Representing businesses, business people, physicians and healthcare entities in complex commercial litigation, Kristen Hudson has won high-stakes legal challenges in state, federal and appellate courtrooms across the nation. A professional with uncompromising integrity, she pursues solutions that make the best financial sense for her clients—avoiding court whenever possible and advocating aggressively when litigation is needed.
Kristen has successful experience in matters ranging from contract disputes, business torts and fraud to the protection of trade secrets and intellectual property rights—not only in the courtroom, but also in a variety of arbitral forums.
These legal areas are reflected in some of her recent successes:
- successfully representing a former officer on claims of breach of fiduciary duty and unfair competition in two-week federal jury trial
- leading a joint defense group and winning a dismissal with prejudice and sanctions on behalf of a national bank on claims in Illinois federal court relating to antitrust, conspiracy, and fraud and successfully defending the dismissal in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
- successfully defending a family limited partnership against claims in Illinois state and federal courts involving RICO and breach of fiduciary duty, and successfully prosecuting an action to quiet title and quash unlawful lis pendens recorded on real estate assets in connection with the litigation
- successfully invalidating a contractual limitation on damages in a contract for the sale of goods under the Illinois Uniform Commercial Code thereby allowing evidence of full amount of damages to be heard at arbitration, which resulted in a favorable settlement for the client
- defeating motion for temporary restraining order for misappropriation of trade secrets, and successfully defending denial on an expedited appeal in Bridgeview Bank Grp. v. Meyer, 2016 IL App (1st) 160042
- winning summary judgment on interpretation of Shareholder’s Agreement on behalf of estate of deceased shareholder
- leading prosecution of $30 million fraud claims on behalf of a finance company
- recouping fraudulent conveyances paid as part of a Ponzi scheme
- obtaining dismissal of claims against the co-guarantor and award attorneys' fees
- winning a high-stakes appeal in a wrongful death action on behalf of an energy company in Diane Dunet v. Clarence Simmons and Commonwealth Edison 120603 (Ill. App. Ct. (1st) 2013)
- representing an individual investor against a brokerage firm in a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration alleging securities fraud and breach of fiduciary duty
- winning an appeal protecting a parent company from liability for an on-the-job accident at its subsidiary in Patrick J. Linsner v. Exelon Corporation and Exelon Energy Delivery Co., LLC 110753 (Ill. App. Ct. (1st) 2012)
- protecting a company’s trade secrets by obtaining a temporary restraining order and a subsequent favorable settlement
- obtaining summary judgment on behalf of a corporate client for claims made under the Americans with Disabilities Act; successfully defending that judgment in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and in the Supreme Court of the United States
Besides being a top-notch commercial litigator, Kristen also focuses on maximizing the recovery of insurance proceeds for her policyholder clients. Having already recovered millions of dollars for clients, she enjoys going to court to get the coverage they contracted for and effectively putting money back into their pockets.
Kristen is knowledgeable about commercial insurance policies of all kinds, including directors’ and officers’ liability, professional liability, employment practices liability, commercial general liability, products liability, cyber liability and others.
Many of these are reflected in some recent successes:
- successfully overcoming coverage defenses and negotiating settlement of BIPA suit with insurance proceeds
- obtaining coverage for manufacturing recall issues under an errors and omissions policy
- favorably resolving declaratory judgment filed by in federal court by insurer alleging late notice under claims made policy
- •negotiating resolution to coverage dispute and declaratory judgment action filed against nationwide not-for-profit by its directors’ and officers’ liability carrier
- representing an insured policyholder in a subrogation action involving denial of coverage
- guiding a company in Chapter 11 bankruptcy through all aspects of insurance coverage and litigating disputes related to primary and excess coverage under products liability and directors’ and officers’ liability policies
- serving as national insurance coverage counsel for a widely known corporation and advising on all aspects of insurance coverage
- prosecuting advancement and insurance rights in Delaware Chancery Court on behalf of former directors and officers of a health care company
- counseling a nationally known company on contractual indemnity and insurance coverage rights related to a series of on-premises accidents
- advising a condominium association faced with an on-premises accident on its coverage under commercial general liability policies and related indemnity agreements
A magna cum laude graduate of The John Marshall Law School, Kristen was editor-in-chief of The John Marshall Law Review, one of the most prestigious honors programs at the school. Today, she writes frequently on a wide range of topics involving commercial litigation and insurance coverage, teaches Continuing Legal Education seminars and speaks on pertinent issues to client groups.
