Brendan Hammer,Partner

Picture of Brendan Hammer

Education

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 high conflict parenting disputes, 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 selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®, 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 Harvard/AAML Negotiation Program, as well as the family law trial advocacy program and the Advanced Cross Examination Program of the National Family Law Trial Institute. 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

Bar Admissions

Brendan is admitted to practice in Illinois and Texas (Inactive Status in TX).

Presentations

Family 2.0 – Coparenting After Divorce,” Family Law Symposium on the New American Family, DePaul University College of Law, Fall, 2019

The Evolution of Dissolution – Navigating the Shifting Landscape of Divorce,” DePaul University College of Law, Fall, 2019

Meditate Before You Litigate -- Mindfulness for Lawyers,” Illinois State Bar Association (Solo and Small Firm Conference), Fall, 2019

"Putting on a Financial Case in Domestic Relations," Chicago Bar Association, Fall 2018. 

 “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.

 “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.

Selected Publications

“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

The Best Lawyers in America ®, 2019-2020

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)

American Bar Association (Family Law and Litigation Sections)

Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

Illinois State Bar Association

State Bar of Texas

DuPage County Bar Association