Sara E. Cook
Sara Cook is the Managing Partner of McKenna Storer. Sara encourages all attorneys and staff to be forward looking, especially by embracing technology to better serve the clients. She has built a firm culture that is focused on understanding each client first and providing creative cost-effective solutions and trusted counsel. Her affable demeanor belies the fact that she is a tough and client-oriented litigator and negotiator.
Ms. Cook is the managing partner of McKenna Storer while also remaining active representing clients in a number of areas of law, including transportation law, appellate practice and procedure, professional liability defense, insurance defense, banking, and complex commercial and business litigation. She is also involved in bankruptcy and bankruptcy litigation on behalf of debtors and creditors.
Sara Cook began her career as an appellate attorney after serving as law clerk to the Honorable Mark McCormick, a justice of the Supreme Court of Iowa. Since joining McKenna Storer, Sara has proven herself to be a formidable adversary who has litigated cases in state and federal trial courts and appellate courts throughout the country. She is also trained as a mediator for litigation matters. Business clients, particularly companies without an in-house legal staff, rely upon the general counsel services she provides to them.
As managing partner at McKenna, Ms. Cook brings to the position the same creativity and attention to detail that clients have learned to appreciate about her. For example, she was among the first attorneys at McKenna to embrace the use of computers because she saw the important role they would eventually play the practice of law. Her fellow attorneys and clients appreciate the humor, practicality and passion she brings to the practice of law.
Outside of the office, Ms. Cook is a proud and devoted parent of five sons, including two sets of twins, all of whom are now grown. She is active in the community as a CASA volunteer working with foster children and also gives freely of her time to her church. Ms. Cook is a passionate gardener who describes the flowers she grows as “an exercise in humility.” When she is not tending to her flowers, Ms. Cook enjoys painting and traveling.
- Federal Seventh Circuit Bar Association
- McHenry County Bar Association
- Small Claims Mediation Program, panel mediator
- Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Illinois Super Lawyer 2014, 2015 through 2021
Litigation Counsel of America – designated as Proven Trial Lawyers Fellow
- University of Iowa, with Honors, B.A., 1975
- Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, J.D., 1980
- DePaul University Center for Dispute Resolution, Certificate of Professional Achievement in Mediation Training, 2003
- State of Illinois
- USDC — District of Illinois
- USDC — Northern District of Illinois
- USDC – Eastern District of Michigan
- USDC – Eastern District of Wisconsin
- USCA – 7th Circuit
- USCA – 10th Circuit
- USCA – 11th Circuit
- US Tax Court
Employment Litigation — Employment Law
Defense of various religious organizations and other not-for-profits, as well as group residential treatment/living facilities, related to claims of sexual abuse based upon negligent hiring, retention or supervision of employees.
Defense of Insured Real Estate Brokerage Firm — Malpractice Defense
Successfully defended real estate brokerage in lawsuit brought by seller of large commercial building who alleged claims of deceptive trade practices, fraud and failure to disclose. Secured directed verdict at trial in favor of the McKenna client.
SBA Lenders — Business Services
Developed and deployed standardized SBA loan documents for commercial lending transactions that complied with SBA regulations, Illinois law and the law of local jurisdictions.
Defense of Accountant — Malpractice Defense
Defended accountant sued for malpractice in representing bankrupt entity that had been accused of fraud.
Defense of Trustee — Bankruptcy-Creditor
Represented a trustee in bankruptcy against fraud claims and claims of engaging in a fraudulent transfer in a bankruptcy.
The Uniform Mediation Act: Illinois Newest Privilege (February 2004)
Courts Are Beginning to Permit Excess Insurers to Maintain Malpractice Against Their Insured’s Attorneys (Fall, 1998)
D&O Liability and the Year 2000: A Repeat of the 1980s? (1998)
An Excess Insurer’s Right to Maintain a Malpractice Against the Insured’s Attorney: An Undecided Issue in Illinois (1997)
The procedural Relationship Between Truth-In-Lending and Creditor Contract Claims (1981)
Attorney-Client and Husband-Wife Marital Privilege (1979)
- Instructor, “Risk Management Through Your Attorney’s Eyes” Masters Program, National University of Health Sciences, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
- 2007 IDC Young Lawyers Association Luncheon – Basics of Mediation.
- 2008 IDC Basic Skills Seminar – Basics of Mediation
News and Articles
- Passing of Sara CookIt is with great sadness that we announce that Sara Cook, our Managing Partner, died suddenly on Saturday, January 15, 2022 at Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital in Huntley, Illinois. Her husband, Richard, was at her side in the hospital. Sara had a distinguished legal career. She received a B.A. degree in political science and social […]
- Comings and Goings at McKenna StorerWe are very pleased to announce that we have added four new attorneys to our staff. Don Sowers a seasoned medical malpractice and general liability trial lawyer has joined us as senior trial counsel. Don has tried many cases to verdict and knows his way around the courtroom. Tracy McGonigle, of counsel has returned to […]
- McKenna Storer Firm Pizza NightTo celebrate the partial return to the office, the Firm enjoyed a night of making pizza from scratch (with much assistance) at Guild Row in Chicago. The evening not only featured pizza making and socializing, but a pizza trivia quiz that resulted in Jim DeNardo winning a lovely pizza themed blanket. This was our first […]