Rebecca L. Ford

Rebecca L. Ford

"Clients are delighted with the combination of our large firm sensibility, small firm agility and our deep understanding of how their businesses work."


Rebecca L. Ford concentrates her practice on corporate transactions and contracts, corporate governance and corporate compliance programs.  She has extensive experience managing litigation and provides critical support on public/private transactions managing government and stakeholder relationships.

As a member of the Scharf Banks Marmor Corporate and Compliance Department, Rebecca has counseled clients on ethics and compliance matters, such as analysis of  anticorruption practices, and federal guidelines and best practices.

Rebecca has monitored compliance programs for the Federal Trade Commission and the Competition Bureau of Canada.  She has assisted clients with review of compliance programs dealing with government corruption to training program’s designed to enlist employees support of corpurate change and performed a comprehensive reviews of corporate compliance and ethics programs.

She has also worked on pay equity topics, and has led DEI efforts as Trustee of non-profit institutions that have prioritized DEI.

Rebecca’s experience with corporate transactions and contracts has enabled her to respond expeditiously to client needs by focusing on business and legal requirements, while avoiding excessive delays that can derail projects or make them costlier.  She has assisted on contracts covering a wide range of subjects and industries, including private label manufacturing, product distribution and commercial leases.

Prior to joining the firm, Rebecca was Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary to Draper and Kramer, Inc., a major Chicago real estate and financial services company.  While at Draper and Kramer, Rebecca was responsible for its legal matters, board relations and corporate governance.  She was liaison to the City of Chicago, the MacArthur Foundation and other stakeholders for major, transformitive mixed-income development.

Rebecca served as the Executive Vice President for litigation and intellectual property at the MGM movie studio where she oversaw all domestic and international litigation, as well as intellectual property matters, involving MGM, United Artists and other MGM subsidiaries.  She also served as Associate General Counsel at City Colleges of Chicago, where she supervised legal services for a seven-college community college district, managed litigation, acquired and disposed of real estate, negotiated contracts, and counseled senior management on legal, regulatory compliance, and Institutional Review Board issues. Rebecca’s previous law firm experiences include bond-finance and real estate projects, as well as commercial, financial and appellate litigation.

Rebecca has served as Trustee to a number of civic and cultural institutions, including the Goodman Theatre, the Field Museum, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and the Art Institute of Chicago. She has published articles in The Milken Institute Review, The American Lawyer, The Chicago Reader, The New York Law Journal, The Chicago Tribune and the Illinois Institute for Continuing Education. Rebecca is a contributing columnist and movie critic for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, WCPT820 and

Rebecca received her B.A. from Harvard College, her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, and her L.L.M. in Real Estate from the University of Illinois Chicago Law School.  She is a member of the bar of Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, California, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Supreme Court.


  • Co-bond counsel for government entities in multi-phased bond issues in Illinois, New York, Connecticut, Alabama and Missouri.
  • Foreclosure and acquisition of Arts Center on behalf of community college system.  Negotiated production agreements for public television station.
  • Development executive for corporate projects including the 500-unit mixed-income development.  Corporate liaison with stakeholders such as the City of Chicago, MacArthur Foundation, alderman, civic leaders and non-profit community. Led process to obtain $250,000 grant to engage social service specialists and cultural anthropologists from the Field Museum to conduct community building.
  • Second-chair on trial of involving misappropriation of business opportunity on bank matter.  Won appeal of misappropriation case based on challenge to improper jury instruction.  Second-chair in national preliminary injunction hearing determining ownership rights to the Anaconda Copper Mine.  Settled claims by specialist company against bank alleging improper margin call during market decline.  Litigated first amendment and defamation claims arising in the context of corporate environments.
  • Arbitrated construction contract dispute on behalf of developer in connection with redevelopment of landmark building.
  • Raised venture capital for motion picture feature film and new-media production company.
  • Acting Director of Emerging Domestic Markets at Santa Monica based economic think tank, created blueprint for access to capital in emerging domestic markets.
  • Corporate Governance and Corporate Secretary responsibilities for major real estate and financial services corporation.
  • Litigated valuation dispute over assessment of corporate assets.

