Peter Donati is a partner and chair of the firm's Labor & Employment Group. He represents employers and senior executives in the areas of employment law, labor law, and executive compensation.
 
Peter has extensive experience in a wide range of employment-related litigation, including discrimination claims, employment contract disputes, and claims involving restrictive covenants. He has appeared in state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate level throughout the country and represented clients before the EEOC, IDHR, and other government departments and agencies. Peter also counsels clients on compliance matters, prepares employment policies and handbooks, and conducts internal investigations, employee training and audits. In addition, he represents clients on employment-related matters in domestic and international transactions. As a result of this work, he has developed professional relationships with employment lawyers in countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, South America, and Asia.
 
Peter’s representation of clients in the area of labor law includes advising on union representation campaigns, strikes, primary and secondary picketing, collective bargaining, and contract maintenance. He also represents clients with respect to labor matters in arbitrations, before the NLRB, and in the federal courts.
 
In the area of executive compensation, Peter assists employers with the development and implementation of non-qualified executive compensation plans as well as individual employment, confidentiality, and restrictive covenant agreements. He also represents senior executives in the negotiation of their employment and severance agreements.
 
Peter’s representative matters include:

  • Advising on the divestiture of a division with 25,000 employees in over 30 countries
  • Obtaining dismissal of an age discrimination case in California on grounds of FAA preemption (this is one of only a handful of cases involving federal preemption of state employment laws and the first of its kind in the 9th Circuit)
  • Overcoming three successive union organizing attempts at a factory in Michigan over a seven year time period
  • Successfully enforcing various competitive restrictions against a former executive in emergency litigation in Texas state court
  • Advising a group of investment bankers on their departure from their employer and hiring by a competitor
  • Preparing a long term incentive plan and annual bonus plan for a high frequency trading firm
  • Representing the chief executive officers of a publicly traded for-profit educational corporation and of a leading retailer in the negotiation of their employment agreements

 
In addition to his listed education, Peter studied at St. Edmund Hall College, Oxford University. He clerked for the Hon. Frank J. Battisti in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Peter also has received an AV peer review rating from Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating conferred by that organization. Prior to joining Levenfeld Pearlstein, Peter was a partner with Winston & Strawn in Chicago.
 

  • Bar Admissions: Illinois, 1992

    Court Admissions: U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
    U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
    U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

    Education: Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, B.S., 1989
    University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1992, cum laude

  • Memberships: American Bar Association - Labor and Employment Law Section
    Society For Human Resource Management
    Trustee, Jane Addams Hull House Association
    Congregation President, Trinity Lutheran Church, Evanston
    Board Member, Team Evanston Soccer Club

  • Honors & Awards: AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
    Illinois Super Lawyer - 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
    U.S. News "Best Lawyers in America" - 2010, 2011
    Named a Leading Lawyer in Leading Lawyers Network