Chelsea Hilliard

Senior Counsel


Chelsea Hilliard is senior counsel with Foley & Lardner LLP. Chelsea is a devoted and driven litigator who obtains results with strategic thinking and intense work ethic. Her practice centers on high-stakes business disputes in a wide range of industries and regions. She has successfully represented clients in an array of legal issues, including:

  • Breach of contract
  • Fraud
  • Misappropriation of trade secrets
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Shareholder disputes

Securities Litigation

Chelsea has extensive experience in securities litigation, representing hedge funds, former shareholders, brokers and other financial-sector clients in investor and counter-party disputes. She is a primary member of the firm’s Securities Enforcement & Litigation Practice. Select securities experience includes defending hedge funds in shareholder derivative suits, and representing a group of former shareholders of a multinational investment banking firm.

Business Litigation

Chelsea advises corporate clients on legal matters that arise in an array of commercial contexts. In particular, Chelsea has significant experience handling departing employee matters involving breach of non-compete and non-disclosure agreements. She is adept at advising clients on the use and enforceability of such covenants, from drafting to enforcement.

Representative Experience

  • Successfully defended a corporate client against quantum meruit claim following a jury trial on the merits in the Northern District of Texas
  • Obtained summary judgment on multi-million dollar fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claim arising out of the wind-down of a hedge fund 
  • Defended national broker-dealers in FINRA arbitration proceedings against various types of investor complaints, including allegations of misrepresentation, misreporting and breach of fiduciary duty
  • Assisted an investment advisor in a FINRA arbitration against former broker/dealer seeking expungement of defamatory Form U-5, and asserting claims related to breach of contract, defamation and wrongful termination;
  • Obtained favorable dismissal of breach of contract claim seeking in excess of $7 million in damages in Northern District of Texas
  • Obtained favorable award in a business mismanagement suit, defending claims for breach of contract and an unpaid account against companies by prior manager’s family members
  • Obtained a take-nothing judgment in a $1.3 million dollar wrongful termination lawsuit

Affiliations and Professional Memberships

  • Vice-Chair, Dallas Bar Association Judiciary Committee (2020)
  • Judiciary/Judicial Investiture Co-Chair, Dallas Bar Association
  • Litigation Subcommittee Co-Chair, ABA Securities
  • Director, Crain Leadership Endowment Fund, Southern Methodist University
  • Co-chair, Trial Skills Committee, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (DAYL)
  • William "Mac" Taylor American Inn of Court, Member
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Dallas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Sustaining Fellow, Grant Committee, DAYL Foundation
  • Dallas Women Lawyers Association, Mentor, Women’s Mentoring Circle
  • Dallas Bar Association, CLE and Judiciary Committees
  • Big Thought, Food for Thought, Co-Chair (2013), Steering Committee (2012)
  • SMU Dedman School of Law, Reunion Host Committee (2015)


  • Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2010)
    • Science and Technology Law Review Administrative Director and Staff Editor
    • John Marshall Moot Court Team
    • Member, Phi Delta Phi, International Legal Honors Fraternity
    • Student Bar Association, Mentor to first-year law students
    • Jackson Walker Moot Court Competition, Best Oral Advocate in Round
  • Southern Methodist University (B.A., summa cum laude, 2007)
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • Recipient of The "M" Award, the most highly coveted recognition for service and leadership at Southern Methodist University
    • Robert Stewart Hyer Society


  • Recognized by D Magazine in "Best Lawyers Under 40," 2018-2021
  • Selected by attorney peers as a Texas Rising Star®, Texas Monthly and Law & Politics magazines, 2014-2020


  • Texas State Bar, 2010
  • U.S.D.C. Northern District of Texas, 2012
  • U.S.D.C. Eastern District of Texas, 2015
  • U.S.D.C. Southern District of Texas, 2016

Select Recent Presentations and Publications

  • Presenter, “Biggest Decisions of 2020 – Securities Enforcement & Litigation and Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations PG Training,” Foley Academy (January 2021) 
  • Co-author, “Business Considerations of Force Majeure: Unintended Consequences,” Foley's Coronavirus Resource Center (April 21, 2020)
  • Moderator, “DAYL Expert Witnesses,” CLE webinar (April 4, 2020)
  • Author, “Preparing for Reliability Challenges to Expert Opinions in Trade-Secret Cases,” News for the Bar, The Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas, (Summer 2019)
  • Author, "Isn't It Time to Buy Cyber Insurance?," eCommerce Times (July 16, 2019)
  • Speaker, “Preparing Your Witness For Cross-Examination,” Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Trial Skills CLE (April 10, 2019)
  • Co-Author, “With More Than 8 Billion Things, Where Are the IoT Privacy Laws?” ECT News Network (April 4, 2019)
  • Contributing Author, “Legal & Regulatory Responsibilities of Board Members,” Deloitte’s Board Ready Women (April 2019)
  • “Legal & Regulatory Responsibilities of Board Members,” Harvard University (March 2019)
  • Co-Author, “Will Congress Override State Net Neutrality Laws?” eCommerce Times (February 21, 2019)
  • “Key Securities Decisions of 2018: Overview and Analysis,” Foley & Lardner LLP webinar (February 2019)
  • “2019 #MeToo In The Boardroom,” Foley & Lardner LLP webinar (February 2019)