George Pilja

Shareholder | 312.863.5010

George Pilja

Shareholder | 312.863.5010


A shareholder in the firm, George Pilja concentrates his practice in civil litigation, focusing on commercial, construction, product liability and transportation/logistics litigation, loss recovery/subrogation, casualty litigation and other insurance-based litigation.

On both the plaintiff and defense sides, he has represented numerous prominent businesses and insurance entities. George has decades of experience in litigating complex, multi-million dollar matters in state and federal courts throughout the United States and internationally. He has prosecuted and defended cases involving such diverse matters as commercial disputes and business tort claims, product design, manufacture and warnings claims, industrial facility and equipment management, operations, repair and maintenance claims, energy-based claims and construction defect and delay claims.

George serves as national outside counsel for an international industrial equipment manufacturer. He has considerable experience in assessing and advising clients on complex business, legal and financial risks, as well as in strategic preventative litigation planning and counseling. He also has extensive experience in all aspects of complex litigation: incident investigations, fact and expert witness depositions, hearings and oral arguments, all forms of alternative dispute resolution, trial preparation and trials/arbitrations.

Representative Matters

  • Litigation/trial counsel for world’s largest steel producer and its property insurer in a complex multi- party breach of contract/warranty and product liability action involving the component malfunction of an overhead crane resulting in a massive molten iron spill. Obtained a $36 million verdict (54th highest verdict in the US In 2013) unanimously upheld on appeal.
  • Litigation/trial counsel for Microsoft’s captive insurer and market of reinsurers for a $100+ million international commercial dispute involving the supply of memory chips for Microsoft’s Xbox One launch.
  • Litigation/trial counsel for global steel producer in a $40 million complex breach of contract/warranty and professional negligence action arising out of the collapse of a large industrial raw material moving machine due to a control system failure.
  • Counsel for a multi-national chemicals and biotechnology company and its property insurer in relation to the $15 million destruction and rebuilding of a chemical manufacturing/processing facility due to chemical system fire and related business income and good will losses.
  • Counsel/trial counsel for a school district’s market of insurers in a maritime action involving a multi- barge allision with a US-owned and operated Mississippi River lock and dam, resulting in numerous complex tort-based claims and cross claims in Federal Court.
  • Counsel/trial counsel for a national steel producer and its insurer involving a $30 million action relating to the construction of a coke manufacturing facility and the associated adjacent shutdown and failure of the largest blast furnace in the Western hemisphere.
  • Litigation counsel for a concrete, construction aggregates and concrete manufacturer and its insurer in a multi-party defective design and installation contract and tort-based actions involving a collapsed refractory-lined tertiary air duct.
  • Litigation counsel for the insurer of the then-largest US flea market in relation to a complex, multi-party consolidated product liability action involving multiple lighting component failures resulting in the destruction by fire of the flea market and all tenant businesses.
  • Counsel/litigation counsel for a prominent Chicago lakefront municipal organization and its insurer in a multi-party commercial action relating to the sinking of a dock-tied Halloween haunted house event.
  • Litigation counsel for a Miami-based fuel storage depot providing fuel to major US airlines and its insurers in connection with a massive fuel depot fire and shutdown and related business consequences.
  • Counsel for a restaurant client and its insurer in a trial involving an aged bowstring truss that resulted in a roof collapse. Obtained a verdict in the clients’ favor at trial.
  • Defense counsel for Biometric Information Protection Act (“BIPA”) consumer class actions and other privacy litigation.

Professional Leadership

George is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, the Florida Bar Association, the American Bar Association and numerous industry-based associations and organizations. He is the Group Leader of the Energy Special Interest Group of the Global Insurance Law Connect Network.

Honors & Recognition

George has been named a Leading Lawyer by Law Bulletin Media, a peer-recommended distinction awarded to less than 5% of attorneys in Illinois. He has also been honored on the Illinois Super Lawyers list which is based on nomination, evaluation of professional achievements and selection by a panel of attorneys in the applicable practice area. Only 5% of the total attorneys in each state receive the Super Lawyers designation.

The American Lawyer recognized George on the 2022 Midwest Trailblazer list for his ability to go beyond legal considerations to fully understand his clients’ business environment and the overlapping realms of business operations and legal stewardship. The Trailblazer lists highlight legal professionals making a difference in their respective regions.

More information on awards and rankings can be found here.

Community Leadership

George is a former Board Member and President of the Smith Park Commons Association and a former Board Member of the Serbian American Bar Association.


George earned his B.A. degree in Political Science and his B.S. degree in Business Management, magna cum laude, from North Central College in 1993 and his J.D. degree from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1996.


George is authorized to practice law in Illinois and Florida, as well as in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He has also represented clients in state and federal courts in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. George has also handled matters in Canada, Europe, South America and Asia.

Publications & Presentations

George regularly speaks and periodically publishes on trending business, contract, commercial, product, construction, insurance and litigation issues internationally.


  • Chung Restaurants v. CCC Construction, Inc., Chicago, Illinois (1999)
  • NWS, Inc. v. Komatsu, Chicago, Illinois (2001)
  • LaFarge Building Materials, Inc. v. Krupp Polysius Corp., et al., Atlanta, Georgia (2003)
  • Pet Supermarket v. Dual-Lite Manufacturing, Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2003)
  • Bowater, Inc. v. BE&K of North Carolina, et al., Greenville, South Carolina (2003)
  • Intertek Testing Services NA, Inc. v. CTX International, Inc., et al., Madison, Wisconsin (2005)
  • Ryerson, Inc. and Ispat Inland v. Raytheon Corp., Crown Point, Indiana (2009)
  • Lifeline Youth & Family Services, Inc. v. Installed Building Products, Inc., Fort Wayne, Indiana (2012)
  • ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor West LLC v. WESCO Distribution, Inc. Crown Point, Indiana (2013)
  • ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor LLC v. Rockwell Automation, Inc., Valparaiso, Indiana (2018)
  • Cypress a/s/o Microsoft Corp. v. SK Hynix America, Inc., Seattle, Washington (2019)

Cited Cases

  • Equistar Chemicals, LP v. Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company of Connecticut, 883 N.E.2d 740 (Ill. 4th 2008).
  • WESCO Distribution, Inc. v. ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor LLC, No. 45A03-1307-PL-274, 2014 WL 5819375 (Ind.Ct.App. Nov. 10, 2014)



  • University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 1996
  • North Central College, B.A., magna cum laude, 1993
  • Illinois
  • Florida
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida
  • Pro Hac Vice Admission in over 25 U.S. jurisdictions
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