Robert S. Rivkin

Of Counsel

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Direct:  312.471.8722
Fax:  312.471.8701
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Bob Rivkin is an accomplished and seasoned advocate whose impressive career spans three decades of private practice and public service. His range of experience with city, state, federal and international issues brings a wealth of insight and knowledge to our clients. Before joining RSHC, he served as General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel to four major corporations and public agencies.

In 2009, Bob was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Chief Legal Officer and counsel to U.S. Secretary Ray LaHood. In four years at DOT, Bob oversaw DOT’s wide-ranging regulatory and enforcement activities and played key roles in initiatives including aviation consumer protection, high-speed rail, major transportation infrastructure development, the Toyota unintended acceleration recalls, and the Cash for Clunkers (CARS) program, which he was responsible for bringing to its successful conclusion. During his federal service, Bob also chaired the committee on rulemaking of the Administrative Conference of the United States, the federal agency charged with improving the efficiency and fairness of the regulatory process.

Following his service in Washington, Bob returned to the private sector as Senior Vice President for Regulatory and International Affairs and Deputy General Counsel of Delta Air Lines, where he represented the company before foreign regulators and U.S. government agencies, including DOT, DHS, State, Justice and OMB, and oversaw the airline’s global litigation and international legal portfolio.

Before serving in the federal government, Bob was corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Aon, where he was responsible for the company’s legal affairs in the Americas. In that role, he responded to and resolved investigations by state and federal agencies, including the Attorneys General of New York, Illinois and Connecticut. Previously, Bob served as General Counsel of the Chicago Transit Authority, the nation’s second-largest public transportation system. He has also worked for the City of Chicago and as a lawyer in private practice, and began his legal career as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, investigating and prosecuting federal criminal cases, including white-collar fraud, RICO, tax, and public corruption. Bob interned at the European Commission in Brussels and the British Parliament in London and is fluent in French.

At RSHC, Bob advises our clients on auto, aviation, rail, road and other transportation infrastructure and regulatory issues, internal investigations, white collar criminal defense, domestic and international business regulation and commercial litigation.


  • Experience

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      Bob’s recent infrastructure representations have included:

      • Counsel for a $2 billion transit Core Capacity project, helped to shape and implement a complex financing plan and to obtain a $1.1 billion grant from the Federal Transit Administration.
      • Counsel for a $4 billion highway project of national and regional significance, providing strategic and litigation advice on obtaining necessary property rights, including through proceedings before the Surface Transportation Board.
      • Counsel and project management in developing a public-private partnership that will design, build, finance, operate and maintain a fast rail link between a leading international airport and a downtown terminus.
  • Education

      • Stanford Law School, J.D., 1987, Associate Editor, Stanford Law Review
      • Harvard College, AB., magna cum laude, 1982

    Clerkships

      • Hon. Joel M. Flaum, U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 1987-88

    Bar Admissions

      • Illinois
      • Washington, DC
      • U.S. Supreme Court
      • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
      • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
  • Professional Memberships

    • American Bar Association
    • Chicago Inn of Court
    • The Economic Club of Chicago
    • Leadership Greater Chicago, Fellow and former Board Member
    • Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Former Director

    Honors & Awards

    • U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary’s Gold Medal Award for Outstanding Achievement, 2010 and 2011
    • Commendations from the Department of Justice, the FBI, IRS, DEA, EPA and ATF

    Community

    • Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Chicago, Big Brother

    • City Year Chicago, Former Director

    • Civic Committee Transportation Task Force, Special Advisor

    • Metropolitan Planning Council, Former Director

    • National Park Foundation, Director

    • William R. Rivkin Award, Judge