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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

  • Illinois Super Lawyers (2024)

  • The Best Lawyers in America (2021-2023)

  • Leading Lawyers - Emerging Lawyer (2018-2023)

  • Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star (2016-2023)


  • Illinois (2013)

  • Commonwealth of Virginia, 2021/22, Pro Hac Vice

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

Articles and Publications


Jackson Buckley & Pfanenstiel, LLP

Chicago | Lake Forest | Naperville

1044 N. Western Avenue, Suite F

Lake Forest, Illinois 60045

111 East Jefferson Avenue, Suite 201

Naperville, Illinois 60540

444 West Lake Street, 17th Floor

Chicago, Illinois 60602

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(847) 457-4848

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