DePaul University College of Law,
J.D., magna cum laude, 2007, Order of the Coif, Certificate in Family Law
Indiana University, B.S.,
cum laude, 2004
An experienced and creative courtroom litigator, Brendan Hammer represents a wide variety of individuals, from executives, entrepreneurs, and medical, legal and creative professionals to political figures, professional athletes and their spouses. He concentrates his practice on the litigation of sophisticated family law matters including the valuation and division of assets, fraud and dissipation claims, complex compensation structures, spousal challenges to trust and estate plans and high net worth maintenance and child support.
Named as one of Crain’s Most Influential Minority Lawyers in Chicago (2017), the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s 40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch (2012) and other honors, Brendan speaks, teaches and publishes on various trial-related matters—including cross examination, evidence, performance aspects of litigation, trial techniques and oral argument. Certified in divorce mediation through Northwestern University, he has also completed the family law trial advocacy program and the Advanced Cross Examination Program of the National Family Law Trial Institute with Roger Dodd. In 2019, Brendan joined the Faculty of the National Family Law Trial Institute.
Brendan brings a unique perspective and set of abilities to his trial practice, drawing equally upon his wealth of experience litigating complicated family law matters and his background in the performing arts. While recognized by his peers and the judiciary as a zealous advocate, Brendan also enjoys a reputation as a pragmatic and collegial professional. Brendan is frequently cited in mainstream media on divorce and family law matters, including in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune.
Representative cases include:
Successfully litigated defense of fraud claims brought by former spouse regarding valuation and sale of business owner’s company
Successfully defended against spousal challenges to multi-generational family estate plan
Successfully obtained relocation of mother and child to North Carolina despite father exercising close to equal parenting time
Successfully reduced by 80% and then eventually terminated long-term maintenance award of spouse of business executive
Successfully litigated substantial downward deviation in child support for professional athlete
Successful litigation of numerous motions for summary judgment regarding the characterization of business interests, trusts, and executive compensation
Brendan is admitted to practice in Illinois and Texas (Inactive Status in TX).
“Everything You Need to Know and Do if There is an Entity or Trust in Your Case,” co-author of presentation with Sherri A. Evans and Taylor Toombs Imel (Koons Fuller, P.C.), 39th Annual Marriage Dissolution Institute, State Bar of Texas, 2016
“How to Cross Examine a Witness,” Co-presentation with Brian J. Blitz, Chicago Bar Association, Winter 2015.
"Putting on a Financial Case in Domestic Relations," Chicago Bar Association, Fall 2018.
“Williams v. Illinois and Forensic Evidence,” Co-presentation with Barry A. Schatz, 77th Annual Conference of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Summer 2014.
“Drafting Prenuptial Agreements,” co-authored with Barry A. Schatz, Prenuptial Agreement Law in Illinois, 2012
“Discovery in Family Law Cases,” co-authored with Barry A. Schatz, ISBA Family Law Handbook 2011
“A Divorce Practitioner’s Introduction to Determining Schedule C and Subchapter S Income,” co-authored with Barry A. Schatz, Family Law Update, 2010
“Tainted Love: What the Seventh Circuit Got Wrong in Muth v. Frank,” DePaul Law Review, 2007
Recognitions and Awards
H-Texas Magazine, Top Family Lawyers in Houston, 2016
Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Stars in Family Law, 2010-2015
Leading Lawyers, Emerging Lawyers, 2015
Leading Lawyers, 2019
"40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch," Law Bulletin Publishing Co., October 2012
Organizations and Memberships
Member, Advisory Board of DePaul University College of Law / SDF Family Law Center
Member, Advisory Council - David Lynch Foundation (Chicago)
Member, Lyric Young Professionals of Lyric Opera of Chicago
Illinois State Bar Association
State Bar of Texas
DuPage County Bar Association
Member, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts