Mark E. Furlane

Partner Chicago
Phone: (312) 569-1332
Fax: (312) 569-3332


Mark E. Furlane represents clients facing the full spectrum of labor and employment issues that confront today's employer. He focuses his practice on employment, benefits and fiduciary litigation and employment counseling.

Mark has successfully litigated employment actions at all levels of state and federals courts and in arbitration. He has extensive experience representing both corporations and executives in the negotiation and litigation of executive compensation-related matters and advises clients on the broad array of issues facing both large and small employers today. He also has experience negotiating executive and other employment and separation agreements and represents clients in OSHA matters, including litigation before the Occupational Safety and Review Commission.

In the area of restrictive covenants, Mark helps clients design effective policies, practices and agreements to protect their competitive advantage. His strategic approach to client representation helps clients develop successful programs to maximize protection of their competitive advantage.

Mark has successfully litigated class actions, individual actions and actions by the secretary of labor brought under ERISA and other laws and related regulations. He also has considerable experience in traditional labor counseling, collective bargaining and union avoidance.

Before joining the firm in 1979, Mark spent nearly five years as a lawyer for the U.S. Marine Corps where he gained extensive trial experience.


Mark has experience in the areas of employment discrimination and harassment, retaliatory discharge and whistleblowers, restrictive and confidentiality covenants and trade secrets, wrongful discharge, FMLA, defamation, wage and hour and other compensation disputes, Public Sector Civil Rights claims and most other state and federal statutory and common law employment compliance issues.

He frequently negotiates executive and other employment and separation agreements, especially with respect to restrictive covenant and confidentiality concerns, and he represents both employers and executives in the negotiation of executive-related matters.

Mark has an extensive track record of successful client representation in dozens of lawsuits involving restrictive and confidentiality covenants, trade secrets and related unfair competition claims, including prosecuting and defending emergency injunction actions where necessary. He is regularly called upon by clients and members of the firm to provide strategic advice and counseling in restrictive covenant and confidentiality issues involving existing and former employees and executives.

Mark’s ERISA and fiduciary litigation experience includes:

  • Claims involving benefit denials, discrimination and fiduciary breaches.
  • Claims involving cash balance plans, pay equity plans and other welfare benefit and retirement plans, both qualified and nonqualified.
  • Lead counsel in one of the largest cash balance plan actions in recent years.
  • Obtained denial of class certification status and summary judgment in an age discrimination challenge to a conversion to a pay equity plan.
  • Obtained summary judgment in a fiduciary breach stock drop ESOP case.
  • Representation of both companies and executives in executive compensation disputes involving most facets of executive compensation and benefits issues.

Mark has represented clients before the NLRB and ISLRB in both unfair labor practice and representation proceedings. He has represented employers in labor arbitrations and in matters involving unlawful picketing, secondary boycotts, strikes and related matters.


“Leading Lawyer” in Management Employment, Leading Lawyers Network

Awards Methodology (


Bar Admissions

  • Illinois


  • The University of Chicago, M.B.A., Finance, 1982
  • George Washington University, J.D., 1974, with honors
  • Central College, B.A., 1971, magna cum laude

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois


  • Chicago Bar Association, Labor and Employment Committee (Past Chair)
  • Federal Bar Association, Chicago Chapter, Member of Employment Law Committee, Board of Managers (Immediate Past President)