Columbus R. Gangemi

Columbus R. “Chris” Gangemi is a senior partner of the firm. For more than 10 years, he served as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and for more than 20 years as chairman of its labor and employment law practice group, in which he still contributes as a senior adviser. Mr. Gangemi also served as managing partner of the firm’s Chicago office for several years.

Mr. Gangemi has broad experience in all areas of labor and employment relations counseling and litigation and has represented clients before the NLRB, the EEOC, the Department of Labor, the U.S. Congress, various federal and state courts, and agencies and arbitration tribunals. He has appeared before virtually every circuit of the United States Court of Appeals and has argued before the United States Supreme Court on multiple occasions.

Mr. Gangemi is a graduate of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (National Session), and is a fellow of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers. He has devoted a significant portion of his practice to trial and appellate litigation involving individual and class employment disputes, as well as trade secret and non-competition disputes, executive compensation litigation, and internal investigations. Mr. Gangemi also has extensive corporate law experience, having served as a chief ethics and compliance officer, corporate secretary and general counsel. He has broad experience in the design and implementation of corporate compliance and risk assessment programs and overall corporate litigation and acquisition management programs, both domestically and abroad with particular experience in Greater China.

Mr. Gangemi’s labor bargaining experience is widely recognized, having dealt with many labor disputes of national scope, including the groundbreaking conflict between Caterpillar Inc. and the UAW, which one newspaper described as the “labor dispute of the century.”

He has counseled corporate and financial service clients on the labor and employment-related aspects of mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures and has worked with clients to develop programs to address changing business climates and needs, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Mr. Gangemi’s representative clients have included Caterpillar Inc., The Boeing Company, Kitchens of Sara Lee, Brach’s Confections, Citadel Investment Group LCC, Gulfstream Aerospace, American Airlines, PACCAR, Inc. (Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks), United Air Lines, State of Illinois/State Police, Fedders Corporation, Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (for which he serves as Corporate Secretary, General Counsel and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer), and Smurfit-Stone Container Corp.

Mr. Gangemi received an A.B. from Villanova University in 1969 and received a J.D., with honors, from Villanova University Law School, where he served as case and comments editor of the Villanova Law Review.

Honors & Awards

Mr. Gangemi is listed in An International Who’s Who of Management Labour and Employment Lawyers and Chambers & Partners USA in which he has been recognized as a top-tier leader in Midwest employment law and for his “creative knack for strategy” and “outstanding courtroom manner.” Mr. Gangemi has been singled out as one of the “Top 100 Business Lawyers in Illinois” by the Leading Lawyers Network. Since 2005, he has been honored by The Best Lawyers in America for labor and employment law.


Mr. Gangemi’s previous professional and community activities include: Member, Board of Directors, Illinois State Chamber of Commerce; Vice President, Board of Directors, Easter Seal Society of Metropolitan Chicago (1983-1989); Member, Civic Advisory Board, Hinsdale Hospital (1984-1989); Member, Industrial Relations Committee, Illinois Manufacturing Association (1989-1994); Member, Labor & Employment Relations Committee, Chicago Association of Commerce & Industry (1979-1990); Instructor, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Midwest Program, Northwestern University; Special Illinois Assistant Attorney General (1991-1994); Independent Federation of Inspection Agencies, Legal & Compliance Committees, 2010-date.


Mr. Gangemi is the author of numerous articles and materials on labor and employment law including Human Resource Policy Association’s workbook titled Labor Dispute Planning; The Corporate Campaign at Caterpillar co-authored with J. Torres; Insider Game Tactics: Understanding Work-to-Rule and Other Union In-Plant Campaign Strategies; and Inside the Minds: Leading Labor Lawyers chapter titled “The Importance of Common Values in Employment Law.”