People

Sarah E. Wilbanks

Associate

303.825.7029

Education

J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 2016
B.A., with honors, University of Texas at Austin, 2013

Bar Admissions

Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Sarah E. Wilbanks

Sarah Wilbanks concentrates her practice on representing airport clients, which involves advising public and private entities on a wide range of issues that touch on the firm’s regulatory, transactional, and litigation practices. She has particular experience negotiating and litigating contract disputes, drafting settlement agreements, advising on federal, state and local regulatory compliance, and conducting internal investigations.  She has also been involved in litigation concerning airport operations.

Prior to joining Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell, Sarah served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago Department of Law in the Aviation, Environmental, Regulatory & Contracts Division.  While with the City of Chicago, her responsibilities focused on providing counsel to the Chicago Department of Aviation, the proprietor of Chicago O’Hare International and Midway International Airport.

Representative Experience

Prior to joining the Firm, Sarah:

  • Served as legal counsel in successful negotiations for new airline use and lease agreement at O’Hare International Airport that replaced 30-year-old airline use and lease agreement and authorized a new $8.5 billion capital plan to update and modernize O’Hare’s terminals.
  • Advised the City of Chicago on the establishment, implementation, and enforcement of a regulatory program to authorize and regulate aeronautical service providers at O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport, including drafting of enabling legislation and accompanying administrative rules.
  • Represented the City of Chicago in a wide range of state and federal litigation matters, including in its affirmative litigation against pharmaceutical companies seeking to hold them liable for their role in the opioid crisis; a qui tam case in federal court involving fraud uncovered on City contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars; and various contractual disputes between the City and its contractors.
  • Led effort to consolidate and update administrative rules and regulations and standard operating procedures for the Chicago airport system, including managing team of outside consultants in review of best practices at other airports, identification of gaps in current policy, and drafting of new rules and regulations.
  • Advised large airport system on issues related to the requirement of labor peace agreements and minimum wage requirements for airport employees.

Professional and Civic Activities / Awards

  • Mentor, The University of Chicago Law School Women’s Mentoring Program (2016-2020)
  • Recipient, The University of Chicago Law School Pro Bono Award of Excellence (2016)

News & Publications

Education

J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 2016
B.A., with honors, University of Texas at Austin, 2013

Bar Admissions

Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois