Doug Darch receives Illinois Chamber's Champion of Free Enterprise Award

  • Illinois Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees Chairwoman and Vice President of Government and Community Relations at Advocate Aurora Health Meghan Woltman and Partner at Baker Mackenzie Doug Darch at the Palmer House in Chicago on September 26.

    Illinois Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees Chairwoman and Vice President of Government and Community Relations at Advocate Aurora Health Meghan Woltman and Partner at Baker Mackenzie Doug Darch at the Palmer House in Chicago on September 26. Courtesy of Todd Silvey

 
Whitney Barnes
Updated 10/8/2019 7:40 AM

CHICAGO-- The Illinois Chamber of Commerce named Baker Mackenzie Partner Doug Darch as the 2019 recipient of the Reinhart Champion of Free Enterprise Award for his significant contributions to the business community in Illinois over the past year. The annual award is given to one individual who shows outstanding leadership in business advocacy in the past twelve months.

As a Chamber board member and chair of its Legal and Judicial Committee, Darch helped establish and then lead the Chamber Amicus Brief Program, a groundbreaking effort to ensure business interests are represented in the judicial branch. The program submits briefs to Illinois appellate courts and the Illinois Supreme Court on issues of critical importance to the broader business community.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I am honored to receive this award from the Illinois Chamber," said Darch. "It has been a great privilege to represent the business community by sharing your perspective on some of Illinois' biggest legal cases of the year. I am grateful for this award that acknowledges the hard work of the members of the committee and this unique and crucial program we have built to give businesses a greater voice across our state."

At the time Darch was selected for the award, under his direction the Chamber's Amicus Brief Program had submitted considerations for 10 court cases with nine favorable outcomes.

"Doug has set himself apart as an admirable member of our board and a leader in the greater business community," said Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch. "While traditional business advocacy is focused on the legislative and executive branches, Doug has been a commander in asserting that the business community must pay attention to the judicial branch as well. He is a an incredible asset to the Chamber and champion for businesses throughout the state."

Darch is an experienced and creative trial attorney and current partner with Baker McKenzie. He is a member of the firm's Global Automotive Steering Committee and the former chair of Employment Compensation Labor Practice Group for the Chicago office.

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He has participated in over 150 hearings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), labor arbitrators, federal and state courts, and administrative agencies, including landmark decisions under Title VII, ERISA, FMLA, and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

In 2017, he was selected as one of the Top 10 Labor Management Attorneys in Illinois by Leading Lawyer. In 2015 he was recognized by Who's Who Legal: Pensions & Benefits as a "top name" in Chicago for benefit plan modification and ERISA litigation. Before law school, Darch served as an officer in the US Navy.

The award was announced and presented at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce's Centennial Celebration Annual Luncheon at the Palmer House in Chicago on September 26.

More About the Reinhart Champion of Free Enterprise Award:

The award is named after its first recipient, Tony Reinhard, who was a two-term chairman of the Illinois Chamber board and is responsible for implementing Ford Motor Company's legislative, governmental and community affairs programs as the company's regional director of government and community affairs for the Midwest and Southern Regions. Reinhart previously worked in Washington DC as Ford's manufacturing and logistics manager, and in Dearborn, Michigan as the environmental issues manager in Ford Motor Company's Worldwide Public Policy Office. Reinhart continues to serve on the Illinois Chamber's board.

To learn more about the Chamber's Amicus Brief Program click here or visit: https://www.ilchamber.org/amicus-briefs/

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