Lydia Wahlke is Of Counsel to the Litigation group of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and works out of the Chicago office. Her extensive experience includes representing clients in complex litigation matters involving contracts, trade secrets, unfair competition, trademark, false advertising, patent and False Claims Act matters. She has deep experience leading internal investigations and advising corporate clients on corporate strategy and compliance. She is a certified information privacy professional for the U.S. Sector (CIPP/US).

Lydia has served in a number of senior executive and legal in-house positions. She served as the Vice President and General Counsel of the Chicago Cubs from 2014–2017, leading the company’s legal affairs, ethics and compliance programs. While with the Cubs, she supported the nearly $1 billion renovation of Wrigley Field and related hotel/office/mixed use development, overseeing myriad financing, construction, commercial leasing, and broadcast rights transactions and advising on corporate governance matters. From 2017–2020, Lydia was General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer of the U.S. Soccer Federation, governing body for the sport of soccer in the United States, where she led the company’s legal and regulatory affairs, ethics and compliance programs, and corporate governance activities. She also supervised corporate staff activities in the areas of risk management, safety and security. While with the organization, U.S. Soccer received international recognition for its successful joint bid, with the Canadian Soccer Association and the Mexican Football Federation, to bring the 2026 FIFA World Cup back to North America. She also served as an advisor to the Board and senior management in a number of “bet the company” litigation matters.


Thought Leadership


Speaker, “What the Denial of the Rambus Certiorari Petition Means for Companies Participating in Standard-Setting Organizations,” Kirkland & Ellis 16th Annual Technology & Law Seminar, May 2009

Speaker, “Guidelines for Conducting Testing for Advertising” & “Creative and New Technology Promotions,” PLI Seminar, November 2007

Speaker, “Avoiding eMarketing Pitfalls,” Kirkland & Ellis Advertising & Trademark Law Seminar, 2007

Speaker, “Text Messaging: Advertiser’s Friend or Foe?” Kirkland & Ellis Advertising & Trademark Law Seminar, 2006


40 Under 40, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Chicago Lawyer, 2015

Memberships & Affiliations

Member, Association of Corporate Counsel, 2010–2021

Fellow, Leadership Greater Chicago, 2017

Chicago Leadership Council, Posse Foundation, 2015–2021

Member, Chicago Finance Exchange, 2014–2021

Member, Global Advisory Board, Women in Law Empowerment Forum

Member, Women’s Board, Lincoln Park Zoo, 2016–2021


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 2005Illinois


  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois


  • Northwestern University Kellogg School of ManagementCertificate of Professional Achievement2015
  • University of Southern California, Gould School of LawJ.D.2005

    Carolyn Craig Franklin Scholar

    Executive Articles Editor, Southern California Law

    President, U.S.C. Women’s Law Association

  • University of Southern California B.A., Cinema-Television Productionmagna cum laude1998
    Dean’s Scholar


Certified International Privacy Professional (CIPP/US), 2021