Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal

Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP
Headquarters Chicago, United States
No. of offices 13
No. of attorneys Approximately 800
Major practice areas General practice
Key people Elliott Portnoy (Chairman)
Date founded 1906 (Chicago)
Company type Limited liability partnership
Dissolved September 2010 (merged with Denton Wilde Sapte to form SNR Denton)

Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP (informally Sonnenschein) was an international law firm with nearly 800 lawyers and other professionals in the United States and Europe, serving businesses, non-profits and individuals.[1] The firm was founded in Chicago in 1906 and as of May 2010 ranked as the 58th largest law firm in the US by revenue.[2] In September 2010 it merged with London-based Denton Wilde Sapte to form SNR Denton.[3]


20th century

21st century

Notable clients

Notable clients of Sonnenschein included:[5]

Notable matters

Hurricane Katrina litigation

Corporate social responsibility

Pro bono

Legacy Charter School

In 2005, Sonnenschein became the first law firm to establish and fund a charter school, the Legacy Charter School in North Lawndale, an inner-city community on Chicago’s West Side. The chair of the firm’s pro bono committee and former managing partner serves as chief operating officer of the school. Lawyers and staff from the Chicago office routinely work with and tutor students. In addition, other firm employees provide a wide variety of support on school operations and management including finances, information technology, human resources and audio visual.[9]


Kids Enjoying Exercise Now (KEEN) is an organization founded in 1988 by Sonnenschein chairman Elliott Portnoy when he was a student in Oxford, England, and brought to Washington, D.C., in 1992. KEEN provides a broad range of exercise opportunities for disabled children in activities such as basketball, swimming and soccer. During its centennial celebration in 2006, Sonnenschein helped expand KEEN to New York and San Francisco, joining existing programs near firm locations in Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Washington. In 2008, the firm helped start the program in Phoenix. Sonnenschein lawyers and staff are encouraged to volunteer time with their local KEEN chapter.[10]

Sonnenschein Scholars

As part of the firm’s centennial in 2006, the firm created the Sonnenschein Scholars program. During the summer of 2006, and continuing through 2010, Sonnenschein has underwritten and will continue to underwrite the costs (more than $200,000 per year) associated with students working at public interest organizations of their choice during the summer before their second year of law school. Two Sonnenschein Scholars are chosen from each of 25 leading law schools around the country including Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and University of Chicago.

Rankings and recognitions

Notable attorneys


  1. 1 2 Firms - Chambers and Partners - Dentons. Chambers and Partners. Retrieved on 2013-07-19.
  2. The Am Law 100: A Work in Progress. (2009-04-15). Retrieved on 2013-07-19.
  3. 1 2 "A new transatlantic firm born as SNR Denton goes live". The Lawyer. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  4. "Sonnenschein, Denton Wilde To Merge". American Lawyer. 26 May 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  5. Archived March 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. "Accord Ends Lawsuit Over Housing for Disabled." Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Nov. 13, 2008.
  7. "BigLaw Firm Provided $1 Million in Pro Bono Work for Pentagon Memorial Fund." New York Lawyer, Sept. 11, 2008.
  8. "South LA Citizens Sue Metro." Curbed LA, April 29, 2008.
  9. "Kindergarten Lawyers." Forbes, March 13, 2006.
  10. "Sonnenschein Chairman Is KEEN on Aiding Disabled Youths." New York Law Journal, Sept. 19, 2008.
  11. PLC - Which lawyer? is now closed. Retrieved on 2013-07-19.
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