    • Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers 
    • Chicago Bar Association, Member, Committee to Prevent Attorney Malpractice, 2000-2007
    • Illinois State Bar Association, Member, Labor & Employment Law Section Council, 2018-2019, Member, Standing Committee on Women & The Law, 2018-2019, Ex Officio, Bench & Bar Sectional Council, 2018-2019, Chair, Bench & Bar Section Council, 2017-2018, Vice Chair, Bench & Bar Section Council, 2016-2017, Secretary, Bench & Bar Section Council, 2015-2016, Appointed to Bench and Bar Section Council, 2012-2014, Chair, Assembly Rules and Bylaws Committee, 2012-2014, Appointed to Special Task Force on the Future of the Courts, 2013-2014, Appointed to Assembly Governance Committee, 2013-2014, Elected to the Assembly, 2011-2014, Secretary, Standing Committee on Supreme Court Rules, 2010-2011, Appointed to the Legislation Committee, 2009, Chair, Standing Committee on Professional Conduct 2005-2006, Vice-Chair, Standing Committee on Professional Conduct 2004-2005, Secretary, Standing Committee on Professional Conduct 2003-2004, Member, Standing Committee on Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, 2000-2001
    • Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, Ex Officio, 2012-2013, President, 2011-2012, First Vice President, 2010-2011, Second Vice President, 2009-2010, Treasurer, 2008-2009, Member, Board of Directors, 2007-2008, Co-Chair, WBAI Public Office Committee, Member, The Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening
    • Professional Women’s Club of Chicago, President, 2006-2007, Vice President, 2005-2006, Chair, Programs Committee, 2003-2005, Advisory Committee Member, 2008-present
    • Illinois, 1990
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois 
    • U.S. Supreme Court 

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Illinois Bar Foundation, President, June 2019-present, First Vice President, 2018-2019, Second Vice President, 2017-2018, Third Vice President, 2016-2017, Fellows Chair, 2015-2016, Board Member, 2013-present

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Avoiding Malpractice, CBA Young Lawyers Section Seminar on Professional Responsibility (Mar. 2001)
    • Ethical Issues Relating to Office Shares, Of Counsels, Co-Counsels and Independent Contractors: Ethical Issues Regarding Firm Names and Letterhead, ISBA Ethics Seminar (Dec. 2000)
    • Conflicts of Interest in Family Law Practice, CBA Matrimonial Law Committee Seminar (Feb. 2001)
    • Family Law Initial Client Intakes and Ethical Considerations in Family Law, Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois (Nov. 2011)
    • Ethical Issues For Attorneys And Experts, Law Seminars International, Chicago, Illinois (Mar. 2006)
    • Ethical Considerations in Divorce, Illinois Institute For Continuing Legal Education, Chicago, Illinois (Nov. 2010)
    • Taking Diversity Seriously: Being a Woman in the Legal Industry, Chicago Lawyer Off The Pages Diversity Conference, Chicago, Illinois (Nov. 2011)
    • “Lawyers Must Not Mislead the Public.” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (July 12, 2012)
    • Young Lawyers, Young Leaders, panel discussion, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois Program at Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois (Apr. 2012)
    • Overcome Gender Stereotypes and Transform Your Career, panel discussion, Women’s Leadership & Mentoring Alliance, Chicago, Illinois (Apr. 2012)
    • Marketing Mayhem: Gaining Clients While Playing By The Rules, panel discussion, Law Bulletin Seminars, Chicago, Illinois (May 2012)
    • Using Grit and Growth Mindset to Advance Women in the Law, Winston & Strawn LLP, Chicago, Illinois (Feb. 2015)
    • How to Get the Business: A Conversation with Givers and Getters, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois (Apr. 2015)
    • Women Leaders in Labor and Management, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois (May 2016)
    • A Discussion on Employment, Labor & Inclusion, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois (May 2016)
    • The Equal Rights Amendment: Why It Still Matters and How It Will Affect Our Future, Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois (October 2016)
    • Note Author, “Basic Banking: Has the financial Services Industry Severed the Lifeline of Low-Income Consumers?,” Boston University Annual Review of Banking Law (1990)
    • “Pretrial Discovery in Federal Court,” Federal Criminal Practice published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (1992)
    • Contributing Author, “Base Offense Level and Specific Offense Characteristics,” Practice Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines published by P. Bamberger (1993)
    • “From Office Sharing to Letterhead: The Ethics of Holding Yourself Out to the Public,” Illinois Bar Journal (July 2001)
    • “Ethical Considerations Exist in Advertising with Client Testimonials.” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (June 11, 2012)
    • Boston University School of Law, Note Contributor, Boston University Annual Review of Banking Law
    • “Some Actions Should Not Occur When Responding to an ARDC Beef.” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Aug. 28, 2012)
    • “Rule Tries to Address Intentionally ‘Conflicting Out’ Lawyers.” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Sept. 18, 2012)
    • “May Lawyers Sell Discounted Services on a ‘Deal of the Day’ Site?” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Oct. 23, 2012)
    • “Malpractice by ‘of counsel’ tough to sort out.” Lawyers’ Forum (Mar. 1, 2013)
    • “6 Reasons I Support the Equal Rights Amendment as an Employment Lawyer.” Women’s Bar Association of Illinois Blog, (April 28, 2017)

    Educational Background:

    • The Johns Hopkins University, B.A., 1986
    • University of Cambridge, England, M.Phil, 1987
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    Office Location for Deane B. Brown

    70 W. Madison Street
    Suite 4000
    Chicago, IL 60602

    Phone: 312-604-2662

    Fax: 312-604-2663

    Deane B. Brown:

    Last Updated: 8/27/2020

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