ATLANTA / CHICAGO / KANSAS CITY / LOS ANGELES, November 13, 2023 – Kabat, Chapman & Ozmer LLP (KCO) is pleased to announce that Rob Schnitz, a longtime counsel with Hyatt Hotels Corporation, has joined the firm as a partner leading the firm’s Hospitality Law practice and its expansion into the Chicago market. Schnitz’s arrival caps the firm’s years of experience representing clients in the hospitality industry.

The attorneys in KCO’s Hospitality Law Practice understand the challenges and business goals that drive their client’s decisions for stakeholders, including owners, operators, employees, vendors and guests. In addition to the firm’s experience representing hospitality companies in traditional employment matters, the attorneys advise on a broad array of hospitality issues, including wage and hour and commercial disputes, as well as innkeeper laws involving registration, trespass, privacy and guest disputes. The team also has significant experience handling sales and vendor contract negotiations and disputes, including those involving force majeure and attrition clauses.

Schnitz joins KCO after 22 years overseeing Hyatt’s legal support for global operations and counseling Hyatt’s senior leadership team. His experience at Hyatt included supporting the company’s global sales, human resources, hotel operations, purchasing, risk management and marketing functions. Schnitz also negotiated complex commercial contracts and group sales agreements, handled hotel management agreement disputes, and oversaw Hyatt’s privacy and labor relations programs.

“We are delighted to have Rob join our firm and launch our Chicago office,” says Michael D. Kabat, managing partner at KCO. “His time at Hyatt as senior vice president and associate general counsel has made him a truly invaluable asset in the world of hospitality law. We are excited to see the hospitality practice and the Chicago office grow under his leadership and to offer clients Rob’s unique ability to handle a wide-range of hospitality-specific work and advice.”

“KCO is a great fit for me due to the high caliber of lawyers at the firm and the significant experience they already have working within the hospitality industry,” said Schnitz. “I am excited about what we can offer our hospitality clients going forward by adding my experience and perspective to the firm’s existing capabilities.”

Prior to his time at Hyatt, Schnitz spent nearly 13 years at a national labor and employment law firm, where he focused his practice on traditional labor and employment litigation matters, including wrongful discharge lawsuits, class action and individual wage and hour disputes and internal investigations. His clients included hospitality companies, large and small retailers, automobile dealerships and manufacturers.

Schnitz is the 2019 recipient of the Anthony G. Marshall Hospitality Law Award which is presented to an individual who has made pioneering and lasting contributions to the field of hospitality law. He has also taught a class on hospitality law and ethics at DePaul University for over a decade. Schnitz previously chaired the General Counsel Committee of the American Hotel and Lodging Association and currently serves as general counsel for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, having previously served on the hotline’s board of directors for seven years.

Schnitz earned his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and his law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.