People: Amanda A. Sonneborn, Partner

Photo of Amanda A. Sonneborn, Partner

Amanda A. Sonneborn

Partner

Chicago
Direct: (312) 460-5525
Fax: (312) 460-7525
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Ms. Sonneborn is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.   Ms. Sonneborn also serves as co-Office Managing Partner of the Firm’s Chicago office.  She actively advises clients in the health care, construction, print media, hotel, gaming, manufacturing, transportation, and energy industries.  Ms. Sonneborn previously was named one of the National Law Journal’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in Chicago. 

Ms. Sonneborn has considerable experience in the area of Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) litigation.  Ms. Sonneborn is co-chair of the Firm’s ERISA & Employee Benefits Litigation practice group.  Her ERISA and employee benefits litigation experience includes defense of single plaintiff claims for benefits, breach of fiduciary duty claims, cash balance plan claims, breach of contract claims, and ERISA Section 510 employment discrimination claims.  Ms. Sonneborn devotes a considerable amount of her practice to litigation of class-action and multi-plaintiff claims.  She also frequently advises clients regarding handling of claims brought under benefit plan claims procedures.  Ms. Sonneborn has handled hundreds of single plaintiff cases brought in federal court under ERISA. She also frequently speaks on ERISA litigation issues and serves as a chapter editor for the American Bar Association book on  Employee Benefits.

Ms. Sonneborn also is particularly well-versed in the field of labor relations law, with a particular focus on advising clients in the health care industry.  Within this arena, she has represented clients in hundreds of unfair labor practice proceedings, contractual arbitrations, representation proceedings, and Section 301 litigation.  She has served as national counsel to several corporations facing targeted corporate campaigns. She also has experience advising clients during union organizing campaigns.  In addition, she provides clients with day-to-day labor relations advice on a wide spectrum of topics, including independent contractor issues, neutrality agreements, and corporate campaigns.  She also frequently negotiates collective bargaining agreements on behalf of clients. Finally, Ms. Sonneborn has handled several appellate cases seeking review of National Labor Relations Board decisions.

Ms. Sonneborn has substantial experience with non-union employment issues as well. She has represented clients in litigation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the WARN Act, and the Illinois Human Rights Act.  Ms. Sonneborn also counsels various clients on day-to-day employment law matters and assists clients with revisions to employee policies and employment applications.

Ms. Sonneborn leads various training courses with Seyfarth Shaw at Work®, including anti-harassment training and positive employee relations training.  She also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Legal Writing Department at Chicago-Kent IIT College of Law.

Ms. Sonneborn is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.   Ms. Sonneborn also serves as co-Office Managing Partner of the Firm’s Chicago office.  She actively advises clients in the health care, construction, print media, hotel, gaming, manufacturing, transportation, and energy industries.  Ms. Sonneborn previously was named one of the National Law Journal’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in Chicago. 

Ms. Sonneborn has considerable experience in the area of Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) litigation.  Ms. Sonneborn is co-chair of the Firm’s ERISA & Employee Benefits Litigation practice group.  Her ERISA and employee benefits litigation experience includes defense of single plaintiff claims for benefits, breach of fiduciary duty claims, cash balance plan claims, breach of contract claims, and ERISA Section 510 employment discrimination claims.  Ms. Sonneborn devotes a considerable amount of her practice to litigation of class-action and multi-plaintiff claims.  She also frequently advises clients regarding handling of claims brought under benefit plan claims procedures.  Ms. Sonneborn has handled hundreds of single plaintiff cases brought in federal court under ERISA. She also frequently speaks on ERISA litigation issues and serves as a chapter editor for the American Bar Association book on  Employee Benefits.

Ms. Sonneborn also is particularly well-versed in the field of labor relations law, with a particular focus on advising clients in the health care industry.  Within this arena, she has represented clients in hundreds of unfair labor practice proceedings, contractual arbitrations, representation proceedings, and Section 301 litigation.  She has served as national counsel to several corporations facing targeted corporate campaigns. She also has experience advising clients during union organizing campaigns.  In addition, she provides clients with day-to-day labor relations advice on a wide spectrum of topics, including independent contractor issues, neutrality agreements, and corporate campaigns.  She also frequently negotiates collective bargaining agreements on behalf of clients. Finally, Ms. Sonneborn has handled several appellate cases seeking review of National Labor Relations Board decisions.

Ms. Sonneborn has substantial experience with non-union employment issues as well. She has represented clients in litigation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the WARN Act, and the Illinois Human Rights Act.  Ms. Sonneborn also counsels various clients on day-to-day employment law matters and assists clients with revisions to employee policies and employment applications.

Ms. Sonneborn leads various training courses with Seyfarth Shaw at Work®, including anti-harassment training and positive employee relations training.  She also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Legal Writing Department at Chicago-Kent IIT College of Law.

Education

  • J.D., University of Illinois College of Law (2003)
    cum laude
    Lincoln Scholar; Research Assistant to the Honorable Governor Jim Edgar
    Editor Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal
  • MHRIR, University of Illinois (2003)
  • B.A., University of Illinois (1999)
    High Honors

Admissions

  • Illinois

Courts

  • Supreme Court of the State of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (Labor & Employment and Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Sections)
  • LEL Committee on Practice and Procedure under the National Labor Relations Act 
  • LEL Employee Benefits Committee 
  • TIPS Employee Benefits Committee
  • Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law Governing Board Member
  • Canine Therapy Corps Board of Directors Member
  • Field Museum President’s Leadership Council Member
  • University of Illinois Department of Political Science Board of Visitors Member
  • Unity Temple UU Congregation Board of Trustees Member

Presentations

  • "Seyfarth’s 2016 Workplace Class Action Litigation Report and Webinar," Seyfarth Shaw LLP (February 1, 2016)
  • ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits Webinar, Various Panel Discussions
  • ABA Employee Benefits Committee Midwinter Meeting, Various Panel Discussions (2012-2016)
  • ABA Employee Benefits Committee ERISA Basics Training Seminar, Various Panel Discussions (2013-2016)
  • “Post-Windsor Risks for Employee Benefits,” Strafford Publications webinar
  • Seyfarth Shaw Labor & Employment Department Breakfast Briefings
  • Seyfarth Shaw Labor University 2013-2016
  • “Employee Benefits: Why Breaking Developments Could Mean New Risks for You,” Business & Legal Resources webinar
  • “Defending ERISA Class Actions Amid an Evolving Litigation Landscape,” Strafford Publications webinar
  • “Pension Plan Investments 2011,” Practicing Law Institute seminar
  • “Summary of Recent Litigation Involving Worker Misclassification and Implications for Employee Benefit Litigation” at the Chicago Bar Association Employee Benefits Seminar
  • “Cigna v. Amara: What All Employers Need to Know About the Supreme Court's Most Recent ERISA Decision,” Seyfarth Shaw webinar
  • "Executive Compensation Litigation" at the Annual Executive Compensation Institute at the Chicago Bar Association

Publications

  • Contributing Editor for the ABA's The Developing Labor Law book
  • Contributing Editor for the ABA's Employee Benefits Law book
  • Contributor to Employee Benefits Law Journal
  • "Update on Recent Trends in ERISA Fiduciary Breach Litigation" for ABA ERISA Litigation National Institute
  • Contributed to Congressional testimony for a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations of the Committee on Education and the Workforce on union corporate campaigns
  • Contributed to Congressional testimony for a joint hearing before the Senate and House Committees on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on recent National Labor Relations Board decisions