Arbitrator | Mediator


For more than three decades, private and public employers have turned to Alan King for sound and practical advice on complex and sensitive employment-related issues and to defend them in individual and class action litigation arising under federal, state, and local employment laws. An experienced trial lawyer, Alan has successfully advised and represented companies in high-stakes employment litigation and investigations across nearly every industry.

Alan is also a partner in the Chicago-based law firm Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP, where he leads the firm’s national labor and employment practice.

Alan litigates individual and class action employment cases in federal and state courts around the country, and has vast experience representing employers before federal, state, and local administrative agencies, across numerous industries, including retail, airlines, healthcare, telecommunications, education and financial services, as well as municipalities and minority-owned businesses. He regularly advises and advocates for clients on employment law issues, including matters involving discrimination and harassment, retaliation and whistleblower claims, wage and hour, breach of contract, non-competition and trade secrets, employment-related defamation, tortious interference, negligent hire, fraudulent inducement, and other common law claims. Alan also conducts high-stakes and sensitive workplace investigations, often involving C‑Suite and senior management personnel.

Alan has developed a unique expertise and passion for helping parties resolve employment-related disputes and has advocated for clients in more than 100 arbitrations, mediations, and settlement conferences. As a third-party neutral arbitrator and mediator, parties frequently choose Alan based on his experience, expertise, and reputation for fairness and civility.

Clients view Alan as bringing a unique combination of skills to the attorney-client relationship – he is an experienced and talented litigator and a thoughtful counselor with the unique ability to guide clients to favorable resolutions of employment-related disputes when protracted and costly litigation may not be in the client’s best interests.

In addition to spending family time with his wife, two daughters, and two granddaughters, Alan is an internationally acclaimed house music DJ in his spare time.

Expertise Areas
  • B.A., Political Science, Augustana College, 1985
  • J.D. University of Illinois College of Law, 1988
  • Certified Mediator - Northwestern University, School of Professional Studies, Mediation Skills Training Program, 2017
  • Court Admissions
  • Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Affiliations
    Board Member - Resolution Systems Institute
    Chicago Chapter - Former Board Member - Federal Bar Association
    Former Board Member - Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms
    Membership & Community Involvement
  • Board Chairman, Children First Fund: The Chicago Public Schools Foundation
  • Former Board Member, Ounce of Prevention Fund
  • Former Member, Mayor Daley’s 21st Century Leadership Council
  • Former Interim Director of Labor Relations, Chicago Public Schools
  • Former Board Chair, Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities
  • Publications & Speaking Engagements
  • “Life Cycle of an Employment Case,” (speaker) presentation at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (May 2020)
  • “Arbitration and Other ADR Issues,” (speaker) presentation at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (June 2019)
  • “Litigation Potpourri: A Mixture of Aromas from Hot Topics in Class Actions to Managing Litigation in a Hashtag World,” (speaker) presentation at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (May 2018)
  • “The Interplay between Rule 23(c)(4) and the Other Provisions of Rule 23, Including Damages Issues at the Certification Stage,” (speaker) ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law 9th Annual Conference (November 2015)
  • “Medical Inquiries and Exams Under the Americans with Disabilities Act,” (speaker) In-house legal department client presentation (January 23, 2015)
  • “Leaves of Absence and Reasonable Accommodations in a Semi-Vaccinated World”
  • Awards & Rankings
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers® (Employment Law – Management, 2012-2022)
  • Chicago’s Notable Black Leaders and Executives, Crain’s Chicago Business, 2021
  • Chicago’s Notable Minorities in Law, Crain’s Chicago Business, 2020
  • Illinois Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin Media Leading Lawyers, 2004-2021
  • Illinois Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2005-2022
  • Top 500 Employment Lawyers in America, Law dragon, 2020
  • Nation’s Best, Lawyers of Color, 2019
  • Chicago’s Notable Minority Lawyers, Crain’s Chicago Business, 2018
  • 40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty, Law Bulletin Media, 2003
  • experience

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