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One of the world's oldest lawyers has died aged 97, only two months after celebrating his 75th year in practice.

Bernard Nath, a senior partner at Chicago firm Sonnenschein, was still clocking up a significant number of weekly billable hours right up until his death on 18 September.

He joined the firm in 1921, 15 years after it opened and immediately after graduating from the University of Chicago.

He was a prominent corporate and real estate specialist, and leaves a big impact on the city's skyline, having played a major role in the development of many of Chicago's skyscrapers. Nath also served on the boards of several Chicago companies.

Donald Lubin, chair of Sonnenschein, said: “We owe him a debt that can be honoured but never repaid for his role in building our firm. His guidance and inspiration will be missed.”

Chicago's mayor recently declared 18 July – the day Nath joined Sonnenschein – Bernard Nath day. After 70 years of marriage, Nath is survived by his widow, two daughters, six grandchildren and nine great-grand children.