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Margaret P. Battersby Black

Managing Partner

Meet Margaret—Leader, Mentor, Advocate for Families

Margaret Battersby Black is an award-winning attorney who has played a key role in a number of nursing home and medical malpractice cases at Levin & Perconti. Her commitment to her practice has achieved noteworthy results for clients in all types of personal injury, nursing home and malpractice matters. Margaret is also committed to the advancement of women in the legal profession and serves as a mentor to law students and younger lawyers. In 2023 she was bestowed the “Carole K. Bellows Women of Influence” award which honors those who are advocates for action addressing women’s issues and promote involvement by women in the legal community at all levels.

Margaret grew up in Beverly Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, in a large Irish Catholic family full of lawyers and judges. She watched her father, a Plaintiff’s lawyer, spend his career helping the underdogs and the good guys, and this made a lasting impression. From a young age, Margaret embraced leadership roles in school, sports, and within her own family as the oldest child. Later, her ambition and vision helped earn her an undergraduate degree from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, build a successful career as a financial analyst at JP Morgan Chase in Chicago, and go on to earn her law degree from Chicago-Kent Law School. Family has remained central to her life, and she lives in Elmhurst with her husband, Jeff, and children, Evelyn and William. Margaret joined Levin & Perconti as a law clerk in 2006, was promoted to associate attorney in 2008 and was named Partner in 2014.

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With years of experience and an exceptional grasp of the intricate nuances inherent in medical malpractice litigation, Margaret has emerged as an undeniable force in the field. Throughout her career, she has passionately advocated for families who have been affected by the devastating consequences of medical negligence during childbirth. Margaret’s track record of successful outcomes speaks for itself, as she has consistently secured substantial compensation for her clients, including a recent $20 million birth injury verdict.

Margaret has also made a significant impact in the field of nursing home litigation. Her dedication and experience led her to secure the largest award ever recorded under the state’s Nursing Home Care Act. In this groundbreaking $4.1 million dollar verdict, Margaret represented Dolores Trendel, an 85-year-old woman whose life tragically ended due to a stroke caused by the negligent cessation of medication.

However, Margaret’s commitment to her client’s case did not stop there. She successfully advocated to the appellate court for the addition of legal fees and costs, amounting to approximately one-third of the verdict. As a result, the final case award reached an extraordinary $6 million. With each case she takes on, Margaret prioritizes her clients above all else. She believes that under the Nursing Home Care Act, vulnerable older adults deserve access to justice, and separating fees and awards is necessary to ensure they receive the full compensation they deserve.

In addition to her work in medical malpractice and nursing home litigation, Margaret represents victims of sports hazing. She currently represents several former student-athletes in the hazing scandal involving Northwestern University.

Margaret is well regarded by her clients and peers alike, and was honored by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company as one of the 2011 “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch.” This award is given to 40 outstanding attorneys throughout the state for their achievements on behalf of their clients, their communities and the legal profession. In 2015 Margaret was honored by Chicago-Kent Law School as Outstanding Young Alumna of the year. This award recognizes alumni who have made significant contributions to the law school and the legal community.

Margaret was a founding member and is the inaugural chair of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Women’s Caucus for the term that runs through 2018. She is active in the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, the American Constitution Society, the American Association for Justice, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and the Illinois State Bar Association, and previously served as the ACS Chicago Chapter’s Law Firm Outreach Coordinator. She regularly judges law school moot court competitions and hosts students in externships.

Levin & Perconti Lawyers in negotiation.

Some of Margaret's most notable achievements include:

$29M

birth injury settlement

$20M

verdict on behalf of a child who suffered preventable HIE and asphyxia injuries at birth, resulting in permanent cognitive and developmental impairments.

$17.7M

medical malpractice settlement

$9M

birth injury settlement

$8M

medical malpractice settlement

$7.5M

Illinois Record Jones Act Settlement

$7M

wrongful death jury verdict

$6M

medical negligence settlement

$5.45M

wrongful death medical malpractice settlement for a 48-year-old woman who presented to the emergency room with complaints of feeling ill and was sent home. She returned the following day and was in sepsis.

