Areas of Practice
Steven C. Florsheim, Partner and Managing Attorney
Mr. Florsheim joined Sperling & Slater as a partner in 2000 after spending several years at the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis, where he became a partner in 1997. He began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Harry D. Leinenweber in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Mr. Florsheim’s areas of practice range from complex commercial litigation to employment law to intellectual property disputes. He has special expertise in litigating and arbitrating disputes over accounting practices, consumer financing disclosures, franchise rights and corporate valuations, and also regularly practices in bankruptcy courts around the country.
J.D., Order of the Coif, University of Michigan Law School, 1991
B.A. in Political Science, cum laude, Yale University, 1987
Bankruptcy and Insolvency Litigation
Mr. Florsheim was appointed special counsel to the Liquidating Trust for HA-LO Industries in several proceedings against entities and individuals regarding HA-LO’s downfall. Mr. Florsheim pursued breach of fiduciary duty claims against HA-LO’s former CEO, related bad faith actions against the five insurance companies providing the former CEO with Directors’ and Officers’ liability insurance, gross negligence claims against HA-LO’s financial advisors, and fraudulent transfer claims against several of its financing entities. He has assisted his client in recovering over $47 million, including several million dollars in excess of the insurance policy limits.
Mr. Florsheim was appointed special litigation counsel to the Trustee for Mego Financial Corporation, once a leading player in the timeshare and resort industry and now a debtor in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Reno, Nevada. Mr. Florsheim is leading the Trustee’s efforts against former directors and officers of the corporation as well as against the former auditor for the company.
Mr. Florsheim has also served as counsel to creditors, directors or officers in several other bankruptcy cases, including In re Comdisco, In re DESA Holdings, and In re divine, Inc. Mr. Florsheim also serves as Special Counsel to the Creditors Committee in the United Airlines bankruptcy, tasked with investigating and potentially pursuing antitrust claims against a group of aircraft providers. Before leaving Kirkland & Ellis, Mr. Florsheim successfully represented Zenith Electronics Corporation in its bankruptcy confirmation hearings and also represented Reliance Acceptance Corporation and Jitney Jungle in their bankruptcy matters.
Complex Commercial Litigation
As lead counsel to Lucini Italia Company, a celebrated olive oil producer, Mr. Florsheim prevailed on trade secret, fraud and fiduciary duty claims and won a multi-million dollar judgment and injunctive relief for his client. Lucini Italia Co. v. Grappolini, 2003 WL 1989605 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 28, 2003); 288 F.3d 1035 (7th Cir. 2002); 231 F. Supp. 2d 764 (N.D. Ill. 2002). Mr. Florsheim has also assisted Lucini in related claims before the London Court of International Arbitration in Italy.
Mr. Florsheim has been retained as special counsel by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the receiver for Independent Trust Corporation, and the Illinois Office of Banking and Real Estate to pursue affirmative claims on behalf of some 17,000 retirees who lost pension funds as a result of alleged fraud and corporate mismanagement. As part of this effort, Mr. Florsheim was lead counsel in a suit against LaSalle Bank, which settled for a confidential amount.
Mr. Florsheim currently represents Robertson-Ceco Corporation in a lawsuit against major financial institutions, claiming hundreds of millions in damages in connection with a credit commitment being pulled in favor of another client. Mr. Florsheim also has represented Wirtz Corporation in various litigations relating to liquor distribution and franchise rights. He has defended GMAC and Mitsubishi Motors Credit of America in national class action lawsuits involving financing issues and won summary judgment in a Truth In Lending Act case, in Coelho v. Park Ridge Oldsmobile, et al., 2003 WL 4757867 (N.D. Ill. Feb.11, 2003). He has represented the Lemelson Foundation Partnership and the Spartan Tool Company in patent litigation. Mr. Florsheim assisted Gold’s Gym franchisees in a dispute over control of a closely-held corporation. He also handled Ameritech Mobile’s appeal in Dreyfus v. Ameritech Mobile Communications, Inc., 298 Ill. App. 3d 933 (1st Dist. 1998). Other representative clients include the Lakeview Investment Group, the Levy Organization, U-Haul Co. of Illinois, Humphreys Inc., the Vancouver Grizzlies, multiple directors of First Health Group Corporation, and Residential Funding Corporation.
Mr. Florsheim has handled over 100 different employment law matters on behalf of numerous clients. He has successfully defended claims of sexual harassment, race discrimination, gender discrimination, age discrimination, disability discrimination, and national origin discrimination as well as claims under the Equal Pay Act, the WARN Act, and the NLRA. Mr. Florsheim has addressed employment claims and charges in federal and state courts, before the EEOC, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the Illinois Human Rights Commission, as well as the investigatory arms of Cook County and the City of Chicago. In addition to litigating employment claims, Mr. Florsheim has extensive experience negotiating and drafting complex business contracts relating to employment, consulting arrangements, and severance for senior executives. He has also trained arbitrators relating to their handling of employment discrimination claims.
Steven C. Florsheim
Sperling & Slater
55 West Monroe Street
Chicago, Illinois 60603