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Sang-yul Lee

Fax +1.312.827.8000

Sang-yul Lee is a partner in the firm’s Chicago office, where he is a member of our labor, employment and workplace safety practice. He has a broadly-based practice and represents clients in both litigation and transaction matters. He advises clients on all aspects of labor and employment law and human resources issues.

Mr. Lee has represented clients in non-compete matters, EEO litigation, collective bargaining, organizing campaigns, strikes, arbitrations, layoffs and closures, health and safety investigations, wage and hour audits and collective actions, and union pension/welfare audits. He represents clients before federal and state courts, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, as well as numerous other governmental agencies, in matters arising under a wide range of federal and state labor laws. He also has extensive experience representing parties in employment, separation/severance, change-in-control, independent contractor and restrictive covenant agreements.

Mr. Lee has first chair experience in bench and jury trials as well as numerous administrative agency trials and hearings. He has served as primary labor and employment counsel on dozens of M&A transactions and restructuring matters. Additionally, over the years, he has represented numerous international clients in their litigation, labor and employment, and transactional needs in the U.S. He also has the unique experience of having been both the government lawyer, as well as management-side attorney in over 40 federal labor board election petitions and/or contested elections to certify and/or decertify labor organizations (unions).

Mr. Lee has been primary labor and benefits counsel on numerous hotel acquisition, redevelopment and restructuring matters throughout the country. He also has represented hotel owners and managers in investigations by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state agencies and offices of the Attorney General in privacy, data breach and credit card laundering cases.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Lee was a partner in the Chicago office of a national law firm.


  • Named to Best Layers in America for Employment Law - Management (2020)
  • Named to Lawyers of Color’s Inaugural “Nation’s Best” List (2019)
  • Named a Leading Lawyer for Labor & Employment and International Transactions work in the Leading Lawyers Network (2011 to present)
  • Named to the “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch,” by Law Bulletin Publishing in 2007
  • Named an “Illinois Rising Star” in Super Lawyers magazine, a Thomson Reuters publication, in 2008 
  • Recognized by The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association in its list of “Best Lawyers Under 40” in 2006

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Faculty, Practising Law Institute ("Hotels: Acquiring, Managing, Developing & Converting the Hot Property")
  • Labor and Employment Law Section, American Bar Association
  • Employment and Industrial Relations Law Committee, International Bar Association
  • Overseas Board of Governors, International Association of Korean Lawyers
  • Board of Directors, Chicago Bar Foundation
  • Past President, Board of Directors, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Foundation
  • Past Secretary and Board Director, Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms
  • Board of Directors, Japan America Society of Chicago