Hal J. Wood Partner | General Counsel
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Hal J. Wood

Hal is a partner in HMB’s Litigation Group and also serves as the firm’s General Counsel. He represents clients in complex commercial litigation matters and has successfully tried cases as lead attorney in federal and state courts nationwide and before arbitration tribunals.

Hal works directly with business leaders and their teams to analyze complex business disputes and to provide strategic advice based on each client’s needs and goals, with a proven ability to take matters to trial if necessary.

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With experience spanning a wide array of litigation and business counsel matters, Hal focuses on the core issues that help business leaders and stakeholders better control and protect the unique and critical elements of their organizations including: fraud and breaches of representation claims arising out of complicated business transactions such as mergers and acquisitions; restrictive covenant and trade secret misappropriation claims on behalf of former employers, departing employees or new employers; and disputes among owners of closely-held companies relating to the management and control of the company.

As HMB’s General Counsel, Hal advises the firm on professional responsibility and risk management issues.

Proven Trial Success, Ardent Business Relationships

Clients appreciate and trust Hal’s keen understanding of business issues, superb trial skills and practical approach—all drawn from his many years of experience and dedication to getting to know each client on an individual basis.


  • Lead trial counsel in defending majority shareholder in claims in excess of $70 million for breach of representation and fraud arising from the sale of a business. Case resulted in favorable settlement after the commencement of the trial, and subsequent favorable rulings to enforce the terms of the settlement agreement.
  • Lead trial counsel in defending former employees and new employer in a federal court trial on claims of breaches of restrictive covenants, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Case resulted in a judgment for defendants on all claims after a six-day trial. (Instant Technology, LLC v. Elizabeth DeFazio, et al., 2014 WL 1759184).
  • Lead counsel for defendants in a staffing industry restrictive covenant case. Case favorably settled following the denial of the plaintiff’s motion for a temporary restraining order.
  • Lead trial counsel in representing a shareholder of an accounting firm in connection with the breakup of the accounting firm. Judgment by the trial court successfully divided the firm’s assets in favor of client.
  • Lead counsel in arbitration representing defendant in a claim by a consultant seeking a finder’s fee in relation to for the sale of a business. The representation resulted in an award in favor of the defendant after a 5-day arbitration hearing, and an award requiring the plaintiff to pay the client’s attorneys’ fees.
  • Represented majority shareholder sibling owners of food seasoning and packaging company against other sibling shareholder relating to a dispute over the ownership and management of the company. Representation resulted in clients successfully obtaining ownership of entire company.
  • Lead counsel for wholesale bakery in claims based on a restrictive covenant and claims of misappropriation of trade secrets related to the hiring of an employee from a competitor. The plaintiff dismissed the case after the court denied its motion for a temporary restraining order.
  • Lead trial counsel for a legal finance company in an interpleader case filed in state court in Houston, Texas. The case was settled after trial by the client receiving funds that were the subject of the interpleader case.
  • Lead trial counsel for a financing processor of vehicle service contracts. The plaintiff, who was an administrator of the vehicle service contracts, withdrew its request for a preliminary injunction during the preliminary injunction hearing and then the case settled just prior to the beginning of the trial.
  • Lead counsel in an arbitration hearing for a medical doctor in claiming amounts due him from the medical practice after he left the practice. Arbitration hearing resulted in award in favor of client for all amounts he claimed were due him.
  • Represented accountant in claims made by accounting firm for amounts it claimed were due because of the accountant’s departure from the firm. Prevailed on a motion for summary judgment.
  • Lead trial counsel representing a futures trading firm on churning claims in jury trial in state court in Las Vegas, NV. Jury trial resulted in verdict in favor of client on all claims.
  • Lead trial counsel for futures trading firm in a National Futures Association (NFA) arbitration hearing in claims made by customer relating to the closing out of positions in the customer’s account. The hearing resulted in a favorable ruling for the client.
  • Lead trial counsel in federal court jury trial in Indianapolis, Indiana, in fraud and breach of contract claim resulting in successful defense of fraud claim brought by departed executive based on dispute over compensation package.
  • Lead trial counsel in jury trial on behalf of landlord against departing national retail tenant. Trial resulted in judgment against former tenant for all amounts claimed by landlord for unpaid rent and other damages.


  • University of Illinois, J.D., cum laude
  • University of Illinois, B.A. in Economics



U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit


  • Hal J. Wood and Matthew R. Barrett Secure Victory in Highly Contested Post-Transaction DisputeFebruary 26, 2020

    HMB litigators Hal J. Wood and Matthew R. Barrett secured a complete victory in a recent highly contested post-transaction dispute. The team obtained summary judgment in their clients’ favor on all counts, including an award of 100% of the clients’ attorneys’ fees, resulting in a total judgment of over $9,000,000 in favor of HMB’s clients. HMB’s clients were the sellers…

  • Hal Wood Named to Law Firm Alliance's Board of DirectorsDecember 2, 2019

    Hal Wood was named to the Law Firm Alliance's Board of Directors. The LFA is an international network of mid-sized law firms where members collaborate to share knowledge, experience and jurisdictional expertise to benefit their clients. The LFA provides a wealth of trusted resources for our clients and virtually expands our attorney network worldwide.…

  • University of Illinois, J.D., cum laude
  • University of Illinois, B.A. in Economics
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
500 West Madison Suite 3700
Chicago IL 60661

Phone: 312-606-3200 Fax: 312-606-3232
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