Kristen is recognized as a leader in the legal community and is an inspiration to other attorneys. In January 2020 she received the "Top 100 Illinois Lawyer" and the "Top 50 Women Lawyer" recognitions from Super Lawyers, the latter was also awarded to Kristen in 2017. In 2019 she was chosen as a Crain’s Chicago Business “Notable Gen X Leaders in Law,” which is a select group of accomplished attorneys between the ages of 40 and 55 who hold senior leadership positions within the firm, serve as role models or mentors to other attorneys and are leaders outside of their law firms in professional organizations and community service initiatives. Kristen was also elected to the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, a global honorary society of attorneys, judges, law faculty and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the highest principles of the legal profession and the welfare of their communities. Kristen was also selected as a Fellow in The Litigation Counsel of America, a Trial Lawyer Honorary Society, comprised of less than one-half percent of American lawyers. Fellows are chosen based upon excellence and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation.
In 2018 she received Crain’s “Notable Women Lawyers” for her contributions to the Chicago legal community and to charitable organizations and philanthropic endeavors. Kristen also received the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law’s 2018 Inspiration award that identifies one woman each year who has achieved excellence in their legal practice, advocated for gender parity and encouraged the full talents, capabilities, skills and rights of women in the legal profession. In 2017 she was chosen to be a Leading Lawyer, a distinction that is earned by less than five percent of lawyers in Illinois. Four years ago she was honored with the CBA Alliance for Women 2016 Alta May Hulett Award. This award acknowledges one outstanding woman lawyer who has significantly contributed to the advancement of women in the legal profession or other areas, and whose career exemplifies the highest level of professional achievement, ethics and excellence. In 2014 Kristen was recognized for her achievements and community involvement by being named one of “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch” by Law Bulletin Publishing Company. Past honors include the Illinois Rising Star distinction that she held for eight consecutive years, along with Emerging Lawyer, which is earned by fewer than two percent of all Illinois attorneys under 40 years old.
Since 2016 Kristen has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s John Marshall Law School where she teaches Counseling and Negotiation, Alternative Dispute Resolution and International Commercial Arbitration. She is also co-coach of the school’s Willem C. Vis International Commercial Moot Arbitration Team. In 2019 the team competed in Hong Kong and won Honorable Mention for Best Claimant's Brief and Honorable Mention for Best Respondent's Brief. Her 2019 team placed third in the University of Houston Law Center Blakely Advocacy Institute’s “Write the Award” competition. This competition gives students the opportunity to take the next step in the international arbitration process by writing the arbitration award for that year’s Vis arbitration problem. Kristen has also served as an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and DePaul University's College of Law.
Kristen is as dedicated to pro bono work as she is to her practice. Since law school, she committed countless hours to Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) to ensure that low-income Chicagoans received quality legal representation. Having begun her association there as a graduate fellow with the Public Interest Law Initiative, Kristen served for eight years on CVLS’s Board of Directors, including as its President and President Ex-Officio. In 2019, she was elected to CVLS's Advisory Board. Also during 2019, she was elected to the Cook County Assembly for the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), which is the supreme policy making body of the Association, and she is the chair of the arbitration subcommittee for the ISBA's Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Council.
Kristen also serves as the firm’s co-General Counsel and is member and past chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Council.
Prior to attending law school, Kristen was a French teacher in the North Carolina public schools. In her free time, she enjoys brushing up on her French and traveling abroad—especially to France.