Chicago Business Tort Lawyer

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Business disputes can arise in a number of different ways. Most often, people think of contract disputes, but there is a whole class of disputes that do not involve a breach of contract. These are business torts. Generally speaking, a business tort can be any matter that is not based on a contractual relationship and that the law recognizes as a civil wrong to which a remedy applies. Fraud and defamation are just two examples of business torts. Our Chicago business tort lawyers provide strategic advice and deft representation in business tort matters, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in the resolution of all manner of business tort litigation.

Below are some of the most common business torts.


  • Fraud

    In the context of a business tort, fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation usually involves an intentional misrepresentation of fact or the failure to disclose a material fact that causes harm.

  • Deceptive Trade Practices

    State laws define unfair or deceptive trade practices. For instance, the Illinois Deceptive Trade Practices Act outlines a dozen different deceptive trade practices, such as passing off goods as those of another, causing a likelihood of confusion as to the source of goods, representing used goods as new, disparaging the goods of another by false or misleading representations of fact, bait and switch advertising, and more.

  • Unfair Competition

    Many of the deceptive trade practices outlined above would amount to unfair competition when they harm a competing business. Under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, it is not necessary to prove competition between the parties in order to prevail in a lawsuit alleging a violation of the statute.

  • Defamation

    Business defamation, also known as commercial disparagement, occurs when a person or competing business makes a false and defamatory statement that hurts a business’s reputation.

  • Tortious Interference with Business Relations

    This tort includes many different actions that interfere in a contractual relationship, such as convincing a party to breach its contract or not do business with another party or preventing them from fulfilling their duties under a contract.

  • Misappropriation

    Theft of trade secrets or other actions that infringe on a copyright, trademark or other intellectual property.

A business harmed by one of these torts can sue the offending party. The remedies for a business tort generally fall into one of two categories: injunctive relief and money damages.


  • Injunctive Relief

    An injunction is a court order demanding that a party not engage in some practice or stop the conduct it is already engaging in. An injunction could also require a party to take positive action to correct a wrong, such as publishing a correction of a false advertisement or being required to meet the terms of a proffered sale. Injunctive relief can sometimes be obtained on an emergency basis or after an expedited hearing, as opposed to money damages which only come at the conclusion of a trial if the parties don’t settle out of court.

  • Money Damages

    Money damages are usually considered the most appropriate remedy in law to right a civil wrong. Parties harmed by a business tort can recover for the actual amount of damage done to their business. This damage could include lost profits, the cost of a lost business opportunity, damage to an existing business relationship, and reputational damage in general. The Illinois Deceptive Trade Practices Act also allows a plaintiff to recover its attorney’s fees and costs of litigation from the other party if the defendant’s wrongful conduct was willful. In addition to fighting over the question of whether one party committed a business tort and is liable to the other, much of business tort litigation is focused on determining the amount of damages and whether attorney’s fees or punitive damages are appropriate.

Client testimonials

“I am a Florida Attorney and have had the privilege of litigating with Peter King both as an opposing party and as co-counsel. Peter is one of the finest civil litigators I have encountered in 40 years of practicing law. His preparation is meticulous, and his courtroom presentation is articulate, persuasive, and effective. Peter always protects his client’s best interest by weighing risk, benefit, and the ever-increasing costs and expense of civil litigation. If I ever need personal legal representation Peter would be my first choice.” – Bryce Ackerman
“This is a professional group of lawyers that have excellent ethics and clear view of the law. We used this firm for 15 years in complex legal issues with much success.” – Terry O’Malley
“Peter King and Bill Jones are lawyers' lawyers. They are both extremely intelligent and organized. The first thing that I do is call Peter and Bill whenever a complex commercial litigation case crosses my desk.” – William Warmouth

If you find yourself on either side of a complaint involving allegations of fraud, unfair competition, or other business torts in Chicago or nationwide, call King & Jones at 312-372-4142 to discuss your case with a team of experienced Chicago business tort lawyers.