Charles B. Brown
e-mail: Charlie Brown
Charles B. Brown is an accomplished business legal adviser and has represented boards of directors and executives in public and private companies in diverse industries across the world for 30 years. He is a Principal of CorpLaw Associates, a premier law firm providing great legal services to business clients.
He has been General Counsel of prominent companies, responsible for their worldwide legal issues. This experience is possessed by few law firm lawyers. And, having been General Counsel for companies, he understands that he must be thoroughly familiar with the client’s business to provide the optimal legal advice.
He started and managed a Law Department for a public management consulting company. Charlie was the Division General Counsel for two consumer products businesses while at the same time having worldwide central responsibility for the parent company intellectual property and environmental issues. He started his career in private practice. Before private practice, he held law clerk positions, including an appellate level law clerk position.
Intellectual Property and Corporate Expertise
Charlie represents clients in a range of legal issues faced by companies but specializes in Intellectual Property (IP) and corporate transactions. He assists clients in patent management, trademarks, trade secrets (confidential information), copyright, e-commerce, software, defamation, trade disparagement, publicity rights, privacy, branding and computer issues. He represents authors, developers, publishers and inventors.
His clients are typically involved in intellectual property transactions, including U.S. and international licensing and distribution, registration and maintenance of trademarks, assignments and copyrights. He has successfully enforced clients’ IP rights through cease-and-desist actions. His matters also include domain name maintenance and protection, software development and licensing agreements, and website terms of service provisions. He is especially adept at IP audits, where he ensures the clients possess the correct title and rights to their IP.
His corporate work includes acquisitions, sales, and mergers of businesses, formation of entities, buy-sell agreements, shareholder and investor issues, vendor and customer issues, contracts issues of all dimensions and distribution networks.
His experience spans a number of industries, including emerging companies, management consulting, consumer branded goods, sporting goods, professional services, Information Technology (IT), electronics, automotive, energy, insurance, manufacturing, retailers, food and beverage, importers, entertainment, telecommunications services, reprographics and printing equipment, leasing, residential services, construction, software, utilities, and financial services.
Before founding CorpLaw Associates LLC, he started the Law Department at what is now known as Diamond Cluster International. Before joining Diamond, Charlie was Division General Counsel and Assistant Secretary for two companies of Wilson Sporting Goods Co. — Wilson Golf and the MacGregor Golf Company. He has held the position of Counsel with the banking subsidiary of what is now known as HSBC Holdings, plc. He began his career in private practice. Prior to private practice, Charlie held several law clerk positions.
Charlie has written and lectured on the topics of Trade Secrets, Law Department Services and the special challenges in the practice of law faced by inside counsel. See C. Brown, Confidential Information & Trade Secrets, Chap. 32 in Corporate Legal Compliance Handbook, T. Banks & F. Banks, eds., published Aspen/Wolters Kluwer (2d ed. 2011). He is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors and President of the Association of Corporate Counsel Chicago Chapter. He is the past Chairman for two terms of the Corporate Law Departments Committee of the Chicago Bar Association.
Charlie is active in community affairs in north suburban Chicago, where he lives with his wife and four children. He is a member of the School Board of Kenilworth Elementary School District No. 38- the Joseph Sears School. He is President of the Kenilworth United Fund and a member of the Kenilworth Caucus. He has previously served on the Executive Committee of the Winnetka Caucus Council and was the Chairperson of the Winnetka Parks Committee.
He received his law degree from Seattle University Law School in 1982. He graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in finance in 1979. During his attendance at Georgetown, he studied at the London Metropolitan University in London, England. Charlie is admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois and in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois.