Ed Gower is a trial lawyer and advisor. He concentrates his practice in the areas of construction and business litigation; governmental affairs; and transportation, utility regulation and administrative law.

Mr. Gower has represented business clients in commercial litigation; construction and transportation related litigation; constitutional and environmental challenges to governmental action; disputes arising out of the acquisition of businesses; disputes concerning the design and performance of manufacturing and other capital equipment; bid protests; rehabilitation and insolvency proceedings; reinsurance and insurance coverage disputes; and employment litigation. He has also successfully represented clients in a broad variety of state and federal administrative agency proceedings. In matters of labor and employment law, Mr. Gower has represented clients in investigations involving the Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Prevailing Wage Act.

Mr. Gower also advises and represents governmental entities in a variety of matters including advice concerning governmental powers and procurement, drafting legislation, and representation before state and federal administrative agencies in such diverse matters as construction litigation, utility regulation, environmental matters, railroad acquisition, and rail-highway grade separations and crossings. Mr. Gower’s governmental representation is extensive and includes counties, municipalities, airports and mass transit agencies.

Reflecting more than a decade as Chief Counsel for the Illinois Department of Transportation, Mr. Gower has extensive experience with highway design and construction litigation; environmental litigation; constitutional challenges; and employment and civil rights litigation. He also advises business clients on all aspects of state and municipal governance and services.

Professional Background

Mr. Gower joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in April 2003. He previously served as Chief Counsel for the Illinois Department of Transportation for 12 years. His tenure also included one year as Acting Director of the Illinois Division of Aeronautics. As Chief Counsel, Mr. Gower supervised all litigation involving a state agency with an annual budget in the range of $3 billion to $4 billion. He also was involved in every major legislative initiative proposed by or affecting the Department.

Prior to his time with Department of Transportation, Mr. Gower spent 11 years in a Chicago commercial litigation practice, first with the law firm of Isham, Lincoln & Beale and later as a partner at Keck, Mahin & Cate. He also served as Special Counsel to the Illinois House Minority Leader in 1986-87.

In the Fall of 2005, Mr. Gower completed intensive training in mediation from the faculty of Pepperdine University School of Law’s top-ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.

Professional Affiliations

  • Illinois State Bar Association, Construction Law Section
  • Sangamon County Bar Association

Honors & Awards

  • Profiled in “Excelling Where Law, Government, and Policy Intersect,” in Leading Lawyers Magazine: Real Estate, Construction & Environmental Edition, January 2012
  • Leading Lawyers Magazine Business Edition named him to its list of Top 100 Leading Downstate Business Lawyers in Illinois, 2010


His presentations include:

  • “New Ethics Laws, A Primer on the Statutory Gift Ban, and Noteworthy Revisions to the Procurement Laws,” Illinois Road & Transportation Builders (IRTBA) Annual Convention, Kauai, Hawaii, February 2010.
  • “Getting the Lead Out,” Design Professionals Risk Control Group (DPRCG) Loss Prevention Convocation, Montreal, Canada, October 2007.
  • “Appearing as an Expert Witness,” Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association (IPLSA) Annual Conference, Springfield, Illinois, February 2006.
  • “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Insurance, Legal and Risk Management Concepts for 2005,” Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association (IPLSA) Annual Conference, Springfield, Illinois, February 2005.
  • “Do You Need an Employee Handbook and, if so, What Should it Say,” Illinois Society of Association Executives (ISAE) Annual Conference, Springfields, Illinois, January 2005.
  • “Pay Up or Else: Fee Collection from Contract to Court.” Hinshaw and Euclid Insurance Agency Seminar, “The Annual Review: A 2004 Design Firm Check-up,” Chicago, Illinois and again in Oak Brook, Illinois, November 2004.
  • “Getting Paid and Reducing Your Exposure,” Holmes Murphy/XL Design Professional Conference, Springfield, Decatur, and Peoria, Illinois, Spring 2004.


  • Author of “Recent Change in Illinois Law,” published in the Construction Law Update section of Real Estate Finance, June 2006.


J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1980

B.A., magna cum laude, DePauw University, 1977

  • Fellow, Phi Beta Kappa