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David S. Birnbaum


(T) +1.312.269.4005
(F) +1.312.782.8585


  • University of Michigan (J.D. 2005; Journal of Law Reform); Miami University (B.S.B. in Finance 2002)

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois


  • Judicial Extern to the Honorable James S. Gwin, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio (Summer 2003)

David Birnbaum represents employers in labor and employment matters, with a focus on collective bargaining, arbitration, litigation, strikes and picketing disputes, corporate campaigns, and representation proceedings arising under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Railway Labor Act (RLA). In 2017, The Legal 500 US named David as one of five "Next Generation Lawyers" in the United States for labor-management relations in recognition of his numerous successes on behalf of leading employers in complex and high-profile matters. His traditional labor practice spans employers in the automotive, construction, health care, hospitality, manufacturing, media, mining, oil & gas, private equity, railroad, retail, telecommunications, and transportation industries.

David has extensive experience representing clients in connection with labor and employment aspects of corporate and municipal restructurings and bankruptcies as well as mergers and acquisitions. He also has significant experience with single and multiplaintiff employment litigation and regularly counsels employers in all areas of labor & employment law. Clients with whom David has worked include Continental Automotive, CSXT, HCA, Kraft Heinz Company, National Railway Labor Conference, Saputo, Sutter Health, Verizon, Wal-Mart, and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

David is the regional co-chair of the American Bar Association Committee on Practice and Procedure Under the NLRA. He coauthored the PLI Labor Management Law Answer Book and serves as an editor to the leading treatises The Developing Labor Law, How to Take a Case Before the NLRB, and The Railway Labor Act.

Honors & Distinctions

  • BTI Consulting Group — Client Service All-Star (2018)

    The Legal 500 US — "Next Generation Lawyer" in labor-management relations (one of five nationwide) (2017); recommended for labor-management relations (2016-2017), employment disputes (2016-2017), and workplace and employment counseling (2017)

    Lawdragon/HR Executive — Most Powerful Employment Attorneys (2018)

    Leading Lawyers Network — Illinois Emerging Lawyer (2016-2017)
David Birnbaum