Nicole O’Toole Peterson


Nicole is an associate at the firm’s Chicago office. She focuses her practice on commercial litigation and business disputes, as well as entertainment, media and sports law, and intellectual property and transactional services. Nicole has represented national and international organizations in state and federal court in a broad range of complex commercial litigation, contractual and business tort disputes. Nicole also provides transactional services to both commercial and entertainment clients, including corporate formation and contract drafting, such as drafting articles of incorporation, operating agreements, talent agreements, production and performance agreements, music publishing and licensing agreements and artist management agreements.

Nicole’s practice also includes product liability and general tort litigation defense work in state and federal courts. She has experience in trial and mediation preparation, including managing all stages of written discovery, drafting pleadings, arguing motions, taking depositions and assisting in trial.

Nicole donates a significant amount of time to pro bono legal services as well through her work with Lawyers for the Creative Arts representing local artists in corporate formation and contract drafting, as well as for local Chicago not-for-profit organizations, assisting in general 501(c)(3) formation and other matters.


Commercial Litigation and Business Disputes
Entertainment and Media Law
General Trial Practice
Intellectual Property Litigation and Transactional Services
Product Liability
Employment Litigation and Counseling

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Saint Mary’s College Alumnae Association
    • Board of Directors, Member
    • Chicago East Alumnae Club, President
    • 2015 Class News Representative
  • Chicago Bar Association
    • Co-Chair, Creative Arts Committee, Young Lawyers Section, 2019-2021
    • Edward J. Lewis II Lawyers in the Classroom Program, Attorney Volunteer
  • Women’s Bar Association of Illinois
  • DePaul University College of Law Alumni Association
    •  “Preparing to Practice” Mentor
  • Lawyers for the Creative Arts
  • Women in Music, Chicago Chapter
  • Defense Research Institute
    •  Young Lawyers Committee


  • Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, 2024
  • Recipient, 2020 Outstanding Young Alumna Award, Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana.
  • DuPage Association of Women Lawyers Judge Helen C. Kinney 2018 Scholarship Recipient



  • "Copyright Law: What Music Creators Need to Know," Women in Music Chicago, March 2023
  • "Vendor Contracts Are Always Negotiable," Betches Brides Podcast, August 2022
  • "The Power of the Alumnae Network," Saint Mary's College Alumnae Association, March 2021


May 23, 2024
O'Toole Peterson Presents at the 9th Annual Saint Mary's College Engaging Women Conference
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Associate Nicole O’Toole Peterson spoke at the 9th Annual Engaging Women’s Conference hosted by Saint Mary’s College on May 23 in South Bend, Indiana. Nicole’s session focused on corporation formation and protecting intellectual property for creatives and entrepreneurs.

March 04, 2024
O'Toole Peterson to Participate as a Mentor at the 2024 SXSW Conference
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP associate Nicole O'Toole Peterson will participate as a Music Industry Mentor at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference in Austin, Texas, on March 12-14, 2024. During the week-long festival, Nicole will meet with artists and industry professionals from all over the globe and advise them on their entertainment, media, intellectual property, commercial, and corporate law needs.

Chicago, August 31, 2023
O'Toole Peterson Elected to Saint Mary's College Alumnae Association Board of Directors
Associate Nicole O'Toole Peterson was sworn in as a member of Saint Mary's College Alumnae Association Board of Directors.

Chicago, Lisle, Libertyville, St. Louis, Madison County, August 17, 2023
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Named to 2024 Best Lawyers, Ones to Watch Lists
Fifty-five Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP attorneys were named to the 2024 Best Lawyers in America® and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ lists.

April 03, 2023
Patterson and O'Toole Peterson Author ABA Landslide Intellectual Property Magazine Article
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP attorneys William D. Patterson and Nicole O'Toole Peterson authored the article "Pitfalls in Digitizing Physical Assets and Three Best Practices” for Landslide Magazine, an intellectual property law publication of the American Bar Association.

Chicago, March 20, 2023
Becker and O'Toole Peterson Participate as Mentors at SXSW Conference
Partner Jeffrey S. Becker and associate Nicole O'Toole Peterson participated as Music Industry Mentors at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference in Austin, Texas, on March 14, 2023. Jeff and Nicole met with artists and industry professionals from all over the globe during the week-long festival.

March 20, 2023
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Hosts Copyright Law Panel for Women in Music Chicago
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP will host a panel, "Copyright Law: What Music Creators Need to Know," for Women in Music Chicago on March 30.

February 23, 2023
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of MSCHF in Jack Daniels v. VIP Products
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP attorneys Bill Patterson and Nicole O’Toole Peterson filed an amicus brief on behalf of MSCHF, a Brooklyn-based art collective in favor of artist’s rights to choose their medium of expression.

August 25, 2022
Nicole O'Toole Featured on Betches Brides Podcast
Associate Nicole O'Toole joins Betches Brides Podcast to provide a comprehensive overview of vendor contracts.

Chicago, March 11, 2021
O'Toole Shares Benefits of College Alumnae Network on Webinar
O'Toole, a 2015 SMC graduate, will share how the college's alumnae network has impacted her career and offer networking advice to current students.

Chicago, June 30, 2020
Saint Mary's College Names O'Toole Outstanding Young Alumna Award Recipient
O'Toole, a 2015 graduate of Saint Mary's College, was recognized with other 2020 Alumnae Association Award recipients at the 2020 Virtual Reunion earlier this month.

Chicago, March 06, 2020
O'Toole Authors Article on Millennial Lawyers and Technological Competence in DRI Young Lawyers Newsletter
The article appears in the latest issue of "Raising the Bar," newsletter of DRI's Young Lawyers Committee.

Chicago, November 20, 2019
Torman, O'Toole Serve as Oral Argument Judges for CBA Moot Court Competition
The CBA's annual Moot Court Competition gives law schools students from around the country the opportunity to hone their research, writing, and oral advocacy skills along with approximately 30 other teams.

Chicago, July 17, 2019
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Obtain Defense Verdict in High-Stakes Product Liability Case
The plaintiff asked the jury for between $38 million and $48 million in compensatory damages, and as much as $200 million in punitive damages for a total of over $248 million.

Chicago, December 12, 2018
New Lawyers Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP welcomes three recent law school graduates to the firm's Chicago office as associates.

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