Professional Activities


  • Illinois Super Lawyers, 2022-2024


  • Chicago Bar Association
  • National Association of Women Lawyers
  • National Association of Bond Lawyers
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys


  • Goodman Theatre (Trustee, Executive Committee, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion)
  • Art Institute of Chicago (Ex Officio Trustee; Co-Chair, Leadership Advisory Committee)
  • Union League Club of Chicago
  • Economic Club of Chicago
  • Chicago Community Trust African-American Legacy Initiative, Grant Committee
  • Renaissance Weekend Annual Public Policy Conference
  • The Links, Inc.
  • Renaissance Society (Board of Directors)
  • Field Museum of Natural History (Board of Directors)
  • Chicago Humanities Festival (Board of Directors)
  • Heartland Society (Board of Directors)
  • Harold Washington Literary Award Selection Committee

Publishing & Speaking

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Movie Review​s

  • “Joker Goes Deeper than a Comic Book but Still Proves Entertaining,”
    Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, October 11,2019. “Joker” Review
  • “Zellweger Brings Judy Alive the Sadness Tragedy and Tears,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, October 4, 2019. “Judy” Review
  • “Oscar-worthy J. Lo Steals the Show in Heist Film Hustlers,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, September 20, 2019. “Hustlers” Review
  • “Tarantino’s Latest Takes a More Subdued Approach,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    August 2, 2019. “Once Upon a Time” Review
  • “Beatles-Inspired Yesterday is Nice Just Don’t Overthink It,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    July 12, 2019. “Yesterday” Review
  • “Rocketman Takes Us On a Trip to Elton John’s Highs and Lows,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, June 14, 2019. “Rocketman” Review
  • “Poignant Booksmart Sets Tone for New Generation,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    May 31, 2019. “Booksmart” Review
  • “Summer’s Big Screen Action Make Your Plans Accordingly,”
    Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, May 17, 2019. Summer’s Big Screen Review
  • “Her Smell a Story of Addictions toll,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, April 26, 2019.
    “Her Smell” Review
  • “Music Reigns in Pop-Filled Teen Spirit,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, April 19,2019.
    “Teen Spirit” Review
  • “History Isn’t Kind to the Original Dumbo Remake Sidesteps Issue,”
    Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, April 12, 2019. “Dumbo” Review
  • “Peele May Leave You Puzzled in Powerful Us,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, 
    March 29, 2019. “Us” Review
  • “A Low-Stakes Captain Marvel Backstory Now to Save the Universe Later,”
    Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, March 15, 2019. “Captain Marvel” Review
  • “Close But No Cigar Where’s the Academy’s Love for Glenn?”
    Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, March 8, 2019. “The Wife” Review
  • “A Best Picture Nominees Refresher,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, February 22, 2019.
    “A Best Picture Nominees Refresher” Review
  • “Having Such a Good Time Having a Ball at Bohemian Rhapsody,”
    Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, February 1,2019. “Bohemian Rhapsody” Review
  • “Irony Doesn’t Stay Ironic in Adam McKay’s Vice,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, 
    January 24, 2019. “Vice” Review
  • “On the Basis of Sex Shows How a Real Star is Born,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    January 11, 2019. “On the Basis of Sex” Review 
  • “Visually Beautiful Palace Intrigue in ‘Favourite,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    December 28, 2018. “The Favourite” Review 
  • “I Won’t Remember the Soundtrack 54 Years From Now,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, December 24, 2018. “Mary Poppins Returns” Review 
  •  “More About the Man, Less About the Moon,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    November 2, 2018. “First Man” Review 
  •  “Even in Fourth Iteration, A Star is Born Still Shines,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    October 12, 2018. “A Star is Born” Review 
  • “Monsters and Men Humanizes Both Police and Shooting Victims,”
    Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, October 5, 2018. “Monsters and Men” Review
  • “Michael Moore Gives us Reason to Think,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, September 28, 2018. “Fahrenheit 9/11” Review
  • “Operation Finale Spy Thriller Has a Ben Kingsley Problem,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, September 7, 2018. “Operation Finale” Review
  • “An American Fairy Tale Exported to Singapore,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    August 31, 2018. “Crazy Rich Asians” Review 
  • “In Black Klansman Spike Lee’s Opposite of a Post-Racial American,”
    Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, August 24, 2018.  “Black Klansman” Review
  • “Eighth Grade Shows How Modern-Day Teen Bare Their Soul,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, August 10, 2018.  “Eighth Grade” Review
  • “As Tom Cruise Is Pushed to His Physical Limit in Fallout So Is the Audience,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, August 3, 2018. “Mission Impossible -Fallout” Review 
