Neil Hirshman focuses his practice on both domestic and international transactions, including outsourcing (business process and information technology), software development, software, data, trademark, patent and technology licensing, telecommunications, commercial agreements (supply, distribution, development), joint ventures and strategic alliances. In addition, Neil advises clients on the intellectual property and technology issues that arise in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, recapitalizations and bankruptcies.
Known as “fantastic – he knows all the ins and outs of a deal and always gets the best possible outcome in negotiations –” and “business-savvy and creative,” Neil was named a leading lawyer in Outsourcing in Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in 2007–2023 and in Chambers Global 2009–2023. According to Chambers, Neil is “an excellent lawyer,” and – “a true business partner” who is “super smart, honest and creative on all issues related to outsourcing,” and “incredibly knowledgeable, calm and thoughtful,” “knows his stuff,” “great at spotting issues,” and “is able to bring parties together instead of pushing them apart.” Chambers quotes clients who describe Neil as “incredibly intelligent, which means he gets more done in half an hour than many lawyers would in four days,” and “extremely knowledgeable, thoroughly versed in outsourcing . . . strong negotiating skills without a combative manner and very results-oriented.” Clients have also touted his “brilliant legal consulting” and “excellence at negotiating large deals,” adding that he is “able to provide a global view as to how the relationship should work and what we should be looking for.”
For 2009–2024, Neil has been selected by peers for inclusion in the The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Technology Law, including being named 2024 “Lawyer of the Year” in Chicago. Neil has been recognized by The Legal 500 United States each year since 2010 and was named a “Leading Lawyer” in the 2016–2023 editions. He was also named as a BTI M&A Client Service All-Star by BTI Consulting Group in 2021.
Neil is Chair Emeritus of the Executive Committee of the Strategic Advisory Board of the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals, a global membership organization for companies involved in outsourcing. He also co-chairs IAOP's Center for Social Impact. Neil is a 2022 IAOP Leadership Hall of Fame Inductee.
Neil S. Hirshman, Michael G. Fatall and Peter M. Spingola, “Is Silence Really Golden? Assumption and Assignment of Intellectual Property Licenses in Bankruptcy,” Hastings Business Law Journal, Spring 2007, Vol. 2, No. 3, p. 197.
Neil S. Hirshman, Michael G. Fatall and Peter M. Spingola, “Is Silence Really Golden? Assumption and Assignment of Intellectual Property Licenses in Bankruptcy,” The Licensing Journal, January 2007 at 11.
Neil S. Hirshman and Sara Zablotney, “Taxing Thoughts on Outsourcing,” Managing Offshore, September 2005 at 20.
Neil Hirshman and Michael Flaschen, “Addressing Bankruptcy and Credit Risks in Complex Intellectual Property and Technology Transactions,” The Licensing Journal, March 2004 at 1.
Neil Hirshman, Michael Fatall and Peter Spingola, “Assignability of Intellectual Property Licenses in Bankruptcy: Navigating the Murky Waters of Section 365,” ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law Newsletter, Fall 2002, vol. 21, no. 1 at 11.
Neil Hirshman, Michael Fatall and Peter Spingola, “After the Fall: What Happens to IP Licenses During Bankruptcy,” IP Worldwide, August 2002, at 22.
Crowdsourced Topics on Contracting and Negotiation at the 2020 Outsourcing World Summit
GOV20 - Contracting Governance: A CrowdSourced Session, Panelist, IAOP 2020
Conversation with IAOP’s Strategic Advisory Board: Impact, Trends and a Roadmap for the Future 2020
Big Data and Its Impact on Outsourcing: Legal and Business Challenges Conference 2018.
Pricing at the PLI Outsourcing 2018 Seminar: ITO, BPO and Cloud.
Guest Lecturer at Stanford University, University of Chicago Law School, Kent Law School and DePaul University.
Host of main session at 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 International Association of Outsourcing Professionals Outsourcing World Summit.
Contracting the New Digital at the KPMG Global Business Services Pharma Consortium Meeting 2015.
Managing Service Provider Innovation at the 2014 Outsourcing World Summit.
Mock Negotiation of an Outsourcing Deal at PLI's Outsourcing 2013: Sourcing Critical Services.
How Will Cloud Impact Sourcing at the 2013 International Association of Outsourcing Professionals Outsourcing World Summit.
Tools and Technologies: The Advisor's Perspective at the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals 2011 Member Forum.