$4.1M

record-setting Illinois nursing home jury verdict on behalf of an 85-year-old woman injured in a nursing home when her medications were mismanaged.

$3.8M

motor vehicle settlement

$3.6M

medical malpractice settlement for the death of a 26-year-old

$3.3M

hospital fall case settlement

$3M

medical malpractice settlement

Education

Number 01

J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law, 2008

Graduated with Honors
American Constitution Society
Chicago Kent Moot Court Honors Society

Number 02

B.B.A., University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 2002

Graduated with Honors

  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
    Secretary, 2022-2023; 2024-2025
    Treasurer, 2020 – 2021;
    Parliamentarian, 2021 – 2022; 2023 – 2024;
    Executive Committee, 2019 – 2020;
    Member, Board of Managers 2016 – 2017;
    Women’s Caucus, Chair, 2017 – 2018;
    Founding Member, Women’s Caucus, 2017 – 2018;
    Leonard Ring Lifetime Achievement Selection Committee, 2018 – 2019;
    Legislative Committee, 2018 – 2019;
    Nominating Committee 2020 – 2021;
  • Women’s Bar Association of Illinois
    Co-Chair, Judicial Evaluation Committee 2018 – 2021;
    Nominating Committee, 2018;
    Co-Chair, Annual Dinner 2018;
    Sponsorship Co-Chair, Annual Dinner Committee, 2018 – 2020;
    Member, Co-Chair of the Judicial Reception 2017
  • Chicago-Kent Law School
    Young Alumni Council since 2014, Senior Partner Council since 2016
  • The American Constitutional Society’s Chicago Chapter
    Board of Directors-Director of Firm Outreach
  • American Association for Justice
    Member
  • Illinois State Bar Association
    Member
  • Chicago Bar Association
    Member
  • National Association of Elder Law Attorneys
    Member Illinois NAELA Chapter, Litigation Committee, 2018-2021
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
    Treasurer, Member
  • International Society of Barristers
    Member, 2021 – present
  • Carole K. Bellows Women of Influence, 2023
  • The Best Lawyers in America®: Personal Injury Litigation: Plaintiffs, 2019-2024
  • Illinois Super Lawyers®: Medical Malpractice, 2020-2024
  • Illinois Super Lawyers®: Top 100 in Illinois, 2024
  • Illinois Super Lawyers®: Top 50 Women in Illinois, 2024
  • Illinois Super Lawyers®: Rising Stars, Medical Malpractice, 2012-2019
  • Leading Lawyers: Leading Lawyer, 2016-2023
  • Leading Lawyers: Leading Women, 2022
  • Leading Lawyers: Top 10 Lawyers: Nursing Home Negligence, 2022
  • Leading Lawyers: Top Lawyer: Leading Women, 2021
  • Leading Lawyers: Top 10 Illinois Women Emerging Lawyer, 2017
  • Leading Lawyers: Emerging Lawyer, 2015
  • Jury Verdict Reporter: Top 20 Illinois Verdict, 2020
  • Jury Verdict Reporter: Trial Excellence Award: Highest Illinois Nursing Home Care Act Verdict, 2019
  • Jury Verdict Reporter: Trial Excellence Award: Highest Jones Act Settlement: Illinois, 2015
  • Wylie E. Groves High School: Honor Alumnus Award, 2020
  • Crain Communications, Inc.: Crain’s 2021 Notable Gen X Leaders in Accounting, Consulting & Law, 2021
  • Crain Communications, Inc.: Crain’s 2022 Notable Women in Law, 2022
  • Crain Communications, Inc.: Crain’s 2020 Notable Women in Law, 2020
  • Crain’s Custom Media: Chicago’s Notable Women Lawyers, 2018
  • The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin & Chicago Lawyer: 2020 Salute! Women in Law Honoree, 2020
  • Chicago Lawyer Magazine: Levin & Perconti’s Battersby Black was first chair for 20 cases in this year’s JVR Settlements Report, 2019
  • Women’s Bar Association Service Award, 2019
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association: ITLA President’s Award, 2018
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law: Outstanding Young Alumna of the Year, 2015
  • Chicago Law Bulletin Publishing Company: Top “40 Attorneys Under 40 to Watch” in Illinois, 2011
  • “Sexual Assault and the Legal Path to Accountability,” Baker Community Center, 03/14/2023
  • ITLA Update and Review: Nursing Home Litigation – 10/22/2021
  • Successfully using the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act to help your elderly clients,” 2021
