- Yale Law School (J.D. 1977); Associate Editor, Yale Studies in World Public Order; President, Yale Association of International Law
- University of Rouen, France (awarded 2nd and 3rd degrees of higher education, with honors)
- University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (B.A., 1974, Political Science 1974; B.A., 1974, French Linguistics 1974; magna cum laude)
Phi Beta Kappa, Bronze Tablet Award
Brett A. August
''Brett August has been kept busy of late juggling a substantial volume of work on behalf of [multiple clients]. He has a great academic background, good ethics and is exceptionally smart; his strong judgement is his best asset.''
''One peer states: 'He immediately comes to mind for the best practitioners. He develops airtight strategies, knows the law fully, and is very eloquent both in his writing and speaking.''
Companies from coast to coast and in numerous foreign countries have turned to Brett to protect their most valuable assets: their brands. The winner of numerous awards and accolades, Brett has successfully handled close to 200 adversarial proceedings for his clients. While an aggressive litigator, Brett has been able to resolve the majority of those disputes without incurring the expense and inconvenience of a trial. For example, he recently achieved a $6 million settlement for a client on the eve of trial.
Brett’s clients include many companies in the technology sector. From Massachusetts to Chicago to Silicon Valley, high-tech clients trust Brett to counsel them in branding strategies and to protect their brands from infringers. Brett is responsible for managing numerous large trademark portfolios, including portfolios of more than a thousand marks each.
For a financial-services company, Brett led a litigation team that stopped a competitor from using advertising that was truthful but misleading. Brett’s client was awarded both trebled damages and attorneys’ fees. For a manufacturer of consumer durables, Brett successfully argued an appeal to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals that brought about a most unusual settlement: payment of millions of dollars to Brett’s client who was the defendant in the action.
It says a lot about Brett that for the past two decades most new clients have come to him as the result of word-of-mouth recommendations from existing clients. As one new client said: “We hired you because of your reputation as the Johnny Cochran of trademark law.” Hyperbole aside, Brett has established an exceptional reputation for good work.
Brett’s excellence has been repeatedly recognized by his peers. A Super Lawyer every year for over a decade and selected as one of the top 100 lawyers in the State of Illinois, Brett has also been honored by both Corporate International Legal Awards and Global Law Experts as Brand Protection Attorney of the Year in Illinois. In 2015, the international publication Lawyer Monthly chose Brett as the Brand Attorney of the Year for the United States.
Part of Brett’s success may be due to his having worked for seven years as in-house counsel to a Fortune 500 company. That taught him knowing the law is not enough: you must also know how to use the law to solve the client’s problem. Brett has used that approach to build a national and international practice — with particularly extensive experience in the EU and China — handling cases for infringement, false advertising, domain names and unfair competition.
Brett is also active in non-profit organizations. The President of France made Brett a French Knight (Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur) in recognition of his tireless volunteer activities as a grass-roots ambassador between Chicago and France. Brett founded the French-American Chamber of Commerce in Chicago and later served as its president. And as chairman of the Chicago-Paris Sister Cities Committee for over a decade, Brett has worked hard to create educational exchanges that have allowed hundreds of Chicago public-school students to travel to Paris where they learned the important life lesson that there is a big world outside their home town.