Photo of Jeffrey A. Risch

Education

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

Illinois State University, B.S., 1994

Jeff wouldn’t practice law if he couldn’t practice in labor and employment. 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 matters involving countering various union tactics; responding to government audits; defending discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination claims; avoiding employee wage and hour controversies; complying with prevailing wage laws; litigating employment contract disputes and unfair competition controversies; upholding independent contractor and contingent workforce relationships; and negotiating collective bargaining agreements.

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 the appellate process. 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.  If you have ever been lucky enough to see Jeff present, you know you are 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, and chapter labor counsel for the Northern Illinois Building Contractors Association.

As chair of the firm’s expansive, management-side Labor and Employment Practice 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.

Honors

  • Selected to Best Lawyers in America® in Employment Law: 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Recognized as "40 Illinois Attorney Under 40 to Watch" by the Law Bulletin in 2010
  • Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers List: 2012 (Rising Stars), 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Selected by the Leading Lawyers Network as a "Leading Lawyer" in management side employment law

Memberships & Involvement

  • Member: SmithAmundsen Executive Committee
  • Illinois Chamber of Commerce: Chair, Employment Law Council; Chair, Employment Litigation Committee; Chair, Employment Law Committee; Board Member
  • Chapter Labor Attorney, National Labor Advisory Board: Associated Builders & Contractors of Illinois
  • Chapter Labor Counsel, Member: Northern Illinois Building Contractors Association
  • Labor Advisory Committee: Underground Contractors Association; Illinois Road & Transportation Builders Association
  • Member: Illinois State Bar Association; Oklahoma Bar Association; Kane County Bar Association; HR Illinois Advisory Board; and Valley Industrial Human Resource Association
  • Labor Law Advisor: Midwest Truckers Association

News & Press Releases

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.

Publications

Presentations & Events