Gretchen Harris Sperry is the Chair of Hinshaw's Appellate Practice Group, which is ranked Tier 1 nationally by U.S. News – Best Law Firms. She has represented clients in numerous state and federal courts of review, including the United States Supreme Court. As a former appellate court clerk, Ms. Sperry applies her experience and understanding of the judicial process at all stages of litigation, from drafting critical motions and appeals to developing long-term legal strategies in complex commercial litigation, constitutional litigation, labor and employment matters, and high-exposure catastrophic injury cases.

Ms. Sperry is highly skilled at handling the sensitive and unique legal issues that arise at the intersection of law, politics, and government. She is experienced in white collar criminal matters, having represented individuals and entities in federal criminal prosecutions and investigations, as well as conducting internal investigations in anticipation of government involvement. Ms. Sperry frequently represents government agencies and elected officials in constitutional litigation as a court-appointed Special Assistant State's Attorney. She also represents private sector clients before various governmental, legislative, and regulatory agencies, counseling them on pending legislation and regulatory compliance matters.

Professional Background

Prior to joining Hinshaw, Ms. Sperry was a Judicial Clerk to the Honorable Mary Jane Theis and the Honorable Maureen E. Connors in the Illinois Appellate Court. During her time in the Court, Ms. Sperry assisted in researching and drafting judicial opinions and dispositional orders in all areas of the law, including insurance coverage, contract disputes, corporate and partnership formation, fiduciary duty, personal injury, professional liability, declaratory judgment actions, appellate jurisdiction, evidentiary issues, and criminal matters. In law school, she also served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Michael T. Mason, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and was a Senior Research Fellow for Dean Michael J. Kaufman. 

Ms. Sperry is an active member of the legal community. She was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve as a member of the Character and Fitness Committee of the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at two Chicago law schools teaching Appellate Advocacy. She also serves as the Secretary of the ABA Council of Appellate Lawyers and is a Past President of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association.

Professional Affiliations

  • Illinois Supreme Court
    • Appointed to Character and Fitness Committee of Illinois Board of Admission to the Bar, 2014 – Present
  • Appellate Lawyers Association
    • Elected as President, 2019 – 2020
    • Elected as Vice President, 2018 – 2019
    • Elected as Secretary, 2017 – 2018
    • Elected as Treasurer, 2016 – 2017
    • Member of the Board of Directors, 2013 – 2015
    • Cases Pending Committee, Co-Chair 
    • Seminars Committee
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law’s Alumni Board of Governors
    • Elected Member, 2020
  • American Bar Association
    • Council of Appellate Lawyers
      • Elected as Secretary, 2022 – 2023
      • Member of the Board of Directors, 2019 – 2022
      • National State Chairs Committee, Co-Chair, 2018 – 2022
  • Women's Bar Association of Illinois
    • Mary Heftel Hooton Fund Committee, 2014 – Present
    • Nominating Committee, 2013 – 2015
  • Women's White Collar Defense Association, Chicago Chapter
    • National PR and Branding Committee, Co-Chair 
  • Chicago Bar Association
    • Judicial Evaluation Committee, 2013 – 2015

Honors & Awards

  • Named to the "Notable Women in Law" list by Crain's Chicago Business, 2022
  • Recognized on the Super Lawyers list by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2020 – 2022
  • Recognized as a "Notable Gen X Leader in Law," by Crain's Chicago Business, 2021
  • Recognized by her peers as a "Leading Lawyer" in the areas of: Civil Appellate Law and Commercial Litigation
  • Recognized by her peers as an "Emerging Lawyer," 2015


  • Moderator, "Unsettling Settled Law?: The Doctrine of Stare Decisis After Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization," Appellate Judges Education Institute Summit, Scottsdale, Arizona, November 11, 2022
  • Moderator, "Politicians, Choose Your Voters: Legislative Redistricting After Rucho v. Common Cause," Appellate Judges Education Institute Summit, Scottsdale, Arizona, November 10, 2022

  • "Fireside Chat: Partner Perspective on the Power of Analytics in Legal Research," Law Firm Libraries 2021 Conference, April 28, 2021
  • "Impulse Control: Written Communication in Litigation," Hinshaw University, March 22, 2017
  • "Motion Practice in Appellate Court," IICLE program, April 21, 2016
  • "Illinois Supreme Court Criminal Year-in-Review," Appellate Lawyers Association, January 2015 – Present
  • "Advanced Appellate Practice Seminar," Appellate Lawyers Association, April 2015 – Present
  • "Real Talk on Women in the Law: Grit and the Growth Mindset," American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, April 2015
  • "3L Practical Skills Training Seminar,"  Loyola Law School, 2013 – Present
  • "Insurance Coverage Issues," panelist, Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, October 2013
  • "Law Practice Management Seminar," panelist, Chicago-Kent Executive Program for Chinese Law Practitioners, Chicago, Illinois, June 2013


Ms. Sperry authored a bimonthly column in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin titled "On The Docket," in which she analyzed cases to be heard by the Illinois Supreme Court. She also contributes regularly to The Brief and Cases Pending, both publications of the Appellate Lawyers Association. She authored the introduction, case analysis and discussion questions for "Education Law and Policy," (Aspen 2004), written by Michael J. Kauman. Following is a selection of her articles and other publications:

  • "Appointments of qualified justices show system works," Letter to the Editor, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, December 15, 2020
  • "Record on Appeal," chapter 20, and "The Appendix," author, chapter 24, IICLE's Civil Appeals (Illinois): State and Federal, 2015 edition

  • "Supreme Court to address med-mal privilege, administrative hearings," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, On the Docket, January 8, 2015

  • "Two state high court cases have lawyers and employers on alert," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, On the Docket, June 19, 2014
  • "Illinois Supreme Court looks at self-critical analysis, insurance case," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, On the Docket, May 1, 2014
  • "Supreme Court takes on duty of care in two new cases," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, On the Docket, February 27, 2014
  • "Illinois Supreme Court to address Frye, property rights," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, On the Docket, December 24, 2013
  • "The Value of Flexible Work Arrangements," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, June 17, 2013
  • "Panel Discusses Communication Styles," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, July 3, 2012
  • "Illinois Supreme Court Expands Legal Duty for Employers," WBAI Newsletter, Fall 2012

Hinshaw Publications

J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law

 • Publication Editor, Annals of Health Law

B.S., Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison