Paul J. Berks

Paul J. Berks

Massey & Gail LLP
50 East Washington Street
Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60602

Office: 312.283.1590
Direct: 312.379.0469
Fax: 312.379.0467

Paul J. Berks

Paul J. Berks has over 15 years of experience as an appellate and trial litigator, regulator, and policy maker in both the private and public sectors.

Paul formerly was an associate at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham (now K&L Gates), Complex Litigation Counsel for the State of Illinois, and Deputy General Counsel at the Illinois Department of Revenue. He has briefed and argued dozens of appeals, involving a wide variety of constitutional and statutory issues before the U.S. Courts of Appeals, the Illinois Supreme Court, and numerous state appellate courts. He has litigated constitutional questions involving the commerce clause, the supremacy clause, and separation of powers, among others, and has handled statutory claims arising from utility ratemaking, state and local tax disputes, environmental enforcement actions, and qui tam claims. Paul is also an experienced regulatory lawyer. He has written, enforced, and defended administrative rules, and has successfully challenged agency actions in both state and federal appellate courts.

Paul graduated from Northwestern University, B.A., in 1991, and Stanford Law School, J.D., with distinction, in 2000. After law school, Paul clerked for the Honorable Joseph T. Sneed, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2000-2001, and for the Honorable Claudia Wilken, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, 2001-2002.


  • Stanford Law School, J.D., with Honors, 2000
  • University of California, San Diego, M.A., 1993
  • Northwestern University, B.A., 1991


  • The Honorable Joseph T. Sneed, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • The Honorable Claudia Wilken, United States District Court, Northern District of California


  • Illinois
  • United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Awards, Honors, and Publications

  • Hilmer Oehlmann, Jr. Award for excellence in legal research and writing
  • Miriam L. and Nathan R. Berke Fellowship in Labor Law
  • Social Change and Judicial Response: The Handbook Exception to Employment at Will, 4 EMPLOYEE RIGHTS AND EMPLOYMENT POL’Y J. 231 (2000)
  • Robert L. Byer and Paul Berks, “Judicial Review of Non-Judicial Arbitration,” in Advanced Issues in Civil Procedure, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, PBI No. 2006-4190
  • “Transmission Cost Allocation: The Seventh Circuit Decision and the Proposed Corker Amendment,” Harvard Electricity Policy Group Fifty-Seventh Plenary Session (December 2009)
  • Hartney and Its Aftermath,” Chicago Tax Club (April 14, 2014) (with David Blum and Jim Tauber)
  • “New Rules for Local Sourcing in Illinois,” Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (June 8, 2014)

Representative Matters

  • Won reversal in federal appellate court of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order allocating costs of new transmission lines, saving client over $200 million.
  • Won appeal in state appellate and state supreme courts in $80 million dispute over availability of credits against state income tax.
  • Won reversal in state appellate court of agency orders requiring cost recovery of “smart grid” and other capital expenditures.
  • Won reversal in state appellate court of trial verdict in breach of contract action.
  • Provided legal analysis and briefing in successful, multi-party arbitration of complex dispute seeking enforcement of settlement agreement.
  • Directed rulemaking process for state agency, producing administrative regulations governing sales and income taxes.