Amy M. Rubenstein
Schiff Hardin LLP
Commercial litigation
40 Under Class – 2014

As a partner at Schiff Hardin, Amy Rubenstein, 36, not only delivers in the courtroom, she is well liked and respected by her clients, colleagues and peers — both on her side and across the aisle.

Her courtroom experience covers an impressive range of industries, including chemicals, professional services, insurance and reinsurance, luxury goods, franchising, and food and beverage.  Rubenstein’s clients appreciate that, despite her intensity in the courtroom, she also develops strategies to avoid litigation and arbitration. 

She went to Schiff Hardin following her graduation from the University of Chicago Law School in 2002.  John A. Bannon, now senior litigation and compliance counsel for SunCoke Energy, Inc., met Rubenstein as a first year associate. “I have worked directly with Amy on a number of different, complex matters in which we shared a number of unique and exceptional results,” Bannon said. “One of the things that distinguishes Amy is her trial experience — as a first-chair and as a member of a trial team. Over the last ten years, Amy has tried seven significant matters (bench trial, jury trial, arbitration) fully demonstrating her legal acumen, leadership, and strategic focus.”

As a third-year associate, Rubenstein first-chaired a federal jury trial in New York.

“[H]er hard work and determination won the case and earned her the respect of her opponent, the head of the litigation group at a well-respected east coast firm,” Bannon said. “Most of us thought the case was a loser with some difficult evidentiary issues, but Amy never stopped believing that her client deserved to win, and worked ceaselessly to make that possible.”

More recently, John R. Pendergast, corporation counsel for BASF Corporation, said Rubenstein has been working with him on high stakes litigation matters for the last six years.

“Amy’s tireless tenacity, knowledge of the law and focused intellect helped us secure summary judgment on a high nine figure counterclaim against an extremely well-financed and well respected opponent,” Pendergast said. “Amy has a unique ability to grasp complex issues, both legal and factual, involving complex scientific subject matters, and convey it all in an intelligent, convincing and understandable way.”

Michael Frantz, corporate counsel for Munich Reinsurance America, met Rubenstein about ten years ago, after she gave a presentation at a Central Claims Executives Association meeting. Rubenstein has handled claims for the company for the past five years, Frantz said.  Amy’s goal is simple:  resolve matters efficiently so that clients get a good return on their investment in legal fees. 

Robert M. Mintz, with Stahl Cowen Crowley Addis LLC, also met Rubenstein about ten years ago. Mintz has interacted with Rubenstein in social, charitable and business contexts, and said Rubenstein has always exhibited the highest levels of integrity, professionalism and compassion.

“Amy is a young woman, but practices law the old fashioned way,” Mintz said. “To her, being a lawyer is a profession, not a job. She does what she says she is going to do, and when she says she will do it. When you make a deal with her, it does not have to be in writing, because she will honor it.”

Mintz said Rubenstein also engages in hundreds of hours of pro bono work, mentors young lawyers and law students, and supports many local charities.

“Her clients are lucky to have a lawyer who never stops thinking about how to improve their position, and who puts every ounce of herself into their work,” Mintz said.  How does Amy describe that sentiment?  Just doing her job.  Those around her know it’s so much more than just that. 

Rubenstein is member of the American Bar Association, the AIDA Reinsurance and Insurance Arbitration Society, the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc. and the Chicago Bar Association.