Gary Vist

Principal, Chicago
Phone: 312.245.7500

As the Chair of the Firm's Litigation Practice Group, Gary Vist has extensive experience in the areas of complex business and commercial litigation and arbitration, both on the federal and state level, and bankruptcy. Mr. Vist specializes in "bet your company" multi-party, multi-continent international litigation where amounts in dispute are frequently in excess of $10,000,000. In addition, Mr. Vist has unique substantial experience in handling litigation and investigations arising out of industrial accidents and catastrophic events, including matters involving United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (USCSB), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), United States Department of Homeland Security (USDHS), as well as insurance litigation involving both first-party property and third-party liability claims. Mr. Vist also handles a number of significant commercial and business litigation matters for clients that are based in, or have significant connections to, Eastern Europe, especially Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Mr. Vist is also a member of the Distribution & Sales Practice Group, where he drafts and negotiates commercial agreements such as sales representative, license, supplier, distributor and non-disclosure agreements. He often represents clients during the arbitration of disputes in the course of such agreements.

Beginning in 2012, Mr. Vist has presented annual litigation seminars in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan on various subjects related to U.S.-based litigation. Mr. Vist has also published an article in a trade magazine in Ukraine and has established ties with the Ukrainian Embassy, Ukrainian Consulate, Russian-American Chamber of Commerce and Ukrainian American Bar Association.

Mr. Vist represents clients in a variety of industries, including printing, crystal-growing, heavy machinery, electronics, automotive, information technology, media advertisement and food products.

Representative Matters

  • Achieved a multi-million dollar settlement recovery for the U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese parent company in the first-party property insurance coverage litigation resulting from a catastrophic industrial accident at a manufacturing facility.

  • Obtained a multi-million dollar settlement recovery in a three-year long litigation for the U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese parent company involved in cutting edge products used in high-tech applications; the client asserted contract- and tort-based claims against the domestic seller and British manufacturer of industrial equipment.

  • Obtained a complete victory for a printing press supplier defending contract-based claims in a week-long arbitration in Chicago, enabling the client to subsequently obtain a judgment against the arbitration claimant in court and secure a seven-figure recovery.

  • Successfully thwarted a hostile shareholder takeover attempt for a U.S.-based international company with the predominantly Eastern European workforce.

  • Obtained a bench trial verdict in favor of a Russian-based company in a business dispute litigation in Illinois involving an industrial glue manufacturer.

  • Successfully resolved and obtained a de minimus settlement for a client in a claim brought by Illinois Attorney General on behalf of Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Defended an international printing press supplier against claims of fraud and breach of warranty made by the equipment purchaser in a $20,000,000 dollar arbitration claim filed with the American Arbitration Association in Texas; participated in the first three weeks of a scheduled eight-week long hearing in Texas, after which the matter was settled for a favorable amount.

  • Defended a Japanese international manufacturer of auto parts against claims in the Delphi bankruptcy in New York; resolved the matter by not only enabling the client to keep 86% of payments received, but also enabling the client to enter into new long-term supply contracts with Delphi.

  • Achieved a significant reduction in penalties and charges levied by OSHA against an Illinois manufacturer in connection with an industrial accident.

  • Successfully handled numerous preference claims in various bankruptcies, saving client creditors a total in excess of $2,500,000 in the process.

  • Obtained a binding consent to judgment and a favorable repayment commitment from the debtor of a Turkish-based food supplier regarding a claim for breach of contract in federal court in New Jersey.

  • Represented an international manufacturer of computer parts in a settlement conference in Tokyo, Japan involving multiple parties from the United States, Japan and Taiwan and claims in excess of $90,000,000 in the aggregate; assisted the client in bringing the matter to a speedy and satisfactory resolution for a tiny fraction of the disputed amount.

  • Successfully defended a U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese manufacturer of industrial equipment in federal court in Ohio against claims in excess of $500,000 for breach of sales representative agreement and tortuous interference.

  • Defended an international printing press supplier against arbitration claims in excess of $1,000,000 for breach of contract and breach of warranty filed with the American Arbitration Association in New York; participated in a week-long arbitration hearing in Manhattan, New York, resulting in a low five-figure award.

  • Defended an international distributor of industrial equipment against claims in excess of $250,000 for consumer fraud and breach of warranty in federal court in Minnesota; obtained favorable summary judgment ruling on the fraud count, which effectively ended the case and enabled the client to make an additional sale to the plaintiff.

Practice Areas


  • Russian
  • Ukrainian


  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1999
  • Loyola University, B.S., 1996


  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Circuits

Professional Activities

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association


  • Leading Lawyers, 2015-2018