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Schiff Hardin LLP


  • Willis Tower
  • Chicago
  • USA
  • IL 60606

Banking & Finance - Illinois

What the team is known for Wealth of experience in secured lending, including term loans and revolving credit. Standout expertise in public finance, particularly in the capacity of both bond and underwriters' counsel.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I view Schiff Hardin as one of the best public finance firms in Chicago, if not nationally."

"They are timely, responsive and provide good feedback."  

Work highlights Acted as underwriters' counsel in connection with the State of Illinois's issuance of $1.3 billion in general obligation bonds.

Acted as bond counsel in connection with the City and County of San Francisco's issuance of $232 million in Series 2013A, Series 2013B and Series 2013C general obligation bonds.

Notable practitioners  

Ami Scott is recognized by her Chicago contemporaries, one noting: "She is a terrific lawyer, a delight to work with, and she is very knowledgeable in the banking and finance area. I would absolutely refer a client to her." She is proficient in acquisition financings.

Scott Pickens advises asset-based lenders, insurance companies and banks in finance transactions. He is a well-regarded member of the community, with one peer citing him as "a good student of the law and he cares about the academics."

Significant clients Allied Irish Banks, Oaktree Capital Management, City of Atlanta, University of Illinois, Wachovia.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Illinois

What the team is known for Represents creditors' committees, debtors and lessors, among others, in Chapter 11 proceedings, liquidations and other matters. Demonstrates skill in bankruptcy-related litigation, with experience in fraudulent transfer and lender liability cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"A midsize firm that has the capabilities and professionalism you would expect of a top firm."  

Notable practitioners  

Mark Fisher focuses on advising on creditors' rights, workouts and business reorganizations on a national level. He has particular expertise in distressed bank and bank holding company recapitalizations.

Construction - Illinois

What the team is known for A front runner in the Illinois market, known for its strength in project control, litigation and alternative dispute resolution matters. Significant experience in working with clients in the energy industry.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Their performance has been superb. They have handled matters very quickly, expertly and very cost-effectively."

"They have always been timely, reliable and have provided good advice that has enabled our business and our clients to make sound decisions."

Notable practitioners  

Transactional matters and construction-related disputes form key components of Mark Friedlander's practice. A well-regarded attorney in Illinois, Mark is described by one commentator as "one of the sharpest guys in the industry." Clients praise him for being "excellent in terms of responsiveness," and for his ability to "boil complex legal issues down to understandable business advice."

Kenneth Roberts leads the construction group at the firm. Experienced in procurement and power plant construction, Kenneth is described as "extremely competent and effective" by impressed clients, with one particularly impressed interviewer explaining that "he is a no-nonsense guy - he understands the challenges management faces and he goes the extra mile."

Paul Lurie has over 40 years of experience in the field and has represented numerous construction and developer firms. Paul is a highly respected attorney in the Illinois construction community.

Energy & Natural Resources - Illinois

What the team is known for Known for representing clients in the utilities, renewables and telecommunications spheres on a wide range of regulatory matters. Especially highly regarded for federal work.

Notable practitioners  

Key partner Owen MacBride specializes in regulatory work as well as representing clients in litigation. He is described by an industry observer as "a very fine lawyer - very smart." 

Environment - Illinois

What the team is known for Prominent Midwest player with a 19-strong team active across the full spectrum of environmental work, from enforcement litigation to regulatory issues.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Schiff Hardin is the best environmental firm I have worked with. The team is knowledgeable, responsive and results-oriented."

"We are very happy with Schiff's performance in this area. The lawyers are knowledgeable and available when we need them. They understand the regulatory requirements and work effectively with the EPA and the Illinois legal system."

Notable practitioners  

Sources say Renee Cipriano is "a very capable lawyer, and easy to work with." Her practice encompasses regulatory, compliance and enforcement matters.

Francis Lyons is described as a "terrific guy" of "good pedigree" in environmental law. He has a well-rounded practice spanning contentious and noncontentious matters.

Clients continue to be impressed by Stephen Bonebrake, with one saying: "He's one of the smartest people I know." Bonebrake focuses on litigation and adjudications at state and federal level.

