Joined Firm in 2011
Whether you face challenges before litigation or at trial, Brett has a wealth of experience confronting fancy legal maneuvering and developing defenses that juries understand and respect. He will explain problems and solutions plainly so that you play a meaningful role in your defense instead of watching from the sidelines.
- Over a decade of experience representing insurance companies and those they protect
- Founder of Disaster Relief Volunteer Services
Attorney in Chicago, IL
A Partner in Heyl Royster's Chicago office, Brett Mares has over a decade of experience representing insurance companies and those they protect in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri. Whether you face challenges before litigation or at trial, Brett has a wealth of experience confronting fancy legal maneuvering and developing defenses that juries understand and respect. He will explain problems and solutions plainly so that you play a meaningful role in your defense instead of watching from the sidelines, resulting in a team approach to litigation removing many advantages plaintiffs typically enjoy.
A winning defense team needs to communicate effectively and often, not hide behind legal jargon and disappear for months on end, only to send you a letter giving you bad news. Brett encourages you to be a part of the process from start to finish, interpreting what is happening and explaining options clearly. Brett will win if a case can be won; if it can't, he will explain why and formulate an effective exit strategy. He has successfully taken several cases to verdict and knows that moves you make on day one of a lawsuit may impact you at trial years later. Arguing dozens of dispositive motions and ending a plaintiff's case before they can even get in front of a jury, he also knows how to handle lawsuits where liability is a problem, sometimes settling for just 10% of what the plaintiff has demanded.
Brett's practice focuses on casualty litigation, construction defects, creditors' rights, and insurance coverage. His experiences have equipped him to see the big picture without losing sight of the details. Before becoming a lawyer, Brett founded and ran a non-profit organization specializing in relief work at the scenes of natural disasters. He learned how to support people on their darkest days, showing them a path forward when they couldn't see one themselves. It is this same attitude he brings to his law practice. Being sued is scary, but Brett will navigate it with you, creating solutions where only problems were before.
Living with his wife and two boys in Oak Park, Illinois, while not at work, Brett can be found running the kids to soccer practice and school plays. Obsessed with classic rock, the guitar, and American history, he spends his free time with headphones on, his nose in a book, or involved with local civic organizations.
J.D., University of Minnesota School of Law
B.A., University of Illinois, History
Licensure(s) and Admission(s)
State Courts of Illinois
State Courts of Missouri
State Courts of Wisconsin
United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
Defense Research Institute
Disaster Relief Volunteer Services, Founder
- Won dismissal with prejudice for a student athletic association based on a lack of actionable involvement in an equipment failure case
- Settled an equipment failure case for less than ten percent of the plaintiff’s demand after uncovering evidence of a co-defendant’s culpability
“Contracts, Invoices, and Letters - Make Sure Your Documents Contain State of the Art Disclaimers and Other Smart Provisions,” Heyl Royster “Avoiding Litigation” Seminar, Rockford (2016)
"Consideration and Non-Compete Agreements: The State of the Law in Illinois," International Association of Defense Counsel Business Litigation Committee Newsletter (2017)
"Environmental Justice and the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill," New York University Environmental Law Journal (2013)
"The Cemetery Oversight Act: What You Need to Know at the Local Level," Heyl Royster Governmental Newsletter (2013)
"Update: Medical Malpractice Caps," American College of Legal Medicine Q&A (2012)
"Update: Learned Intermediary Doctrine," American College of Legal Medicine Q&A (2012)
"Question: What Are the Results of Pharmacological Errors and How Do They Improve with the Use of Technology?," American College of Legal Medicine Q&A (2011)
"A Chip Off the Old Block: Familial DNA Searches and the African American Community," Minnesota Journal of Law & Inequality (2011)
- Emerging Lawyer by Law Bulletin Media℠, 2018 – 2023