Craig Thorstenson concentrates his practice in the litigation of employment disputes and providing related counseling.

His experience includes defending numerous Biometric Information Privacy Act, WARN Act, FLSA and Title VII class actions, prosecuting and defending actions over restrictive covenants, and handling complex labor arbitrations. He regularly acts as "in-house" employment counsel for several companies that elect to outsource their employment work.

Craig also provides day-to-day, proactive and common sense counseling to employers on every aspect of the employer-employee relationship. In conjunction with counseling, he conducts targeted client training for human resources professionals and company managers, including training on LGBT issues.

Earlier in his career, Craig formed a partnership specializing in employment discrimination, primarily from the plaintiff's side, an experience that gives him a unique perspective when counseling and litigating.

Craig is a member of FordHarrison's Executive Committee, is the Executive Committee liaison for the firm's offices in the Midwest and California, and serves as the Managing Partner of the firm's Chicago office.

Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America "Lawyer of the Year" for Litigation – Labor and Employment for the Chicago area (2022)
  • "Illinois Super Lawyers," Super Lawyers magazine
  • Best Lawyers in America – Litigation - Labor and Employment, Employment Law - Management
  • AV® Preeminent Peer-Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

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  • Defense of several class actions brought under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), including Brown v. Creative Werks LLC and Cutrell v. Creative Werks LLC (now consolidated) (Circuit Court Cook County); Jones v. Corner Bakery Café (N.D. Illinois); Ibarra v. Forward Air Services, LLC (N.D. Illinois); Marion v. Ring Container Technologies, LLC (Circuit Court Cook County)
  • Represented Modine Manufacturing in Embry v. Modine, obtaining a verdict for the client in one of the first Family and Medical Leave Act lawsuits to go to a jury.  He continues to regularly defend FMLA actions, most recently including Kemp v. Northwestern Memorial Hospital (N.D. Illinois), Maestro v. Northwestern Memorial Hospital (N.D. Illinois), Boasiako v. Northwestern Memorial Hospital (N.D. Illinois), Renner v. CDW Corporation (D. Minnesota), and Bucsanyi v. NTA Precision Axle Corporation (N.D. Illinois).
  • After bench trial, obtained injunctive relief against two former employees who started a competing business. Omron Electronics, LLC v. Fell, Stephenson and IRIS Custom Solutions, LLC (Circuit Court Cook County, Illinois)
  • Obtained TRO on behalf of Durata Therapeutics, Inc. against five former employees recruited by a competitor. Durata Therapeutics, Inc. v. Moritz, et al. (N.D. Illinois)
  • Obtained consent injunction against two former employees accused of taking confidential information. Bluefin Payment Systems, LLC v. Herring, Markus and FreedomPay, Inc., (Georgia Superior Court)
  • Defeated former employer's attempt to obtain injunctive relief in the matter Cognex Corporation v. Lisa Eichler and Omron Electronics, Inc., (Massachusetts Superior Court)
  • Defending Dresser, Inc. in a Title VII class action alleging that Dresser failed to hire a class of individuals based on their race, Reed, et al. v. Dresser, Inc., (E.D. of Wisconsin)
  • Defending Eclipse Advantage, Inc. in a class and collective wage and hour action (N.D. Illinois)
  • Representing a major airline in (i) a race discrimination matter which also alleges a violation of the Illinois Whistleblower Act and (ii) a race and disability discrimination matter.
  • University of Illinois College of Law
    J.D., magna cum laude, 1988
  • University of Colorado
    B.S., 1984
  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • National LGBT Bar Association
Bar Admissions
  • Illinois
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin