Robert Tonn is a litigation attorney based in Holland & Knight's Chicago office. Mr. Tonn focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, including defense of mass and toxic torts, product liability, class actions, aviation defense and prosecution, and defense of government contract claims. He has served as national, regional and trial counsel and in other strategic roles on behalf of leading companies. Mr. Tonn brings customized and creative approaches to resolve litigation in a client's favor as early as possible, and he is well situated to protect a client's interests through the appellate process. He is licensed to practice in Illinois and California, and has litigated cases in more than 20 states across the nation during his career.

Mr. Tonn's product liability practice has spanned a variety of industries over more than 25 years, including automotive and transportation, consumer electronics, aviation, drug and medical device, food flavorings, clothing and other consumer products, solvents and herbicides. He has in-depth experience in federal multidistrict litigation, statewide consolidations, class action defense and other high-profile matters. He has also represented consumer product manufacturers in proceedings before the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Canada's regulatory body Health Canada, including the organization and execution of voluntary product recalls. In that role he helps his clients navigate defect investigations and organizes and executes voluntary product recalls. Mr. Tonn is the author of the Practicing Law Institute's (PLI) Corporate Compliance Answer Book chapter covering the Consumer Product Safety Act.

Mr. Tonn's aviation-related litigation primarily involves the defense of foreign and domestic air carriers in civil litigation matters, including claims related to commercial disputes, personal injury and wrongful death, passenger delay, and most recently COVID-19-related claims. He has also counseled clients in the business jet industry with respect to product-related claims.

In the construction industry, Mr. Tonn has litigated cases involving claims of construction defect, contract-related matters, liens, and workplace injuries and deaths. He also has significant experience representing clients in disputes and litigation arising out of government contracts, including claims brought by and against contractors under the federal Miller Act.

Mr. Tonn is actively involved in a number of civic activities and charitable organizations, particularly those focused on pediatric cancer. He is the founder and president of Brooks Strong Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity that provides scholarships to children undergoing cancer treatment in order to help defray the cost of sports and other extracurricular activities so that kids can continue to enjoy the activities they love without the burden of cost.


  • University of San Francisco School of Law, J.D.
  • UCLA, B.A., Economics
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
  • Illinois
Court Admissions
  • All State Courts in California
  • All State Courts in Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • American Bar Association, Litigation and Tort and Insurance Practice Sections
  • Chicago Bar Association, Past Vice-Chairman of Tort Litigation Section
  • Defense Research Institute
Honors & Awards
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020, 2021
  • Comments Editor, University of San Francisco Law Review


Speaking Engagements