This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2013
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FIRM OF THE YEAR - PRODUCT LIABILITY DEFENCE
Shook Hardy & Bacon is renowned worldwide for its product liability expertise. Founded in 1889 in Kansas City, the firm has established a reputation for being the “go-to firm” for defence counsel in the most challenging cases. The past year saw Shook Hardy & Bacon open its tenth office in Philadelphia to complement its existing offices throughout the US and Europe. The firm achieves 26 listings in our research across six practice areas including commercial litigation, environment, life sciences, employment and patents, as well as product liability defence demonstrating the breadth of the firm’s expertise.
|SHOOK HARDY & BACON LLP|
|TOTAL LISTINGS IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 26|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Commercial Litigation||2||Life Sciences||4|
|Labour & Employment||1||Product Liability Defence||17|
The firm enjoys an enviable reputation in product liability defence representing clients in the aviation, automobiles and machinery, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, electronics and fire protection equipment and pharmaceuticals and medical device industries. It is again recognised as the law firm of the year for product liability defence – an accolade it has been given every year since the award’s inception in 2005.
The firm’s significant representations include defending Philip Morris USA in smoking and health cases in Florida known as the Engle-Progeny litigation. Since the beginning of 2010, the firm has represented Philip Morris USA in 21 Engle-Progeny, 14 of which ended with defence verdicts. Furthermore, in three of the seven cases decided for the plaintiffs, juries assigned 50 per cent or more of the comparative fault to the smoker. In addition to the state trials, Shook Hardy & Bacon has secured three victories on behalf of Philip Morris in federal court.
We feature 17 practitioners from the firm in the product liability chapter, in addition to a further four listings in the life sciences: product liability section, attesting to the firm’s expertise in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. The Kansas City office is the best represented and fields eight practitioners including chair of the firm’s global product liability group Walter Cofer. Based in Kansas City, Cofer has handled cases throughout the US and in Argentina and Brazil. Sources praise his “astute legal mind”. Harvey L Kaplan is chair emeritus of the firm’s pharmaceutical and medical device litigation division and commands a “great deal of respect” in the legal marketplace. Known for his representation of clients in high profile pharmaceutical cases, Kaplan is an “esteemed practitioner” in the life sciences sector. With more than 24 years’ experience, Scott W Sayler is a “highly proficient” litigator focusing on representing product manufacturers and other defendants in product liability and commercial litigation cases. Marie S Woodbury has a “stellar” practice focusing on complex defence litigation and is “well known” in the pharmaceutical and medical device field earning her an additional listing in the life sciences chapter. The Washington, DC, office fields three practitioners including Victor E Schwartz, deemed a “terrific litigator” and “trusted adviser” on liability prevention. In Miami, Edward A Moss is singled out for his “outstanding trial skills”. Moss is particularly experienced in defending class action lawsuits and has acted in several smoking and health cases. Michelle M Fujimoto is based in the firm’s Irvine office and her expertise lies in defending clients in the pharmaceutical and medical device arenas. London-based Simon J Castley has worked extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East and is “highly sought after” by clients throughout the world. Alongside him, Sarah L Croft is listed in the life sciences chapter and is described as “very active” particularly in the pharmaceuticals field.
While the firm is best known for its product liability defence practice, it is a litigation “powerhouse”. The firm’s additional listings demonstrate the breadth of the firm’s litigation expertise.
In Miami, John Barkett is a “remarkable practitioner” with an “astounding level of knowledge” of environmental law. He is commended for helping parties to find an “agreeable settlement to all concerned”. DC-based William Martucci represents the firm in the management labour and employment chapter and is “renowned” for his work on employment discrimination and wage and hour litigation. Trent Webb features prominently in the patents chapter and is known for his “effective” representation of clients in patent litigation.
Shook Hardy & Bacon has recently bolstered its business litigation practice with seven lateral hires. The practice covers a wide range of matters including insurance, franchise, tax and securities litigation. At present, the commercial litigation chapter is home to two lawyers, Harvey Kaplan and Edward A Moss, recognised above for their product liability expertise.
The firm strongly believes in contributing to its communities and contributed nearly 20,000 total pro bono hours in 2012. Shook Hardy & Bacon is particularly active in child advocacy matters; since its establishment, the firm’s pro bono adoption programme has handled nearly 800 adoptions.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.