Levin & Perconti partner Margaret Battersby Black is a recognized leader in personal injury law, best known for her work on behalf of clients in lawsuits involving nursing home abuse and neglect and medical malpractice, having secured numerous multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements.
Last year, Margaret sat first chair for 20 of Illinois’ top settlements, more than any other lawyer, male or female, reporting in the 2019 Jury Verdict Reporter rankings. With 24 total settlements above $500,000, she set the year’s high mark for the number of cases resolved for more than $500,000.
Margaret also holds the record for the single largest-ever award in an Illinois nursing home matter: a $4.1 million verdict in 2017’s Grauer v. Clare Oaks, a case notable not only for the award but also the associated Illinois Appellate Court ruling affirming the right of nursing home residents to have their attorney’s fees and legal costs fully covered from the defendant.
Margaret’s advocacy for nursing home residents has gained international media coverage, most recently regarding her representation of a 91-year-old woman with dementia whose nursing home caretakers posted a video taunting her on social media. She is frequently interviewed as an expert on the rights of nursing home residents and their families.
Margaret has achieved noteworthy results for clients in other personal injury and malpractice matters, including a $7 million medical malpractice wrongful death verdict, an $18 million medical malpractice settlement for a brain-injured client, a $14 million birth injury settlement and a $7.5 million Jones Act settlement (another Illinois record-setter). Beyond her own outstanding record as a trial lawyer, Margaret is committed to the advancement of women in the legal profession. When Margaret joined Levin & Perconti, she was one of three women lawyers there. The firm now includes 13 women lawyers, four of whom are partners, a testament to Margaret’s active mentorship.
Margaret also mentors younger lawyers outside her own firm through the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois lawyer-to-lawyer mentoring program and through her alma mater, Chicago-Kent College of Law. In addition, she recruits law students as clerks for her practice and hosts students in externships.
Margaret co-founded and chaired the Illinois Trial Lawyers’ Association Women’s Caucus, working to create new opportunities for women in an organization where women comprise only 15% of membership. The events she pioneered there – a Springfield lobbying day and a first-ever ITLA Women’s Caucus CLE seminar – set a new standard for the organization, which honored her with the 2018 ITLA President’s Award. Today, she is a member of ITLA’s Executive Committee, serving as treasurer.
Margaret is also active in the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, the American Association for Justice, and the Illinois State Bar Association. She and her husband Jeff have two children, Evelyn (7) and William (5), and she has recently taken on the role of e-learning teacher and coach, volunteering to coach her children’s youth soccer and T-ball teams in her spare time.