Dillard, Kirk W.

Kirk W. Dillard




Kirk Dillard concentrates his practice in business and governmental relations, and in the representation of manufacturers in product liability prevention and litigation. He is currently the Chairman of the Regional Transit Authority in metropolitan Chicago – the nation’s second largest mass transit system with assets of nearly $150 billion and over two million daily riders. He also serves as the Independent Chair of the privately owned Chicago Skyway Toll Road.

Before he left the Firm at the invitation of Illinois Governor Jim Edgar to become his Chief of Staff in 1991, his governmental experience included the Governor’s Medical Malpractice Task Force and the site selection commission for a third Chicagoland airport. Recently, Dillard served as a member of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Restoring Illinois Infrastructure Transition Committee and Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot’s Transportation and Infrastructure Transition Committee. He had served as Director of Legislative Affairs to former Governor James R. Thompson, and he was a Court of Claims Judge from 1987 to 1991.

In 1994, Sen. Dillard was elected an Illinois State Senator representing Chicagoland’s western suburbs, before stepping down from the Senate after nearly 20 years of service in 2014. He was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Chairman of the Senate Local Government Committee, and Vice-Chairman of the Rules Committee, and he served on the Licensed Activities & Energy and Environment Committees. Sen. Dillard was also Chairman of the Senate High-Technology Task Force and a member of the “Illinois Coalition,” a corporate, academic and governmental board that works to strengthen the Illinois economy through the advancement of science and technology.

Among his honors, Sen. Dillard was named to “Who’s Who in Chicago Business” by Crain’s Chicago Business, and he received the Civil Justice Achievement Award from the American Tort Reform Association, Board of Directors Award of the DuPage County Bar Association, and "Friends of Fairness Award" from the IL Civil Justice League. Sen. Dillard has been named an "Illinois Super Lawyer" and to the "Leading Lawyers Network" by his peers and was inducted into the “Legislative Staff Hall of Fame” by the University of Illinois and Illinois Issues magazine.

He is a frequent speaker throughout the U.S. on transportation infrastructure, tort reform and civil justice. He is also a frequent author of newspaper, bar journal, and law review columns and articles. His scholarly writings have been cited multiple times by the Illinois Supreme Court and are on the "Recommended Reading" List of the National Law Journal.

Sen. Dillard has served as an Instructor in legal writing, research, and moot court at the DePaul University College of Law. He has also served as a lecturer on “Legislation and Statutory Interpretation” at both Loyola University, Chicago and DePaul University law schools. He currently is a member of the Dean's Advisory Board of DePaul University College of Law and a mentor to the Graduate School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago.

Representative Experience

Sen. Dillard’s clients have included a number of prominent companies, including:
  • One of the nation's largest oil and refining companies
  • The world’s largest automobile manufacturer
  • One of Illinois’ largest managed-care health plans, large nationwide health insurers and telemedicine companies
  • A major national electricity power producer
  • One of the nation's largest interstate trucking and transport companies
  • Chicago's oldest and largest independent family-owned furniture chain
  • A major high-technology communications association
  • Nationwide restaurant association
  • Major hospital systems and a State Medical Society
  • Public and private railroads
  • One of the world’s leading cyber risk management companies

Professional Affiliations and Recognitions

  • Named, "Who's Who in Chicago Business", Crain's Chicago Business
  • Member, Economic Club of Chicago
  • Member, Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission
  • Member, Illinois State Bar Association
  • Member, Chicago Bar Association

Community Activities and Awards

  • Named, Illinois "Super Lawyer"
  • Named, Leading Lawyers Network
  • Named, Champion of Free Enterprise, Illinois Chamber of Commerce
  • Named, Friend of Agriculture, Illinois Farm Bureau
  • Named, Most Influential Local Resident by the readers of West Suburban Living Magazine
  • Recipient, Champion of Justice Award, IL Equal Justice Foundation, for service to the legally indigent
  • Board of Directors, College of DuPage Foundation
  • Recipient, Outstanding Service to DePaul University Award
  • Recipient, Distinguished Alumni Award Western Illinois University
  • Initial Recipient, Presidential Leadership Medal, College of DuPage
  • Inducted to Hinsdale Central High School Hall of Fame
  • Recipient, Executive Directors Award, Delta Sigma Phi National Fraternity for leadership and service
  • Named, Legislator of the Year by both the National Republican Legislators Association and the nation's largest private bipartisan Legislators Association
  • Board of Directors, Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation

Media & Quotations

  • "Dillard generally is considered to be one of the more honorable, affable, and respected people in state government," Springfield State Journal Register
  • "Kirk Dillard…is respected not only in the Governor’s office, but throughout state government." Chicago Tribune
  • "Dillard has a reputation for being able to get along with all types and factions. No one possesses the bipartisan chops of Dillard…No other candidate (for governor) comes close to matching his experience in the executive or legislative branches of state government and his proven ability to build cross-party coalitions, without abandoning core Republican values," Chicago Sun Times
  • "His constituents were fortunate to have him working on their behalf in Springfield. The Regional Transportation Authority is gaining a wonderful leader with his knowledge and experience will bring value as Chairman." Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner 
  • "Kirk’s efforts have made a significant difference in the lives of millions of people throughout the region and beyond". Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
  • "Dillard is thoughtful and responsible," The Daily Herald 
  • "Dillard earns high marks in his responsiveness and effectiveness," The Doings Newspaper
  • "Politician with the most integrity," West Suburb Living Magazine


  • Lives in Hinsdale, Illinois with wife, Stephanie and his two teenage daughters