Larry Heftman is a trial lawyer and commercial litigator. Larry has litigated high stakes complex commercial disputes throughout the country with a strong record of success in jury and bench trials. He focuses on fiduciary and class action litigation frequently involving financial institutions.

Fiduciary Litigation
Larry has particular experience in fiduciary litigation involving trustees, executors, and officers and directors. Larry has litigated a wide range of trust and estate matters involving trust construction, distribution disputes, contested estates, guardianship, undue influence, and trust investment decisions.

On behalf of financial institutions, Larry has defended claims for breach of fiduciary duty regarding trustee and lending decisions, as well as Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Fair Debt Collection violations. On the plaintiff side, Larry has enforced lender’s rights in loan and foreclosure disputes, conducted underwriting and fraud investigations and prosecuted claims to enforce financial institution bonds.

Consumer Class Actions
Larry has also worked on a wide range of consumer class actions alleging unfair and deceptive business practices, TCPA, and breach of contract claims. He has defended insurance, financial institution, and telecommunications clients against consumer class actions, leading to dismissal of claims or favorable settlements.

  • Experience

    • Prosecuted claims against auditor resulting in $625 million damages award, the largest ever auditing malpractice damages award, after five-week bench trial.
    • Represented a Fortune 500 financial institution in four-week jury trial resulting in a complete trial victory, successfully defeating claims for more than $65 million in damages and obtaining a judgment for more than $1.2 million for his client.
    • Prosecuted director & officer claims leading to multimillion dollar verdict after several week jury trial in California.
    • Represented a real estate seller in multi-week bench trial, defeating claims of breach of contract and for specific performance, achieving a complete victory resulting in full recovery to client on counterclaim.
    • Won summary judgment defending trustee of $150+ million trust against breach of fiduciary duty claims brought by a state attorney general and contingent beneficiaries.
    • Defeated multimillion dollar fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claim on behalf of Fortune 100 financial institution. Won motion to dismiss with prejudice, avoiding any discovery cost to his client.
    • Defended corporate directors against shareholder class action resulting in summary judgment ruling upheld by Delaware Supreme Court.
    • Represented plaintiff in fidelity bond lawsuit involving fraud and conflict of interest in loan approval resulting in favorable settlement.
    • Prosecuted trust construction claim and achieved summary judgment for beneficiary compelling trust distribution. Affirmed on appeal.
    • Prosecuted claims for breach of fiduciary duty and legal malpractice claim against individual trustee and law firm involving hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, leading to favorable settlement.
    • Bench trial in commercial landlord­tenant dispute resulting in complete verdict in client’s favor for possession and damages.
    • Tried multi-day arbitration regarding contingent attorney fee and legal ethics dispute leading to favorable settlement during arbitration.
    • Conduct investigation of claims for improper lending and underwriting violations.
  • Credentials


    • Harvard Law School, J.D., 2004, magna cum laude
      Harvard Civil Rights - Civil Liberties Law Review, Solicited Content Editor
      Ames Moot Court Competition, Semifinalist
    • Emory University, B.A., Political Science, 2000, summa cum laude
      Phi Beta Kappa

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
    • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
      • Insights

        News Release

        Emerging Lawyers Lists 14 Schiff Attorneys in Illinois

        Fourteen Schiff Hardin attorneys have been named to the 2019 Emerging Lawyers Network.

        News Release

        18 Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named to 2018 Emerging Lawyers List

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 18 of the firm’s attorneys have been named to the 2018 Emerging Lawyers Network.

        News Release

        Nineteen Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named Emerging Lawyers

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 19 of the firm’s attorneys have been named to the 2017 Emerging Lawyers Network.


        Witness Preparation

        Pincus Professional Education’s Mastering the Deposition


        CFPB Proposes Rules Banning Use of Class Action Waivers in Consumer Arbitration Agreements

        The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed new rules that would largely ban the use of “no class action” arbitration provisions in consumer financial products and services agreements. 81 Fed. Reg. 32,830-01 (May 24, 2016).

        News Release

        22 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2016 Emerging Lawyers Network

        The list comprises those attorneys who are most recommended as top lawyers among their peers.

        Speeches & Presentations

        • “Witness Preparation,” Pincus Professional Education’s Mastering the Deposition (Apr. 13, 2017)
        • “Cain v. Abel, Dealing with Sibling Rivalries in Family Owned Businesses,” American Bar Association Webinar (Apr. 19, 2016)
      • Citizenship

        Pro Bono Activities

        Larry devotes hundreds of hours every year to pro bono work. He regularly represents indigent clients at the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services clinic addressing their critical needs in bankruptcy, divorce, and child custody.


        Larry has also taken on significant and complex pro bono litigation. Larry has litigated two related federal lawsuits, including a federal jury trial, on behalf of an individual falsely accused and detained after the 9/11 attacks. He also represented an inmate on Georgia’s death row in state habeas evidentiary proceedings.