University of Michigan Law School, J.D.
  • cum laude
  • Journal of International Law, Associate Editor
Indiana University, B.A.
  • magna cum laude; Balfour Scholar; Phi Beta Kappa


Court Admissions

News & Resources


Will Berndt is a trial lawyer with substantial experience in state and federal courts across the country. He focuses his practice on trade secret and false advertising claims. He represents businesses and senior executives in disputes relating to noncompetition agreements, trademark and copyright, fraud, professional liability, internal investigations, and general business and commercial litigation. Will has first-chair experience in trials, arbitrations, and other proceedings.

  • Litigates requests for emergency relief such as temporary restraining orders, injunctions, and emergency appeals
  • Argues cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Seventh Circuits and has substantial appellate experience
  • Represents companies in internal investigations relating to fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and other matters
  • Advises companies in breach of contract, breach of lease, and related tortious interference claims


Representative Matters

Trade Secrets

  • Represented corporation in trade secret claims against former senior sales and product development executives and their new employer
  • Represented technology services corporation in related actions asserting trade secret claims against former senior sales executives and new employer
  • Defended corporation against theft of trade secrets claims after failed negotiations regarding a potential joint venture
  • Defended website against trade secret and tortious interference claims arising from hiring of senior executive of competitor
  • Defended retail security corporation against trade secret claims based on actions of former employees of plaintiff’s competitor
  • Represented foreign corporation in claims based on alleged theft of trade secrets during due diligence relating to purchase of corporation’s subsidiary
  • Defense of claims for trade secret theft and breach of noncompetition agreements on behalf of several new business ventures (many representations)

False Advertising

  • Represented corporation in false advertising claims against a competitor based on misleading comparisons with products sold by our client
  • Defense of false advertising claims based on alleged statements by sales representatives about competitor
  • Defense of false advertising claims based on alleged “false marking” patent claims
  • Prosecution and defense of claims for unfair competition based on false statements (many representations)

Trademark and Copyright

  • Obtained permanent injunction and damages based on trademark, copyright, and patent claims for corporation based on sale of knock-off products by competitor
  • Represented founder of corporation in claims relating to ownership of trademark and the name of the corporation
  • Represented retailer and trademark owner of product against claims by foreign manufacturer to trademark rights
  • Defended international partnership against claims of infringement through use of name of association

Commercial and Business Litigation

  • Represented publisher in breach of contract claims based on early leaked shipments of best-selling book
  • Represented corporation and a group of family trusts in contract and tort claims against several major banks based on thefts by a fiduciary
  • Represented major retailer in contract and fraud claims against primary logistics provider based on fraudulent accounting and billing practices
  • Represented foreign affiliate of international talent search organization in international arbitration
  • Represented health care practice in claims against former partner, including termination of partnership rights and enforcement of noncompetition agreements
  • Represented former CEO of privately held electronic trading firm in breach of contract, fraud, and related claims against trading firm
  • Represented CEO of financial institution in contract and fraud claims
  • Defended major telecommunications company in series of actions arising from termination of dealer contracts and claims for tortious interference with customers
  • Represented major retailer in breach of contract claims against national seller of greeting cards
  • Represented owner of housing development in successful trial on breach of contract claims against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims



  • Illinois Super Lawyers, 2015-2021
    • Recognized as a Rising Star, 2008-2014
  • Leading Lawyers Magazine Illinois, 2016-2017
    • Recognized in practice areas of:
      • Commercial Litigation
      • Copyright & Trademark Law
      • Trade Secrets/Unfair Competition Law

Professional & Community Involvement

American Bar Association

  • Section of Intellectual Property Law
  • Section of Litigation

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