Harrison & Held Logo

Robert S. Held


T 312.332.5530
Chicago, IL

Robert S. Held

Robert S. Held, an aggressive litigator, zealously represents corporate and individual fiduciaries – as well as beneficiaries – in complex estate and trust disputes. Rob’s victories are frequent and substantial, sometimes establishing and gaining important rights for his clients in addition to the financial element.

Rob’s tenacity in his advocacy has been critical to achieving great results.  For example, in Rob’s work he has:

  • Successfully defended his co-trustee clients against a judgment creditor aggressively seeking to enforce a 9 million dollar judgment against the trust’s sole beneficiary.
  • Obtained a summary judgment ruling in favor of his client, the Executor of an estate. The trial court held that a claimant seeking $5,000,000 based on a decedent’s oral promise was not binding on the decedent’s estate, after which the claimant promptly settled the claim for a single de minimis payment.
  • Secured for his client/executor a settlement from a claimant who alleged that the estate owed the claimant a 7-figure sum. Turning the case around completely — and based on aggressive motions in both the probate court and federal district court — Rob caused the claimant to discontinue his action and write a check to the estate despite the claimant’s claim that the estate was indebted to the claimant.
  • Appealed directly to the Illinois Supreme Court and obtained a rare rebuke of a trial judge while bypassing the intermediate court of appeals. Rob quickly obtained a “supervisory order” from the highest Illinois court which vacated the trial judge’s order. 124509, IN THE SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS February 21, 2019
  • Obtained a reversal by an Illinois appellate court of a circuit court’s ruling that it lacked jurisdiction to order an accounting of a Delaware partnership. 2020 IL App (1st) 190717.
  • On behalf of a decedent’s estate, obtained an extraordinarily favorable settlement after an attorney for the executors had provided improper advice on how to handle multi-million-dollar pension and IRA assets.
  • Worked directly with the FBI and the United States Attorney’s office after an executor had been defrauded by a tax preparer who lied about the estate’s tax liabilities and then pocketed the estate’s assets. The preparer was indicted, pled guilty and sentenced to federal prison.  U.S. v Parcon, 1:20-CR-00044.
  • Rob intervened on behalf of a stepchild who was fraudulently and completely cut out of an insurer’s payout on a wrongful death settlement. Appearing in two courtrooms hearing-related aspects of the matter, Rob’s aggressive approach resulted in an immediate and extremely generous settlement for his client.
  • Representing a corporate fiduciary, with his aggressive discovery tactics, forced a claimant to reduce his claim to less than 5% of his original multi-million-dollar claim.
  • Rob successfully had a will contest dismissed where the opposing party was seeking the entire $180,000,000 estate. Thereafter, despite the witnesses to the will being unavailable or unable to remember the will signing, Rob had the will’s admittance to probate confirmed after a full evidentiary hearing.
  • When a surviving spouse who had divorced her husband 25 years earlier discovered that the husband had wrongfully hid a million dollars from her and the court, Rob successfully petitioned to open up the old and long dormant divorce case and relitigated the issue of marital property. After an evidentiary hearing, the estate settled by paying an eight-figure sum to Rob’s client and her children.

Rob has handled numerous other breach of fiduciary duty claims, lost wills, trust interpretation, contempt and related estate and trust disputes.  Rob has obtained the removal of executors and trustees and successfully defended fiduciaries whose removal has been sought.

A founding partner of Harrison & Held, LLP, Rob has written articles and presented on numerous litigation, administration and tax and estate administration topics over his 25 years as an attorney.

Rob’s numerous published articles include the following:

Rob previously chaired the Insurable Interest Sub-Committee of the Trust Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association, is a past chairman of the CBA’s Federal Taxation Committee as well as its Estate and Gift Taxation subcommittee, and has been a speaker for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education and the Chicago Bar Association. Rob has been selected as a Leading Lawyer and a Super Lawyer and was profiled in the Illinois Super Lawyers magazine.

“Tales from the Trenches: Avoiding Trust Litigation,” DuPage County Estate Planning Council (May 2022)

“For Better or For Worse: Incompetent Spouse Divorce,” Southern Illinois Law Journal (2019)

Click here for full list.

State of Illinois

Northern District of Illinois

Trial Bar for the Northern District of Illinois.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

DePaul University, J.D., 1995

Eastern New Mexico University, M.B.A., 1988

State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A., 1980

Chicago Council of Lawyers – Board Member

Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice – Board Member

American Bar Association

Chicago Bar Association, Insurable Interest Sub-Committee – Past Chairman; Federal Taxation Committee – Past Chairman

Chicago Estate Planning Council

Illinois State Bar Association

Anita M. Stone Jewish Community Center, Flossmoor, Illinois – Past President

Leading Lawyer

Super Lawyer

Profiled in the Illinois Super Lawyers Magazine

Selected by the University of Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences as a Distinguished Alumni (2012)

Related News