BRETT M. BUCKLEY
More often than not, the best position at the negotiation table is the product of an even better position at trial. Applying that theory through careful listening, extensive preparation, and, when necessary, aggressive litigation, Brett M. Buckley works tirelessly to achieve the best possible results for his clients in their high stakes divorce and parental responsibility disputes, while maintaining a significant emphasis on integrity and efficiency.
A founding partner with Jackson Buckley & Pfanenstiel, LLP, Mr. Buckley concentrates his practice exclusively in the area of family law, particularly concerning the litigation and negotiation of high income and lifestyle maintenance awards, the valuation and allocation of multi-million dollar estates, the resolution of high stakes parental responsibility disputes, and the defense and prosecution of domestic violence actions. Mr. Buckley represents closely held business owners, executives, financial, legal and medical professionals, celebrities, professional athletes, and people with multi-generational wealth and their spouses in high net worth divorce and parental responsibility disputes. He is also frequently engaged to assist his clients in the negotiation and preparation of pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements.
Prior to founding Jackson Buckley & Pfanenstiel, LLP, Mr. Buckley was a partner with the nation's largest family and matrimonial law firm with a focus exclusively on complex litigation and settlement negotiation. There, Mr. Buckley was one of the youngest attorneys to be elected partner. Drawing on his extensive experience and recognizing that no two cases are alike, Mr. Buckley leverages his skill and reputation as a litigator and trial lawyer to achieve efficient and positive results for his clients, whether by way of negotiation or trial, offering his clients a wide range of versatility in attaining their goals through a negotiated settlement or trial verdict.
A life-long Chicago-area resident who grew up on the city’s south side, Mr. Buckley attended Mount Carmel High School, earned his Bachelor’s Degree from North Central College in Naperville, and earned his Juris Doctor from the John Marshall Law School. Brett's practice is focused in Cook, DuPage, Lake, and McHenry Counties, and he is also experienced in representing his divorce and family law clients state and nationwide, having successfully tried cases in national jurisdictions.
Mr. Buckley has earned recognition in the practice area of Family Law by The Best Lawyers in America in every year since 2021. He has also been named to the "Emerging Lawyers" list by Illinois Leading Lawyers each year since 2018 and to the Illinois Super Lawyers “Rising Star” list every year since 2016. A published author and sought-after lecturer, Mr. Buckley is actively involved in local, state and national bar associations through leadership roles, as well as speaking and writing engagements. Brett also volunteers his time with the Michael Matters Foundation, a non-profit organization established for the purpose of raising awareness and providing financial assistance to brain tumor patients in need.
John Marshall Law School, J.D. (2013)
North Central College, B.S. (2010)
Honors and Awards
The Best Lawyers in America (2021-2022)
Leading Lawyers - Emerging Lawyer (2018-2022)
Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star (2016-2022)
Memberships and Leadership Roles
Lake County Bar Association Facilities Remodel Fundraising Committee 2017
Lake County Circuit Court Local Court Rules Subcommittee 2015
Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers’ Section Family Law Committee: Co-chair 2013-14
Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers’ Section Family Law Committee Legislative Liaison 2012-13
American Bar Association
Illinois State Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
Lake County Bar Association
Media and Appearances
The Sophisticated Side Of Divorce, Sheridan Road Magazine, November 2021
Featured in Sheridan Road Magazine "Legal Leaders", August 2021
Articles and Publications
With Big Time Settlements Verdicts, Will Divorce Lawyers Be In the Middle?, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, October 30, 2019
Speaker: "Third Party Intervention in Divorce Cases"-Lake County Bar Association Family Law Section Conference, Charleston, South Carolina (2018)
Stock market's wild ride can make divorce allocations a bit tricky, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, November 1, 2018
Speaker: "Gifts and Purchases in Contemplation of Marriage"-Lake County Bar Association Family Law Section Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada (2015)
"Alimony: The State of the States - Where Are We Now?" National Counsel of Juvenile and Family Court Judges' Judicial Institute: Family Law, Spring 2013
Impact of Market Volatility on Divorce Agreements
Nasty divorce litigation opens doors to threat of cyber exposure, Akron Legal News, October 24, 2017
Consider pre-nup in engagement season, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, November 28, 2016