Transformational Sourcing at PLI's Outsourcing 2011: Structuring, Negotiation and Governance Seminar.
Considerations in Managing the Multi-Service Provider Outsourcing Environment at the 2011 International Association of Outsourcing Professionals Outsourcing World Summit.
Bankruptcy at PLI's 2010 Outsourcing: Structuring, Negotiation and Governance seminar.
Renegotiation in the Current Economy - PLI Outsourcing and Offshoring 2009 Seminar.
Hard and Soft Sides of Managing Talent in Outsourcing - IAOP 2009 Global Human Capital Forum.
The Aftermath of Satyam — Contracting in an Uncertain World — 2009 IAOP Outsourcing World Summit.
Contracts and Governance — Oil and Water or Oil and Vinegar? — 2008 IAOP Governance Forum.
Hot Topics in Outsourcing — EquaTerra's 2008 An Executive's Guide to Outsourcing Governance Best Practices.
Next Generation Utilities: Collaborating for Dramatic Improvement - A Case Study at the 2008 International Association of Outsourcing Professionals Outsourcing World Summit.
Roundtable: LPO — What is it and Where is it Headed at the 2008 International Association of Outsourcing Professionals Outsourcing World Summit.
Remediation and Renegotiation of Outsourcing Deals - IAOP Governance Chapter Meeting 2008.
Contractual and Legal Issues — Something Old, Something New at the 2007 International Association of Outsourcing Professionals Outsourcing World Summit.
Developing and Negotiating the Contract for an Outsourcing Agreement for the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals - Certified Outsourcing Professionals Master Class 2006–2009.
Statements of Work and Service Level Agreements at PLI's Keys to Outsourcing and Offshoring 2006–2008: Protecting Critical Business Functions seminar.
Commercial Transactions — Achieving Commercial Objectives While Protecting IP at the 2006 LSI Corporate Law for IP Lawyers seminar.
Ensuring Business Continuity and Setting Up a "Plan B" at the 2006 ACI Outsourcing in Financial Services seminar.
Recent Trends in Outsourcing — Related Legislation at the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals Outsourcing World Summit 2006.
Outsourcing — Offshore at the 20th Annual Intellectual Assets and Technology Law Institute 2005.
Gaining Maximum Value From Offshoring/Outsourcing Operations at the MIT Global TIES 2004 seminar: India and China's Entrepreneurial Trajectory.
Risk Assessment and Mitigation at the 2004 India Outsourcing Summit in Bangalore, India.
Avoiding Pitfalls When Outsourcing Tax Functions at the 2004 WRG Tax Reengineering Seminar
Offshoring Risks at the 2004 CFO Magazine Offshore Outsourcing Seminar.
Risk Assessment and Mitigation at the 2004 Outsourcing Strategies seminar entitled "The Business Process Outsourcing Forum."
Making the Outsourcing Relationship Work at the 2004 American Corporate Counsel Association seminar on "Mitigating Risk in IT and Business Process Outsourcing."
Outsourcing at the 2003 CFO Magazine seminar entitled "Total Working Capital Management."
Legal and Contractual Issues in Offshore Sourcing at the Indian Institute of Technology's 2003 seminar entitled "Trends in Offshore Services."
Control Provisions at the 2003 PLI seminar entitled "The Outsourcing Revolution 2003 - Protecting Critical Business Functions."
Essential Terms For Outsourcing Contracts at the 2002 ACI seminar entitled "Outsourcing in the Consumer Lending Industry."
Addressing Bankruptcy in Complex Technology Transactions at the 2002 PLI seminar entitled "The Outsourcing Revolution: Protecting Critical Business Functions Using Outsourcing, ASP & Web Service Agreements."
Intellectual Property issues at the 2000–2003 PLI seminars entitled "Acquiring or Selling the Privately Held Company."
Executory License Agreements in Bankruptcy Proceedings at the Intellectual Property Owners Association 2003 Annual Meeting.
Ownership of Intellectual Property Technology Assets: Contracting, Joint Development and Alliances at the 2003 and 2004 PLI seminars entitled "Handling Intellectual Property Issues in Business Transactions" and at the June 2003 meeting of the Chicago Bar Association's Patent, Trademark and Copyright Committee.
Kirkland & Ellis:
IP and Technology Deals in an Uncertain World (2009).
Sourcing and Outsourcing 2008 — The State of the Industry (2008).
Outsourcing — Hot Topics and Trends (2006).
