FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Alan H. Silberman

Alan H. Silberman


Chicago, IL, USA

Alan Silberman is the chair emeritus of SNR Denton's [now DENTONS]  Antitrust & Competition Practice.  He has 48 years' experience in antitrust and franchising litigation, counseling and related transactional representation, as well as in general commercial litigation.  He has represented franchisors in a number of negotiated, litigated and arbitrated disputes with franchisees and third parties and regularly represents franchising clients in domestic and international activities.

A member of the Bureau of National Affairs' Antitrust and Trade Regulation Advisory Board, he is a frequent speaker on antitrust topics relating to marketing, distribution, franchising, litigation and insurance at various national and international programs and seminars, including serving as co-chair of PLI Antitrust Institutes for over 25 years.  He is also a member of the Illinois Franchise Advisory Board appointed by the attorney general of Illinois.

Mr. Silberman served as chair of the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law for 1993 94 and as immediate past chair during 1994-95.  He has also held various officer positions since 1988, previously serving as a member of the Council of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law and as a member of its Special Committee on the Role of the Federal Trade Commission, and a member of the ABA House of Delegates.  In Chambers USA, he is ranked as one of two "Senior Statesman" in franchising in the United States, and one of two "Senior Statesmen" in Illinois Antitrust.

.  He has participated as a member of the Antitrust Section's Special Task Force on Competition Policy which presented views on competition and consumer protection issues to the Clinton/Gore administration in March 1993.

Representative Experience

In franchising matters, he has acted as outside counsel for McDonald's Corporation in various litigated matters, including the constitutional challenge to the Iowa Franchise Agreement Act; "encroachment" and renewal claims in Chang v. McDonald's Corporation and Schubot v. McDonald's Corporation; tying and price fixing claims in Principe v. McDonald's Corporation, Kypta v. McDonald's Corporation and Levine v. McDonald's Corporation; and market definition issues in Dunafon v. Delaware McDonald's Corporation.  He has regularly counseled McDonald's Corporation on a wide range of franchise law, franchise relationship, marketing and trade regulation matters.  He also represents a wide range of other franchising and distribution clients, including Intercontinental Hotels Group, (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites), Sara Lee Corporation, Pella Corporation,  Purina Animal Nutrition LLC and Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.  He has been involved in acquisition and transactional representation for many of these firms, including a sale and joint venture between Holiday Inns, Inc. and Bass plc; the further acquisition of Holiday Inns by Bass; the acquisition of Electronic Realty Associates (ERA) from Control Data Corporation; and the acquisition of real estate brokerage assets from Merrill Lynch Realty and their integration into Prudential Real Estate Affiliates.

Mr. Silberman has acted as counsel for insurance companies in various cases involving the legality of provider arrangements and similar claim handling practices designed to obtain competitive prices for insurance companies and their policyholders, including Quality Auto Body, Inc. v. Allstate Insurance Company and Proctor v. State Farm Mutual Insurance Co.  He represented Allstate in the Insurance Antitrust Litigation (MDL No. 767).  He is national counsel for BASF (Knoll Pharmaceutical Company) in the Prescription Drug Antitrust Litigation (MDL No. 997) and in related state court actions pending throughout the United States.

Representative Appellate Experience

Mr. Silberman has tried lawsuits and argued appeals in courts throughout the United States, including arguments before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in the Iowa Franchise Act litigation and in Rolscreen Co. v. Pella Products of St. Louis, Inc.; before the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Sampson v. Embassy Suites, Inc. and Quality Auto Body v. Allstate Insurance Co.; before the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Como v. McDonald's Corporation and Liberty Auto Glass v. Allstate; before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Nike, Inc. v. Champion Products, Inc. and McDonald's Corporation v. Rincon East, Inc. and related cases; before the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Politte v. McDonald's Corporation; before the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Schubot v. McDonald's Corporation and before the Oregon Supreme Court in Allstate Insurance Company v. Top Service Body Shop, which remains one of Oregon's most-cited cases on matters of tortious interference.   He has argued appeals before the Illinois Appellate Court, including Hoffman v. Midas International Corporation, which upheld Midas' right to develop new locations over objections by Midas franchisees, and Block v. McDonald's Corporation, which secured approval of a cy pres settlement agreement resolving multiple class action claims involving McDonald's french fry preparation.  In most of these matters, he was involved in counseling and strategic development relating to the business activities prior to litigation as well as in the defense of the position when litigation ensued.  In addition, he was retained, following trial, to represent Monumental Life Insurance Company following a jury verdict and a $10 million punitive damage award in the Idaho case of Walston v. Monumental Life Insurance Co. and argued that matter before the Idaho Supreme Court.

Other Legal Experience and Activity

During the years (prior to the formation of SNR Denton) that Sonnenschein was a member of Lex Mundi, Mr. Silberman served as a member of the Board of Directors of Lex Mundi, and then became Treasurer of Lex Mundi and a member of its Executive Committee as well as being the immediate past chair of its Antitrust Competition and Trade Practice Group.

Following graduation from law school, Mr. Silberman served for two years as law clerk to the Honorable Hubert L. Will, United States District (Northern District of Illinois).  He is a member of the Bar of the State of Illinois and the Bars of the United States Supreme Court and various United States courts of appeal and district courts.


Mr. Silberman is the president of the World Council of Conservative / Masorti Synagogues, an international body supporting development of Conservative Judaism throughout the world and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency. He is a member of the (Expanded) Executive of the World Zionist Organization and a member of the Zionist General Council and its Presidium. He previously served as president of the National Ramah Commission, Inc., of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, which coordinates the operation of Ramah camps - educational institutions for Conservative Jewish youth in six North American locations-and other Ramah programs in Israel and Eastern Europe and as chair of the National Ramah Commission Board of Trustees. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Northwestern University Library and has also been active in alumni activities for Northwestern University and served as chair of the University's 1851 Society.

Mr. Silberman's biography appears in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, the International Who's Who of Business Lawyers (Franchising and Competition), Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers and other national and international publications. In 2006-09 he was named as one of the top 100 business lawyers practicing in the State of Illinois. He is married to Margaret Silberman, a psychologist. They have two children, Elena, a marketing executive, and Mark, an attorney.


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