Karen P. Layng
Chief Strategic Officer, General Counsel of Scheck Industries and Secretary to the Board

As Chief Strategic Officer, Karen is focused on strategic growth of the companies and project development opportunities.  As the General Counsel, she manages all legal functions and serves as the corporate Secretary to the Boards of all the operating companies. Before joining Scheck Industries in 2013, Karen was the Chair of the Construction Law group at Vedder Price, in Chicago, having served as the Firm’s chair of the Litigation practice area, as a long-term member of its Board of Directors and as chair of the Compensation Committee. She is a member of the AAA Panel of Arbitrators for commercial, construction disputes, joint venture, merger and acquisition disputes.


Karen serves on the 7th Circuit Civil Pattern Jury Instructions Committee and is Co-Chair of the ABA Construction Litigation Committee. She served as a member of the Leading Lawyers Network Advisory Board and has been selected by her peers as a Leading Lawyer in the areas of construction law and commercial litigation from 2004 to 2014. She was included on the Leading Lawyers Network’s “Top Ten Real Estate-Related Lawyers” list in 2012, the “Top 50 Real Estate-Related Women Lawyers” list from 2009 to 2013 and the “Top 100 Women Business Lawyers” list from 2008 to 2010. She was also featured in the Real Estate, Construction & Environmental Edition of Leading Lawyers Magazine in 2010, as well as the Women’s Edition in 2009.

Karen has been ranked in Chambers USA in the Illinois Construction category and has been recommended in the Legal 500 United States. She was the first woman President of the 7th Circuit Bar Association and is a member of the Economic and Executives Club of Chicago, as well as a member of the Executive Advisors to the Metropolitan Planning Council of Chicago. Karen is a frequent speaker and writer on construction and ethics topics and has served as a faculty member for all the ABA’s Forum on the Construction Industry Trial Academies.


Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Construction Litigation Committee and member of the Construction Forum

Past President, former Secretary and current member of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association

Member of the National Board of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.

Immediate past President and Board Chair, Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Girl Scouts Council (4 years)

Recent Speaking Engagements

Panelist, AAA Construction Conference in New York: Navigating the Unique Aspects of Construction Arbitration, June 22, 2017, “How to Effectively Deal with the 300 Change Order Dispute

Panelist, ABA Forum on Construction Law Webinar, December 14, 2016, “What Advocates Can Learn from Walking in an Arbitrator’s Shoes”

Panelist, Construction Super Conference in Las Vegas, December 6, 2016, “Modern Challenges and Ethical Dilemmas at Arbitration”

Panelist, AAA Construction Conference, April 1, 2016, “Ahead of Schedule and Under Budget”

Panelist, ABA Section Annual Conference in New Orleans, April 16, 2015, “A Litigator’s Guide to Arbitration

Panelist, Construction Super Conference in Las Vegas, December 3, 2014, “Ethical Pitfalls of Electronic Communication

Panelist (with Marathon Petroleum) “Ethical and Other Considerations Relating to Electronic Discovery,” ILTA Annual Conference, June 2, 2014

Panelist, “Negotiating Effectively and Ethically: The ‘How-To’ of Civil Settlements and Criminal Plea Bargains,” Seventh Circuit Bar Association & Judicial Conference of the Seventh Circuit, May 6, 2013