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Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Work +1 312 460 5000
Fax +1 312 460 7000
Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, Houston, London and 9 more

Amanda Sonneborn

Work (312) 460-5525
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Work Department

Labor and Employment Department; Employment Litigation, ERISA & Employee Benefits Litigation, Healthcare Labor and Employment, Labor and Employee Relations, and Workplace Counseling and Solutions.


Amanda Sonneborn is a partner in the Labor and Employment Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and is Co-Chair of the Chicago L&E Department and former chair of the ERISA & Employee Benefits Litigation Practice Group. She actively advises clients in the healthcare, construction, print media, hotel, gaming, manufacturing, transportation, and retail industries. She has considerable experience in the area of Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) litigation. Her ERISA and employee benefits litigation experience includes defense of claims for benefits, breach of fiduciary duty claims, cash balance plan claims, breach of contract claims, and ERISA Section 510 employment discrimination claims. Amanda devotes a considerable amount of her practice to the litigation of class-action and multi-plaintiff claims. She is also particularly well-versed in the field of labor and employee relations law. Within this arena, she has represented clients in unfair labor practice proceedings, contractual arbitrations, representation proceedings, and Section 301 litigation. She also has experience advising clients during union organizing campaigns. In addition, she provides clients with day-to-day labor relations advice on a wide spectrum of topics, including independent contractor issues, neutrality agreements, and corporate campaigns. Amanda has substantial experience with non-union employment issues as well. She has represented clients in litigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the WARN Act, the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Illinois Minimum Wage Act, the Minnesota Human Rights Act, and Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. She also counsels various clients on day-to-day employment law matters and assists clients with revisions to employee handbooks, employee-related policies, and employment applications. She leads various training courses with Seyfarth Shaw at Work®, including anti-harassment training and positive employee relations training.


Amanda qualified for partner and made partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP in 2010. She is an adjunct faculty member in the Legal Writing Department at Chicago-Kent IIT College of Law.


Seyfarth Shaw LLP Pro Bono Committee; Seyfarth Shaw LLP Lawyer Development Committee; Seyfarth Shaw LLP Fellowship Committee; Seyfarth Shaw LLP Women’s Network Office Co-Chair and National Leadership Team Member; Seyfarth Shaw LLP Execituve Committee; American Bar Association (Labor & Employment Law and Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Sections); LEL Committee on Development of the Law under the National Labor Relations Act; LEL Committee on Practice and Procedure under the National Labor Relations Act; LEL Employee Benefits Committee; TIPS Employee Benefits Committee; Board of Trustees, Alcuin Montessori; Chicago Coalition of Women in Large Law Firms Board of Directors Member; The Field Museum President’s Leadership Counsel Member; Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law (Associate Board Vice Chair); University of Illinois College of Law Alumni Board; University of Illinois Department of Political Science Board of Visitors.


JD, University of Illinois College of Law (2003), cum laude; Masters of Human Resources and Industrial Relations, University of Illinois (2003); BA, University of Illinois (1999) High Honors.

United States: Labor and employment

ERISA litigation

Within: ERISA litigation

The ERISA litigation team at Seyfarth Shaw LLP experienced considerable growth in 2018 with the addition of San Francisco’s Bradley Perkins, who was formerly a senior counsel at Pacific Maritime Association, and Houston’s Scott Nelson, who joined from Baker McKenzie LLP. In addition to acting on 401(k) fiduciary breach, prohibited transaction and executive top-hat plan cases, the team also works laterally with the firm’s employee benefits lawyers to deploy unique litigation-avoidance strategies. Chicago-based practice co-head Ian Morrison defended a publicly listed paper manufacturer against a claim for breach of collective bargaining agreements. Practice co-leader Amanda Sonneborn in noted for her experience of complex DOL audits, ERISA Section 510 employment discrimination and cash balance plan claims. Also recommended are San Francisco-based Ward Kallstrom and Chicago-based Mark Casciari. University of Chicago, Burroughs and Kaiser Permanente are also among the team's clients.

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