Of Counsel, Chicago Office
Fred Lane litigates on behalf of school districts and other local governmental taxing bodies in high stakes tax assessment proceedings with particular emphasis on advocating for the equitable valuation of nuclear and fossil fuel power plants that comprise vital components of the tax base in a significant number of Counties throughout the entire State of Illinois. Fred possesses 40 years of trial, appellate and administrative agency experience and has litigated before the Property Tax Appeal Board, the Circuit Court of many Illinois counties, the First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Appellate Judicial Districts of Illinois and the Supreme Court of Illinois. Fred’s practice and the clients he serves are based primarily outside of Cook County, and Fred works extensively through all of Robbins, Schwartz offices to service its clients through out the State in his areas of expertise
In 2005, Fred assisted the Bureau Valley Community Unit School District No. 340 to acquire the first school owned wind turbine in the State of Illinois. Since that time he has consulted with School Districts and Community Colleges all over the State of Illinois in regard to lowering their energy costs or increasing their revenue by acquiring their own wind turbines. He has also assisted school districts in supporting the development of wind energy within their taxing jurisdiction by appearing at “town hall” meetings or before zoning committees. He has spoken at meetings of the American Corn Growers Association both in Texas and in Illinois on the subject of developing public ownership of Wind Turbines; and he has also spoken at the Illinois Community College Trustees Association on the subject of Wind Turbines and Community Colleges.
Prior to his affiliation in 2001 with Robbins Schwartz, Fred was a partner with Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal for over 30 years. He handled major complex litigation matters as a member of Sonnenschein's Litigation and Business Regulation Practice Group. He did federal, state and local tax work for companies and high profile individuals including Northwest Airlines, MCI Communications and Citicorp and also has served as special counsel to the Illinois Director of Revenue on telecommunications tax issues. He has extensive commercial jury and nonjury trial, appellate and dispute resolution experience across the spectrum of commercial law including contract disputes, stockholder and partnership disputes, land use, condemnation, construction, antitrust and franchise, and supplier relations for many major and high profile clients including McDonald's and its legendary founder Ray Kroc.
In 1975, he founded and continues to serve as legal counsel to FAIRCOM, a statewide consortium of Illinois taxing bodies that seeks the fair assessment of electric power generation facilities.
Fred has been affiliated with the Illinois State Bar Association's State and Local Taxation Section Council for many years. He has also been recognized by his peers as being in the top 5 percent of Illinois attorneys in a survey by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company and has been so listed in LeadingLawyers.com.
Fred has served as a faculty member for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA), teaching negotiations and mediation. He also formed the original NITA trial practice training program at Sonnenschein. Among many other professional and civic involvements, he counts membership on the Chicago Bar Association’s Entertainment Committee (1977-1992; Chair, 1987) and membership on the Advisory Council of the Theatre School of DePaul University (1980-1999) of which he was a founding member in 1980, and Vice Chairman from 1980-1993. Fred is a life Director of Temple Sholom of Chicago (President, 1985-1987). In addition, he has been heavily involved with the Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion, which has campuses in Jerusalem, New York, Los Angeles and Cincinnati serving as a member of the Board of Governors (1984-present; Vice Chairman, 1997-2007), Chairman of the Committee of Academic and Faculty Affairs (1997-2007) and Chairman of the Presidential Search Committee (2001).
He also served as an officer and director of the Noble Fool Theatre Company, a not-for-profit 503(c) corporation during the period from 2002 to 2006. This comedy/improv theater company developed and operated theater and cabaret space on Randolph Street next to the Oriental Theatre, Ford Center for the Performing Arts, in Chicago’s refurbished theatre district.
Fred is an avid fisherman, cook and tennis player and he and his wife Jeanie Pollack, a corporate fitness consultant, are very active world travelers.
Admitted to Practice