Identifying Opportunities and Mitigating Risks in Transborder Outsourcing Transactions (2005).
Identifying Opportunities and Mitigating Risks in IT and Business Process Outsourcing (2005).
Outsourcing — Onshore and Offshore — Advanced Topics in Risk Assessment and Mitigation (2003).
Building, Maintaining and Exiting the Outsourcing Relationship (2002).
Strategic Alliances-Legal Issues and Solutions in E-Business (2000).
Annual Technology and the Practice of Law (1997–2004).
Business Relations in IP for the Management of IP Portfolios course at Kent Law School (2006–2010, 2013).
Outsourcing Class at John Marshall Law School (1999).
Contractual Frameworks for Outsourcing at 1999 seminar entitled "Successful Outsourcing Strategies That Deliver Value in Today's Health Care Industry."
Kirkland Institute of Corporate Practice-Intellectual Property Aspects of Corporate Transactions (1996–2007).
Neil was quoted in the following articles:
“The Evolution of Outsourcing” in The Global Outsourcing 100 2015 Special Advertising Section of the June 2015 issue of Fortune
"Outsourcing's Top 2012 Trends" and "A Look Back at 2011" in the December 2011 issue of Globalization Today
"The Top Trends of 2011" in the February 2011 issue of Globalization Today
"Outsourcing's Thorny Issue" in the August 2007 issue of Global Services
"What's Happening with Demand for FAO Contracts" in the July 2006 issue of FAO (Finance and Accounting Outsourcing) Today magazine
"Preempting Problems" in the July 2006 issue of Computerworld magazine
"Which New Regulatory Changes Will Most Impact Outsourcing Contracts and How?" in the Spring 2006 Outsourcing Essentials publication by The Outsourcing Institute
"Where is the Exit" in the April 2006 issue of Global Services magazine
"Planning for the Worst" in the March 2006 issue of Global Services magazine
"Ask the Experts" section on Outsourcing in the July 2005 issue of CXO Magazine
"Preparing for the Worst" in the March 2005 issue of Managing Offshore magazine
"Panel Says Impact of Outsourcing on U.S. will Increase" in the July 1, 2005 IndUS Business Journal
"Conference Highlights Rise of New Economic Giants" in the June 20, 2005 India New England online edition
"Legal Outsourcing to India" in the July/August 2005 AsiaLaw magazine
International Association of Outsourcing Professionals Leadership Hall of Fame Inductee, 2022
Recognized for Outsourcing, (Chambers Global), 2009–2023
Recognized for Outsourcing, (Chambers USA), 2007–2023
Named 2024 “Lawyer of the Year” for Technology Law in Chicago, (The Best Lawyers in America)
Recognized for Technology Law, (The Best Lawyers in America) 2009–2024
Illinois Super Lawyer, (Super Lawyers magazine), 2013–2023
Named a BTI M&A Client Service All-Star, (BTI Consulting Group), 2021
Leading Lawyer for Technology: Outsourcing, (The Legal 500), 2017–2023; Recognized for Technology: Outsourcing, (The Legal 500), 2010–2016
Recognized for Technology: Transactions, (The Legal 500), 2014–2023
Recognized for Patents: Licensing, (The Legal 500), 2012–2021
Outsourcing Lawyer of the Year - USA, (Finance Global), 2018
Leading Lawyer, (Guide to the World’s Leading Technology, Media & Telecommunications Lawyers)
Top 30 Information Technology Lawyers, (Best of the Best Global Expert Guide)
Top 30 Information Technology Lawyers, (Best of the Best USA)
Inclusion, (Guide to World’s Leading Information Technology Lawyers), 2012
Leading Lawyer in Illinois for Intellectual Property
International Association of Outsourcing Professionals Member of the Year, (Outsourcing World Summit), 2008
Memberships & Affiliations
International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP), Chair Emeritus of the Executive Committee of the Strategic Advisory Board
Co-Chair IAOP's Center for Social Impact
Chair of the Board of Directors for Urban Initiatives, a not-for-profit that leverages the power of sport and play to empower young people to achieve academic success, develop social-emotional skills, and build social capital
Admissions & Qualifications
- 1990, Illinois
- Registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office
- Harvard Law SchoolJ.D.1990
- University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignB.S.E.E.1987
Outstanding Senior in College of Engineering
Distinguished Senior in Electrical Engineering
IEEE Outstanding Senior