James L. Jerue Partner
  • D 312.606.3202
  • F 312.267.2204
James L. Jerue
"I love jazz and, like the jazz greats, an entrepreneur has to be ready to improvise. It’s a privilege to help an entrepreneur create a great business that looks little like the business the entrepreneur first thought he or she was creating."

Jim is a partner in HMB’s Business and Finance Group. He focuses his practice on start-up and early stage financings, mergers and acquisitions, contract negotiation and providing counsel to company executives and their boards of directors.

Jim represents businesses from their beginnings through initial financing, growth initiatives, subsequent financing and ultimate liquidity. While a large portion of Jim’s practice is centered in the technology space, Jim also represents entrepreneurs who seek to purchase, operate and grow established businesses in areas such as marketing, packaging, manufacturing and distribution.

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Jim also provides general counsel services related to business transition, employment issues, partnership and LLC agreements and securities matters. Jim’s general counsel clients include professional service firms, health care providers and payors, retailers and outsourced business service providers

A presence in Chicago’s start-up community, Jim leads HMB’s relationship with and sponsorship of Hyde Park Angels, the most active angel investment organization in the Midwest. Jim serves as a mentor at the business accelerator Techstars Chicago and advises at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business as well as Food Foundry, a food start-up accelerator housed at 1871, Chicago’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Center.

A Business-Savvy Approach

Clients rely on Jim for more than legal advice; they appreciate his respect for the human elements of both their transaction and their business. With decades of experience, Jim’s approach is informed by listening first and simplifying the difficult. Jim’s focus is helping his clients get to “yes,” whether that’s a closed financing, a signed contract or a successful business sale.


University of California at Los Angeles, J.D.

Northwestern University, B.A




  • Illinois Super Lawyers (2010-2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • AV Rated
  • Chicago’s Best Startup Lawyers, Red Rocket (2012)

Professional Memberships

  • Chicago Bar Associations
  • Business Law Committee (former Chair)
  • Subcommittee on Non-Corporate Business Entities for six years (former Chair),
  • Subcommittee on Private Equity for three years (former Co-Chair)
  • Member, Executive Committee of the Committee on Partnerships and Unincorporated Business Organizations of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section (former Program Chair)
  • Illinois Secretary of State’s Corporation Law Advisory Committee (former member)

Community Involvement

  • Mentor at the Chicago business accelerator Techstars Chicago (formerly Excelerate Labs)
  • Leads HMB’s relationship with and sponsorship of Hyde Park Angels, an angel investment organization affiliated with the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.


  • HMB Represents Foxtrot in $17M Growth RoundFebruary 10, 2020

    Foxtrot, a modern convenience store offering in-store and delivery options, announced that it raised $17 million in a funding round co-led by Imaginary Ventures and Wittington Ventures and joined by previous investors Fifth Wall, Lerer Hippeau, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, M3 Ventures, The University of Chicago, Collaborative VC and Wasson Enterprises as well as new investors Bluestein…

  • HMB Represents NextLevel in $50M Merger with California-Based Healthcare CompanyJanuary 10, 2020

    NextLevel Health Innovations, Inc. ("NextLevel"), a managed care health plan for Cook County residents with Medicaid known for its community involvement, has signed a Merger Agreement with Molina Healthcare, Inc. ("Molina"), a FORTUNE 500 company. HMB represented NextLevel in the negotiation and signing of the Merger Agreement. As part of the transaction, Molina will assume the right to serve approximately…

  • Jim L. Jerue and Katherine A. Attebery Named 2020 Leading Lawyers by Leading Lawyers Advisory BoardJanuary 9, 2020

    Jim and Katie were recommended by their peers and approved by the Leading Lawyers Advisory Board to be 2020 Leading Lawyers. The list of Leading Lawyers is the result of contact with thousands of lawyers within their respective region and/or area(s) of law. Only those lawyers who are most often recommended, and later approved by the Advisory Board, are selected.…

  • HMB Represents Hyde Park Angels in $4.5M Funding Round of Chicago-based Tech/Cannabis CompanyDecember 6, 2019

    Leaf Trade, a technology company whose wholesale ordering platform connects licensed cannabis vendors and dispensaries, announced that it raised $4.5 million in a funding round led by HPA and Duke Software Investments. HMB represented Hyde Park Angels (HPA) in their investment. HPA's people-first approach provides unique value to entrepreneurs and investors. HPA will be actively involved in Leaf Trade at…

  • HMB Represents Quantitative Insights in Sale to Chicago Biotech Incubator Paragon BiosciencesJuly 25, 2019

    HMB represented Quantitative Insights, developer of QuantX, the first-ever FDA-cleared computer-aided breast cancer diagnosis system in radiology, in its sale to Qlarity Imaging, a portfolio company of Paragon Biosciences. Quantitative Insights was founded at the University of Chicago around technology developed at the University and with the support of the University’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Paragon is a…

  • University of California at Los Angeles, J.D.
  • Northwestern University, B.A
  • Illinois
500 West Madison Suite 3700
Chicago IL 60661

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