Public Law

Public law has been an integral part of Schiff Hardin's overall practice for many decades. We provide comprehensive services to governmental entities as well as organizations and companies doing business with governmental entities. Our experience with both public and private entities in the public law sector provides our firm with a unique perspective in representing our clients' needs.

Our attorneys have represented the state governments, state agencies, regional bodies and local governments of all types as outside general counsel or special counsel for particular litigation assignments or transactions. We also are frequently asked by state and local government clients to draft or to review and comment on proposed legislation.

We are familiar with the full range of issues that confront state and local governments and their counsel, including:

  • Freedom of information matters
  • Open meeting requirements
  • Election law and election contests
  • Procurement issues
  • Public bidding and contracts
  • Design professional selection
  • Construction law
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Intergovernmental cooperation
  • Budgeting and appropriation procedures
  • Truth in taxation and property tax extension limitations
  • Debt limitations
  • Taxation
  • Municipal enterprise systems

Also particularly strong is our firm's experience with state and local government:

  • Finance
  • Environmental matters
  • Annexation and municipal boundaries
  • Zoning and land use disputes
  • Tax increment finance/Redevelopment agreements
  • Special service areas
  • Enterprise zones and other economic development incentives
  • Employment discrimination lawsuits
  • Civil rights litigation

Our municipal practice consists in part of representing local governmental bodies, including cities and villages, park districts, fire protection districts, electoral boards, and other units of local government. Our attorneys have served as general and special counsel for a variety of other municipalities, park districts, and fire protection clients.

We also represent private sector clients before administrative and regulatory bodies at all levels of state and local government who require governmental approvals in order to do business, including in the areas of:

  • Land-use regulation
  • Zoning
  • Annexations
  • Planned developments
  • Redevelopment agreements
  • Licenses
  • Permits
  • Other similar public approvals

In addition, our firm has experience with virtually every kind of state and local government financing, including:

  • General obligation bonds
  • Enterprise revenue bonds
  • Excise tax revenue bonds
  • Installment purchase contracts and certificates of participation
  • Cash flow borrowings
  • Single family and multi-family housing revenue bonds
  • Health care financings
  • Industrial development and pollution control financings
  • Tax increment and special service area financings