May 15, 2012
Keith Shay, one of Schiff Hardin’s most highly respected attorneys, who joined the firm in 1949 and served in multiple management and leadership roles within the firm until his retirement in 1997, passed away suddenly on May 14 in Colorado at age 90. Robert H. Riley
, Chairman of Schiff Hardin who also worked closely with Mr. Shay during his time at the firm, saluted him, “He was a superb lawyer, mentor and partner. He was the quintessential trusted adviser to many clients and he carefully crafted, always with a helping hand, the development of generations of lawyers at our firm.”
Mr. Shay concentrated his practice in corporate and securities work and served as general counsel on a continuing basis for various clients. He frequently represented industrial and financial corporations in special transactions and significant corporate matters. He served as a director or adviser to the boards of directors of a number of public and private corporations and as a director or trustee of various charitable and nonprofit corporations and associations. He also served as trustee and/or executor for the estates of various clients.
In addition to his great contributions to the firm and his clients, Mr. Shay was actively involved in the Illinois legal community and with a number of civic, cultural and charitable organizations.
He was a member of the Securities Advisory Committee of the State of Illinois by appointment of the Secretary of State of Illinois; he participated in the drafting of amendments to the Illinois Securities Act of 1953 and to the regulations thereunder; and he co-chaired a subcommittee of the Securities Advisory Committee related to administrative rulemaking. Mr. Shay also served as a member of the Character and Fitness Committee of the State of Illinois for 17 years.
He was active in the Chicago Bar Association, having served on the Board of Managers and as Chairman of its Securities Law Committee. In addition, Mr. Shay was a member of the Legal Club of Chicago and The Law Club of the City of Chicago (for each he formerly served as Secretary and as a member of its Executive Committee), the Illinois Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.
His civic, cultural and charitable involvement included service as a Trustee of the Ravinia Festival Association and as a member of the Plan Committee of the Village of Winnetka, and the Zoning and Plan Committee of Highland Park. He also served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of The Chicago Chamber Musicians.
Prior to entering law school, Mr. Shay served in the Pacific War Theater (1943-46) as a gunnery officer of the USS Pritchett
(DD561) and as the Executive Officer of the USS Blackwood
He received his undergraduate degree (A.B., magna cum laude
, 1943) from Amherst College and his law degree (LL.B., 1949) from Yale Law School.
Funeral information remains pending.