Some attorneys just have the secret sauce. At only 36, Scott has already established himself as one of the top “go-to” transactional attorneys representing major hospitality companies and celebrity chefs in Chicago and across the country. His restaurant clients rely on Schonfeld not only for his exceptional legal talent but also his unique ability to structure and close creative transactions.
Ethan Samson, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants, said that Schonfeld has a knack for identifying key issues that hospitality and restaurant businesses face and finding the most efficient solutions to their problems.
"Scott has expressed a unique talent for understanding our industry and business, and weaves that wonderfully into his position as outside legal counsel," Samson said. "His knowledge of our industry paired with his exceptional talent as a legal mind gives me extreme comfort that I am working with the right person when I'm working with Scott."
In addition to being a leading hospitality lawyer, Scott maintains an expansive general transactional practice, with an emphasis upon mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, general corporate matters, emerging company representations, and commercial real estate transactions.
It's proven to be a winning formula.
"Scott has uniquely distinguished himself in the area of hospitality law as one of the leading attorneys in that space in Chicago," said Donovan Borvan, Partner at Chicago's Webster Law Partners. "That itself would be sufficiently impressive at his age, but he also maintains a sophisticated and expansive general practice."
Ateet Adhikari, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel with Chicago's ShopRunner, said that Schonfeld has been invaluable to him as he works to help grow his company.
Schonfeld’s legal advice played a key role in helping ShopRunner negotiate a contract with a major blockchain partner. This contract included complex business and intellectual property elements. Adhikari said that Schonfeld "was a wizard" in helping ShopRunner navigate this business relationship.
"Scott has been an incredible thought partner on a number of business and legal matters over the past several years," Adhikari said. "His real estate and corporate guidance was invaluable throughout our growth as a company, including employee growth, location growth, fund-raising and ultimately the sale of the company."
Despite his busy career, Schonfeld also serves his community. He is passionate about assisting start-up companies, working with The Garage, Northwestern University's start-up accelerator, where he counsels start-ups at every stage of the corporate lifecycle.
Pro bono work is also important to Schonfeld. Frank Eichenlaub, a Partner at Polsinelli PC, said Schonfeld has made a big impact through this work.
"Scott has devoted a meaningful portion of his legal practice to pro bono work, creatively combining his expertise in the hospitality industry with the needs of the community," Eichenlaub said. " The need for his pro-bono representation was magnified during the COVID-19 pandemic."
Scott Schonfeld clearly has a recipe for success.