  • “Del Toro Shines as Border-Battling Hitman in Sicario Sequel,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, June 29, 2018. “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” Review 
  • “Remake of SuperFly Out-Blings the Orginal,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, June 22, 2018. “SuperFly” Review 
  • “Instead of Ocean, Plenty of Other Fish in the Sea,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    June 15, 2018. “Ocean’s 8” Review 
  • “One Man’s Path: Good Fashion, Good Manners and Good Preparation,”
    Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, June 8, 2018. “The Gospel Acording to Andre” Review 
  • “Solo Laden With Generation’s High Expectations,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, June 1, 2018. “Solo” Review 
  • “Book Club Hits Perfect Demographic,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, May 25, 2018.
    “Book Club” Review
  • “RBG Film Shows Decades of Hustle Behind the Justice We Know,”
    Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, May 18, 2018. “RBG” Review 
  • “Death of Stalin Almost a Soviet Spin on Veep,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    March 30, 2018. “Death of Stalin” Review 
  • “Annihilation Taps Into Fear of Quickly Changing World,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    March 16, 2018. “Annihilation” Review
  • “Alt-Right Fantasy Death Wish Too Far for NRA,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    March 9, 2018. “Death Wish” Review
  • “It’s Time to Fill Out Your Ballot for the Oscars,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, March 2, 2018. Fill Out Your Ballot 
  • “Black Panther is Obama Take on Trump Times,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    February 16th, 2018. “Black Panther” Review
  • “Predicting the Winner Behind the Scenes,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, February 13, 2018. “Predicting the Winners
  • “On the Oscars: The Best Picture Nominees,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, February 02, 2018. “Oscars Article
  • “Skywalkers Don’t Trod New Ground in Familiar Last Jedi’,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, December 29, 2017. “Last Jedi” Review 
  • “New Del Toro is a Romance From the Black Lagoon,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    December 15, 2017. “Shape of Water” Review
  • “Unpredictable and Creative Expect to Find Three Billboards at the Oscars,”
    Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, December 8, 2017. “Three Billboards” Review
  • “Latest Thor Film Heavy on Bloodline Light on Storyline,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, November 17, 2017. “Thor: Ragnarok” Review 
  • “Denzel Washington Film Gets Law Right,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    November 10, 2017. “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” Review 
  • “In Suburbicon an Uncomfortable Mix of Film Elements,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, November 3, 2017. “Suburbicon” Review 
  • “Jackie Chan Shows Off His Darker Side,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, October 27, 2017.
    “The Foreigner” Review 
  • “Florida Explores Life in Shadow of Disney,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    October 20, 2017. “Florida” Review
  • “Real-Life Underdog Tale in Marshall Shows Future Justice’s Legal Prowess,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, October 13, 2017. “Marshall” Review
  • “Lawyer Dad Handled the Investigation. His Director Son Made the Action Film,”
    Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, October 6, 2017. “American Made” Review
  • “Emma Stone Serves up Billie Jean King,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    September 29, 2017.“Battle of the Sexes” Review 
  • “A Bizarre Fever Dream of a Film in Mother!,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    September 22, 2017. “Mother” Review 
  • “Stiller’s Brad Reflects All of Us Good and Bad,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    September 15, 2017. “Brad’s Status” Review
  • “Visuals Eclipse Storytelling in Tulip Fever,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    September 8, 2017. “Tulip Fever” Review 
  • “Potholes and Plot Holes Abound in Good-Humored Crime Flick Logan Lucky,”
    Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, September 1, 2017. “Logan Lucky” Review
  • “Maudie Tale Built on Artist’s Own Escape,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    August 25, 2017. “Maudie” Review 
  • “Wind River Reveals Mystery Desolation on the Reservation,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, August 18, 2017. “Wind River” Review
  • “Don’t Take Grandma on This Girls Trip” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, August 11, 2017.
    “Girls Trip” Review
  • “Unapologetic In-Your-Face Atrocities retold in Detroit Spotlight Social Failure,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, August 4, 2017. “Detroit” Review 
  • “Unapologetically British Film Dunkirk Doesn’t Gamorize Warfare,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, July 28th, 2017. “Dunkirk” Review 
  • “War Flick in Apes Franchise Doesn’t Fit the Typical War Mold,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, July 21, 2017. “War for the Planet of the Apes” Review 
