John T. Brooks is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP focusing his practice in the area of estate and trust controversy and litigation. His practice includes estate planning, administration and breach of fiduciary duty issues, judicial constructions of wills and trusts, will and trust contests, tax litigation, contested heirship, adoption and paternity issues, charitable pledge disputes, guardianship matters, and wrongful death actions. John also handles appeals of these matters as well.
He is the general editor and contributing author of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education's handbook for lawyers on the subject of contested estates and trusts. He represents individuals as well as banks and trust companies.
John has been Peer Review Rated as AV Preeminent® the highest performance rating in the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ system. He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of Litigation - Trusts and Estates (2011-2023) and Trusts and Estates (2010) and he was named the Best Lawyers® Litigation - Trusts and Estates “Lawyer of the Year” in Chicago (2015, 2019 and 2022). He was also selected for inclusion in the 2005-2018 Illinois Super Lawyers® lists and Leading Lawyer in 2003-2018.
John is a frequent speaker and author on topics related to estate and trust litigation and fiduciary risk management. He has lectured to the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), ALI-ABA, the Heckerling Institute, the American Bankers Association, Chicago Estate Planning Council and the Chicago Council on Planned Giving. He also serves on the Advisory Board to Trusts & Estates magazine.
Professional Memberships and Admissions
John's professional activities include membership in the Chicago Bar Association and the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel. He is admitted to the bar in both Illinois and Florida and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
John earned both his B.S. (business administration) and law degree (magna cum laude) from the University of Illinois.
*The Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.