John Swinney is an associate in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the firm’s Chicago office. 

Areas of Practice


John has experience representing private and public employers and universities before federal and state courts across the country in matters including breach of contract, restrictive covenant agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, deceptive trade practices, and discrimination and reverse discrimination claims.  His litigation experience includes successfully defending employers and higher educational institutions in both bench and jury trials.  John also has experience defending employers before administrative agencies such as the EEOC and Illinois Department of Human Rights. 

John regularly analyzes the enforceability of restrictive covenants on a nationwide basis.  He has experience both prosecuting and defending actions involving the enforcement of non-compete, non-solicitation, and other restrictive covenants, as well as misappropriation of trade secrets claims under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act.


In addition to his litigation experience, John is skilled in counseling employers and educational institutions on a multitude of issues, including: personnel policies, employee handbooks, federal and local leave laws, wage and hour issues, severance and separation agreements, trade secret protection (including non-competition and non-solicitation agreements), Title IX compliance, student handbooks, and other student matters (including students with disabilities and student discipline issues).  

John also works with clients involved in mergers and acquisitions to assess and evaluate labor and employment liabilities associated with a specific transaction and to assist in developing business-oriented and creative solutions to any such issues that may arise.

Internal Investigations

John regularly conducts internal investigations and audits on behalf of his clients on issues including whistleblower claims, harassment and workplace misconduct, code of conduct violations, and workplace violence.  John also has experience conducting audits and investigations for higher education institutions, specifically regarding Title IX compliance. 


While attending the University of Notre Dame Law School, John was a student representative for the Chicago branch of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, President of the Education Law Forum, and a staff member on the Journal of College and University Law—a law review in cooperation with the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) dedicated to the law of higher education.  John was also an extern at the Chicago District Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where he assisted in litigating discrimination and harassment lawsuits.

Pro Bono

John is committed to pro bono work and has represented several pro bono prisoner clients in filing and pursuing civil rights claims. 



Labor and Employment Law Blog Posts

Trade Secrets Law Blog Posts



J.D., Notre Dame Law School, 2017

B.A., University of Illinois, 2014


  • Illinois
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