The "very solid" Russell Selman has significant experience representing clients in matters pertaining to Superfunds.

Department head Gabriel Rodriguez "has the toughness and knowledge to win over the most irascible opponent. He's a rare talent and one of the best I've worked with," said one interviewee. Rodriguez routinely handles litigation and compliance work for household-name clients.

Significant clients Nisource, Newell Rubbermaid, National Grid, Ameren.

Insurance - Illinois

What the team is known for Strong reinsurance practice as well as direct insurance expertise. Advises clients in property and casualty matters, and has a specialty in representing clients from the life and health industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I have obtained outstanding results with this team. Schiff Hardin provides better service and better results more economically than the biggest firms I have dealt with in the reinsurance market in New York, Chicago and London." 

"We've been very impressed with their work. They're personable, down to earth, responsive and helpful." 

Notable practitioners  

David Spector is unanimously celebrated for his skill as an insurance and reinsurance lawyer. One client remarks that "he carries the reputation as being the premier reinsurance trial lawyer in the US," while a peer commends him as being "first-rate - he's got lots of experience and he's very bright. This combination makes him very effective."

Dennis LaGory acts on a wide range of matters pertaining to the insurance and healthcare arenas, including regulatory compliance, reinsurance litigation and insurance transactions. He is an authority on D&O matters, professional liability and reinsurance insolvencies.

Significant clients Catlin Group, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Lincoln Financial, Munich Re, Tokio Marine.

Litigation - Illinois

What the team is known for Notable strength in both white-collar and commercial matters. Expertise in representing individuals and corporations before the SEC, CFTC and FBI.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team at Schiff were head and shoulders above the opposition." 

"We are very pleased with Schiff; they have a good understanding of our unique issues." 

Notable practitioners  

Barry Alberts is noted by an observer as "erudite - a very polished speaker and writer, very experienced, and a highly intelligent litigator." Alberts is noted for his handling of matters pertinent to RICO and professional liability.  

Ronald Safer is cochair of the white-collar and corporate compliance practice in Chicago. He represents individuals and companies in FCPA, tax fraud and environmental violations. One commentator notes: "He was able to keep a complicated case going in different directions under control and kept in mind the final objectives."

Matthew Crowl focuses on internal investigations, corporate compliance and white-collar litigation at the state and federal level. Sources note that he is "focused on results and he faces the reality of problems."

Former federal prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes specializes in internal investigations with criminal and corporate aspects. She is praised for her "tremendous rapport with everybody in the courtroom" and the fact that she "instantly connects with juries." 

Wealth Management - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Chicago, New York and San Francisco.

What the team is known for Bolstered national offering following mergers with firms in New York and San Francisco, with several experienced lawyers joining this robust practice. Notable strength in trust and estate planning, and in probate and fiduciary litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have the expertise, are easy to work with and provide timely service."

What's new? Merged with Mazur Carp and Leibovitz Goodwin Law Group in July and September 2013, respectively.  

Notable practitioners

Thomas Abendroth leads the firm's practice in this field and has established an excellent reputation. "He's savvy technically and is able to keep clients one step ahead with planning," enthused an interviewee.

David Hodgman is adept in estate planning and probate and trust litigation. Sources say: "He has the ability to explain complicated concepts simply and efficiently, and is extremely knowledgeable of the many issues we have to deal with." 

Construction - New York

What the team is known for Excels at representing contractors, architects, developers and engineers in all areas of construction law. Held in high esteem for its litigation work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They do great work." 

What's new? Leading New York construction presence Mazur Carp & Rubin, P.C. merged with Schiff Hardin LLP in July 2013.

Notable practitioners  

"Class act" Sayward Mazur is an "outstanding litigator" and "a terrific negotiator," say market sources. He maintains a strong profile for his representation of developers and contractors in all aspects of construction law. He is also a frequent choice as a mediator and arbitrator.

Gary Rubin is acclaimed by clients for the protection he affords them and for his industry knowledge. He advises clients on both contentious and noncontentious matters.