  • “The First Truly Trump-era Movie: Spider-Man,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    July 14, 2017. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” Review
  • “Baby Driver has Virtue Without Condescension,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    July 7, 2017. “Baby Driver” Review 
  • “Civil War Film Beguiled Gets Reimagined from New Point of View,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, June 30, 2017. “The Beguiled” Review 
  • “As Boomer Generation’s Stars Age Hero Shows Gray Can Still be Golden,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, June 23, 2017. “Hero” Review
  • “Jam-Packed Comic Cast Can’t Revive Rough Night,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    June 16, 2017. “Rough Night” Review
  • “Gadot’s Role Shows Rare Superhero Combo of Capability, Compassion,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, June 9, 2017. “Wonder Woman” Review
  • “Norman Could be Role of a Lifetime for Gere,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    June 2, 2017. “Norman” Review
  • “Don’t Look for Depth in Snatched But Find Some Laughs,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    May 26, 2017. “Snatched” Review
  • “The Gigantic Summer Blockbuster You Probably Haven’t Head of Yet,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, May 19, 2017. “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” Review 
  • “The Part That Follows Happily Ever After on Display in The Lovers.” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, May 12, 2017. “The Lovers” Review
  • “The Circle Taps into Surveillance Culture Angst,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    May 5, 2017.  “The Circle” Review 
  • “Is The Promise More a Wartime History Lesson or Love Story?,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, May 1, 2017. “The Promise” Review
  • “Adventurous Lost City Reflects on Legacy, Life’s Purpose,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    April 21, 2017. “The Lost City of Z” Review
  • “Zookeepers Wife Builds Strong Drama from a True Story,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    April 7, 2017. “Zookeepers Wife” Review 
  • “T2 Doesn’t Pack the Same Rush as its 1996 Precursor,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    March 31, 2017. “T2 Trainspotting” Review
  • “Disney Goes Deep in Beauty Redux,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, March 24, 2017.
    “Beauty and the Beast” Review 
  • “Peele Unleashes Serious Cinematic Skills in Get Out,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    March 3, 2017. “Get Out” Review 
  • “Indie Film Paterson Parallels Pee-Wee,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    January 13, 2017. “Paterson” Review
  • “Hidden Figures Tells an Inspiring History Left Untold,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, 
    January 6, 2017. “Hidden Figures” Review 
  • “Fences Makes Graceful Leap from Stage To Screen,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, December 30, 2016. “Fences” Review
  • “La La Land Revives a Musical Flim Genre,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    December 23, 2016. “La La Land” Review
  • “First Lady’s Private Grief Becomes Public in New Larrain Film,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, December16, 2016. “Jackie” Review
  • “Nocturnal Animals Effectively a Movie Within a Movie,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, December 9, 2016. “Nocturnal Animals” Review
  • “Manchester Lets the Other Affleck Brother Shine,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin,
    December 1, 2016. “Manchester by the Sea” Review
  • “Born from a Satirical Novel Billy Lynn Becomes a Sincere Film,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, November 25, 2016. “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” Review
  • “Loving less About Landmark Care More About Couple Behind it,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, November 18, 2016. “Loving” Review 

Publications: Legal

  • “Condominium Construction Finance,” Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2009.
  • “Economic Prosperity, Women and Access to Credit: Best Practices in the Financial Markets,” Co-authored with Glenn Yago and Judith GordonMilken Institute, October 4, 2000.
  • “The Bend in the River,” Milken Institute Review, 1999.
  • Member of the Club,” The American Lawyer, 1995.
  • “Ancillary Business Practices,” ABA Committee on Ethics and Professionalism Newsletter, 1993.
  • Freelance entertainment writer and book reviewer, Chicago Tribune, 2002.
  • Theater Critic, Chicago Reader.
  • Book, Film, and Theater Critic, New York Law Journal.

Practice Areas

  • Business Law
  • Education Law
  • Entertainment & Sports
  • Complex Litigation & Appeals
  • Real Estate


  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School
  • L.L.M., Real Estate, UIC Law School
  • B.A., Harvard College

Admissions and Qualifications

  • Illinois
  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • California
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Prior Experience

  • Hardwick Law Firm - Counsel
  • Draper & Kramer - Sr. Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary
  • MGM - Executive Vice President
  • White & Case - Attorney