Bob Hayward – named a “Notable Gen X Leader” by Crain’s Chicago Business in 2021 and a “Trailblazer in the Midwest” by The American Lawyer in 2022 -- helps lead the team that has been awarded “Capital Markets Practice Group of the Year” numerous times by Law 360.

Bob provides direct, thoughtful and practical advice to publicly-traded corporations — across all industries — and private equity funds and their portfolio companies in all aspects of securities, M&A, spin-offs, SEC compliance/ disclosure, corporate governance, stockholder activism, executive compensation, crisis management and general corporate matters. He has extensive experience representing companies in IPOs, high-yield and investment grade debt offerings, private financings, joint ventures and public and private M&A transactions.

Some of the publicly-traded corporations that Bob regularly advises include: The Boeing Company, Deere & Co., Kellanova, Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM), WK Kellogg, Cushman & Wakefield, Ryan Specialty Group, PowerSchool, JAMF Software, R1 RCM, Inc., Whirlpool Corporation, Sylvamo Corp., Victoria’s Secret, Wynn Resorts, Carvana Co., Maravai LifeSciences, Express, Inc., U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc., Innovage, Integrated Ad Science and Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. After representing Kellogg Company for over 20 years, Bob led its separation into two independent, publicly traded companies — Kellanova and WK Kellogg Co.

  • “IPO Lawyer of the Year in Illinois” by Global Law Experts in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023
  • One of the most active Capital Markets lawyers world-wide, according to Deal Point Data’s list of the 20 most active lawyers (2020–2021), and the only Midwest-based lawyer on the list
  • Led the largest non-M&A corporate bond offering of all time (and sixth largest overall) and second largest healthcare IPO (and sixth largest overall), and the largest IPOs ever at that time in Minnesota and Arizona
  • Named to The Directorship 100 by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) for his influence and leadership in the boardroom (2011 and 2012)
  • “Notable Leader in Sustainability” by Crain’s Chicago Business in 2022
  • Recognized as one of the leading public company corporate lawyers under the age of 40 (Law360’s “Rising Star” 2010)
  • Listed annually in Best Lawyers in America (Securities; Capital Markets; and Securities Regulation), The Legal 500 U.S. for Capital Markets, “Who’s Who Legal 100” by The International Who’s Who of Capital Markets Lawyers, and a “Leading Lawyer” in the areas of corporate finance, M&A, publicly held corporations and securities & venture finance by the Leading Lawyers Network


Thought Leadership

Bob is a co-author for the treatise “A Practical Guide to SEC Proxy and Compensation Rules” (updated annually). Bob also co-authored numerous articles which have appeared in Insights: The Corporate & Securities Law Advisor; Corporate Counsel, The Venture Capital Review and others. Bob is a contributing author to Jack S. Levin’s five-volume “Mergers, Acquisitions and Buyouts” treatise and “Structuring Venture Capital, Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Transactions” treatise (updated annually). Bob has been quoted or featured in Board Member Magazine, The Deal, The Daily Deal, The American Lawyer, Law360, IR Magazine and others.

Bob annually serves as the Co-Chair of the “SEC Hot Topics” seminar in Chicago and is a frequent panelist at leading M&A, securities and public company seminars, including the Ray Garrett Jr. Corporate and Securities Law Conference.


Co-chair and Speaker, RR Donnelley SEC Hot Topics Institute, Chicago IL (annual)

Speaker, Ray Garrett Jr. Corporate and Securities Conference (annual)


The Northwestern Pritzker School of Law awarded Bob the 2021 “Volunteer Service Award” for his exemplary leadership of the Garrett Corporate & Securities Law Institute and Boardroom Forum, his participation on many advisory committees throughout the University and his service as a dedicated liaison to the Firm.

In 2022, Bob received the Outstanding Pro Bono Works Volunteer Award from the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights for his leadership in building a more equitable economy.

Memberships & Affiliations

Northwestern University, Board of Trustees (and member of the Educational Properties Committee and Innovation and Entrepreneurship Committee)

TheCorporateCounsel, Advisory Board Member

Ray Garrett Jr. Corporate and Securities Law Conference, Chairman (Former) and Executive Committee Member

The Boardroom Forum, Executive Committee Member

Northwestern University, Former National Co-Chair of Annual Fund

Northwestern University Leadership Circle, Regional Council Member

We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, Regional Campaign Committee Member 

Northwestern Gridiron Network, President and Board Member (2000–2013)

Northwestern University Alumni Association (various positions including Chairman of 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th and 25th reunion committees)

Northwestern University, Member of Trustee Participation Task Force

Village of Northfield, Traffic & Transportation Committee (Chairman) and Zoning Board of Appeals (Member)

Music Institute of Chicago, Trustee (2000–2009)

Chicago Bar Foundation’s Young Professionals Board, Board Member (2001–2009)

Chicago 2016, Corporate Governance Advisor (2008–2009)

The Economic Club of Chicago

Chicago Commonwealth Club

Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals

National Association of Stock Plan Professionals

The Lawyers Club of Chicago

Rancheros Visitadores

Charlie Russell Riders Foundation

American Bar Association

Chicago Bar Association

State Bar Association of Arizona


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 1997, Arizona (inactive)
  • 1998, Illinois


  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • Supreme Court of Arizona
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the District of Arizona


  • Northwestern Pritzker School of LawJ.D.cum laude1997
  • Northwestern UniversityB.S.1994