Jeffrey A. Risch

Partner
Jeffrey Risch, SmithAmundsen LLC Photo

Overview

Jeff’s practice is entirely devoted to management-side labor and employment law. He takes enormous pride in advising and defending the foundation of our economy: employers. Every day he arises with a passion to aggressively and responsibly represent clients in a broad range of industries.

In his practice, Jeff handles both employment and traditional labor matters. Such matters include: countering various union tactics; navigating government audits; defending discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination claims; avoiding employee wage and hour controversies; complying with prevailing wage and minimum wage laws; litigating employment contract disputes and unfair competition controversies; upholding independent contractor and contingent workforce relationships; and negotiating collective bargaining agreements.

Jeff’s legal knowledge is accompanied by his understanding of his clients’ industries, which include construction, banking, manufacturing and food processing, health care (particularly long term care), and transportation, among others. Jeff participates in various trade and professional associations devoted to his clients’ diverse industries. He is passionately committed to helping employers stay up-to-date with legal developments and trends unique to their industry.  

Jeff has many years of both private practice and in-house counsel experience. He represents employers throughout the U.S. and has taken several prominent cases successfully through arbitration, administrative hearing, trial, and, when necessary, appeal. Jeff advises employers with the purpose of providing them the most efficient avenue to effectively manage. A prolific author and presenter, Jeff is often asked to speak on trending topics in the labor and employment arena by clients and educational providers around the country. He literally wrote the book on Labor & Employment Law for Illinois employers through the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. If you have ever been lucky enough to see Jeff present, you know you are in excellent hands in any negotiation or a courtroom!

A former manager and current business owner, Jeff understands and relates to the objectives of his clients. He applies his passion for business and employers in his work as chairman of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Employment Law & Litigation Committee, chapter labor counsel for the Associated Builders and Contractors of Illinois, chapter labor counsel for the Northern Illinois Building Contractors Association, and chapter labor counsel to the Finishing Contractors Association of Illinois.

As co-chair of the firm’s expansive management-side Labor and Employment Service Group, Jeff oversees a team providing comprehensive counsel to employers across the country. As a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Jeff helps to set the strategic vision for the firm and ensures that each of the firm’s clients receives the best possible experience working with SmithAmundsen.

Experience

Membership & Involvement

  • Member: SmithAmundsen Executive Committee
  • Illinois Chamber of Commerce: Chair, Employment Law Council; Chair, Employment Litigation Committee; Chair, Employment Law Committee; Lead Attorney, HR Audit Task Force; Board Member
  • Chapter Labor Attorney, National Labor Advisory Board: Associated Builders & Contractors of Illinois
  • Chapter Labor Counsel, Member: Northern Illinois Building Contractors Association
  • Chapter Labor Counsel, Member: Finishing Contractors Association of Illinois 
  • Board of Directors: Marklund 
  • Member: Illinois State Bar Association; Oklahoma Bar Association; HR Illinois Advisory Board; Valley Industrial Human Resource Association
  • Labor Law Advisor: Midwest Truckers Association; Illinois Lumber and Material Dealers Association

Honors

  • Selected to The Best Lawyers in America© in Employment Law - Management: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • Recognized as "40 Illinois Attorney Under 40 to Watch" by the Law Bulletin: 2010
  • Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers list: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • Selected to the "Top 100: Illinois Super Lawyers" list: 2017, 2018
  • Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers "Rising Stars" list: 2012
  • Selected by the Leading Lawyers Network as a "Leading Lawyer" in management side employment law

Resources & Insights

Alerts

Speaking Engagements

Published Works

Blog

Contributing Author, SmithAmundsen's Labor & Employment Law Update, a labor and employment advisory blog.

Contributing Author, Illinois Chamber of Commerce's Chamber Dispatch, an HR advisory blog.

Blog Posts

Education on Demand

Firm News

Education

University of Tulsa College of Law, J.D., 1998, highest honors

Illinois State University, B.S., 1994

Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Oklahoma
Jump to Page

This website uses cookies to improve functionality and performance. If you choose to continue browsing this website, you consent to the use of cookies. Click here to read about our privacy and cookie policy.