  • CASE ANALYSIS – Nursing Home Trials: How one case changed the legal landscape 1/26/21
  • Dupage County Bar Association – Arbitration Clause in Nursing Home and other Healthcare Facility Contracts 11/18/20
  • “ITLA Update and Review: Nursing Home Cases in the COVID Era” 10/13/20.
  • “Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic for your law firm and your clients: a positive outlook” April 2, 2020 for Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
  • Presented at Illinois Trial Lawyers Association Medical Malpractice Seminar: “Combating Defense Obstruction in Medical Malpractice Cases,” December 6, 2019.
  • “Attorney’s Fees and Costs Under the Nursing Home Care Act after Grauer vs. Clare Oaks,” ITLA Trial Journal, Volume 22, Number 1, Winter 2020.
  • “Two Partners Talk About Going from Student to Teacher,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, August 1, 2019.
  • Presented at the Illinois Trial Lawyers Update and Review Seminar: “Nursing Home Trials following Grauer v. Clare Oaks.”
  • Presented at the ITLA Women’s Caucus about “Opening Statements” on 5/10/19.
  • Presented “Seven Hot Litigation Practice Areas: Information to Successfully Represent Clients” for ISBA’s Law Ed Program on 3/29/19.
  • Presented on Survival and Wrongful Death Cases at the ITLA Damages Seminar on 2/18/19.
  • Featured in 9/24/18 Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Column “Generation Esq.” featuring newsworthy and interesting attorneys under 40.
  • Presented a “Medical Legal Update” on 9/21/18 at the Midwestern University College of Osteopathic Medicine to a group of physicians regarding how they can minimize the risks of medical malpractice in their own practice.
  • Deposing Nursing Home Staff and Corporate Representatives in Nursing Home Injury Cases, Strafford Publications Webinar, 6/12/18.
  • Michigan Association for Justice, Annual Convention: Trial Advocacy – Winning Direct Examinations, May 11, 2018.
  • On May 4, 2018, Margaret Battersby, founding member and chair of the ITLA Women’s Caucus, organized and served as moderator of ITLA’s first-ever Trial & Practice Tips Seminar held at Hilton Oak Brook Hills Resort.
  • Deposing Nursing Home Employees and Owners in Neglect and Abuse Cases, Strafford Publications Webinar, April 11, 2018.
  • Presented at the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association’s Damages Seminar: “Effective Direct Examination of Witnesses” February 2018
  • Hosted the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys webinar on “The Intersection Between Personal Injury and Elder Law.“, 2017
  • Presented at the 13th Annual IICLE Elder Law Short Course on the topic of The Late Life Litigant: The Potential Value of Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Claims for Elderly Plaintiffs, 2017
  • Presented at the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association’s Medical Malpractice Seminar on the topic of Opening Statements, 2017
  • Nursing Home Injury Litigation: Common Claims, Medical Records, and Damages Assessment, Strafford Publications Webinar, December 20, 2017.
  • Chicago Bar Association’s Tort Committee, “So You’re Trying Your First Nursing Home Case?: Some Things You Should Know” – November 8, 2017.
  • ISBA Tort Law Ed Program Panel Discussion: Ethical Considerations Regarding the Submission of Evidence and Trial Tactics- May 2017
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) May 5, 2017, “Ex Parte Communication with Current and Former Employees of Defendant.
  • IICLE Elder Law Short Course, ” Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect” – November 2016
  • ITLA Update and Review Seminar “Nursing Home Litigation” – September 2016
  • ITLA Medical Malpractice Seminar, “Affirmative Defenses of Contributory Negligence and Mitigation of Damages” – December 2015
  • IICLE Elder Law Short Course, ” Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect” – October 2015
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, “Illinois Supreme Court Rule 213,” Trial Seminar, March 28, 2015, Oak Brook, IL.
  • Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, “Depositions – How to Take a Good Deposition and Expert Witnesses – When and How to Depose Them,” Nursing Home & Assisted Living Facility Litigation Seminar, February 6, 2015, Chicago, IL.
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, “Nursing Home Litigation,” Update and Review Seminar, October 13, 2014, Chicago, IL.
  • Chicago Bar Association’s Elder Law Committee, Using Litigation to Protect Elderly Clients in Nursing Homes, May 21, 2013. Chicago, IL.
  • How Changes to the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act Will Affect Long-Term Care Abuse and Neglect Cases,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin – Law Day Edition, April 2013.
  • AALNC Foum, An Overview of Brain Injury Lawsuits with Case Examination: Nissen v. Parcellano et al. April 5, 2013. Chicago, IL.
  • Illinois Disability Rights Consortium, Nursing Home Litigation, March 27, 2013. Chicago, IL.
  • Chicago-Kent Law School, Admitted Students Program, May 21, 2012. Chicago, IL.
  • Chicago Bar Association, 40 Under 40 Panel Discussion. April 2, 2012. Chicago, IL.
  • ITLA Liens and Settlement Seminar, Special Issues in Catastrophic Cases. February 20, 2012. Chicago, IL.
  • Illinois Department on Aging 2011 Elder Rights Conference, The Role of the Private Attorney in Enforcing Elder Rights through Litigation. July 7, 2011. Chicago, IL.
  • On January 28, 2009, Margaret Battersby introduced Professor Steven Heyman at The American Constitutional Society Chicago Chapter’s discussion on his book, Free Speech and Human Dignity. Margaret was a former student of Professor Heyman’s who teaches Constitutional Law and First Amendment classes at Chicago Kent College of Law.
  • Article Published in the Journal of the DuPage County Bar Association’s “DCBA Brief” magazine titled “Successfully Using the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act to help Your Elderly Clients” outlining a roadmap for practitioners seeking to navigate an Illinois Nursing Home Care Act claim from start to finish.
  • Featured by multiple news outlets in October 2023 (including CBS 2 Chicago, ABC 7, ESPN, and WGN) for a lawsuit filed on behalf of victims of the Northwestern Hazing scandal.
  • Recently wrote an article for the Daily Herald detailing the importance of hiring and retaining more female lawyers.
  • Featured by multiple news outlets after filing a lawsuit against Massage Envy on behalf of a 51-year-old triathlete who was sexually assaulted by a massage therapist with a criminal past. 
  • Featured by several legal publications after obtaining an $8 million settlement on the first day of trial in a wrongful death medical malpractice case. 
  • Spoke with the Chicago Tribune and Block Club Chicago about filed lawsuits against a supportive living facility on Chicago’s south side. 
  • Recognized by the Jury Verdict Reporter as the lawyer who settled the most cases in 2019 over $500,000 with 24 total settlements above $500,000.
  • Interviewed by NBC 5 Chicago on October 30, 2019, for lawsuit involving negligence which led to the death of a 66-year-old man at Aperion Care.
  • Featured in the Washington Post on August 11, 2019, for filing a $1 million civil suit regarding Snapchat video of nursing home caregivers taunting a 91-year-old dementia resident at Abington of Glenview Nursing Home.
  • Featured by multiple news outlets in October 2018 (including the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Fox 32 Chicago, NBC 5 Chicago, CBS 2 Chicago, Miami Herald, and San Francisco Chronicle) for a lawsuit alleging physical, sexual, and mental abuse of a 76-year-old man live-streamed on Facebook while at Holland Home.
  • Featured in 9/24/18 Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Column “Generation Esq.” featuring newsworthy and interesting attorneys under 40.
  • Quoted in 3/16/18 Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Article “ITLA Launches Women’s Caucus to Foster Leaders”

Client Testimonials

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