This year’s research into the product liability defence market sees 620 practitioners listed in our guide for their excellence representing and advising manufacturers and sellers against claims for damages or injuries suffered because of defects in goods.
The Global Elite Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.
Who’s Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.
Global Elite Thought Leaders
Mark Behrens gains plaudits as “a national leader in tort reform” and is highlighted for his profound expertise in product liability law and defence litigation proceedings.
The “excellent” Michelle Fujimoto is well known for her strong practice, which sees her represent clients on issues concerning pharmaceutical and medical device claims.
William Sampson is a seasoned practitioner, widely known for his outstanding work on product liability and commercial class actions proceedings.
Scott Sayler is an extremely experienced litigator with over 30 years’ experience of high-value disputes in the life sciences, pharmaceutical and medical device sectors.
Madeleine McDonough is commended for her brilliant work on such issues as pharmaceutical and environmental litigation.
Michael Healy gains recognition for his considerable and impressive experience as a trial lawyer, enabling a highly accomplished practice.
Frank Rothrock receives vociferous praise for representing clients on complex matters such as pharmaceutical and medical device product litigation.
Sara Gourley is praised as a trailblazer who has “done an awful lot in the field”, and is distinguished among peers for her tremendous work as a product liability litigator.
Maja Eaton is a respected and “very well-known” practitioner, with a superb track record defending and trying a wide variety of product liability cases.
Debra Pole possesses vast experience in product liability litigation, and demonstrates considerable flair in handling mass torts across a variety of sectors.
James Beck possesses an enviable practice and continues to garner strong praise for the sheer breadth of his knowledge around drug and pharmaceutical claims.
Michael Brown stands out in the market as an accomplished trial lawyer with experience handling complex product liability and commercial disputes.
Stephen Scheve is an excellent lawyer with significant experience in defending clients on claims within the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors.
Stephen McConnell gains recognition for his impressive practice which sees him defending companies in high-value class actions.
Donald (Fritz) Zimmer Jr is “outstanding” and “extremely recommended” for his fantastic work defending clients in high-profile pharmaceutical, medical devices and environmental/toxic substances litigation.
Lana Varney is highly sought after for her long-standing experience as national counsel for several international companies in the global drug and medical device sectors.
Chilton Davis Varner has amassed considerable experience in the field and adeptly advises on product liability, business torts, contracts and other commercial disputes.
Sheila Boston is a “very motivated practitioner” who is lauded for her “tremendous depth of experience” in product liability litigation and class action cases.
Pamela Yates is recommended for her great proficiency as a trial lawyer in product liability cases. She is a “great lawyer” with strong experience handling litigation and class action work.
Lori Leskin is an “excellent attorney in the life science space” and highly adept in all aspects of product liability litigation.
Nancy Erfle is a distinguished lawyer with considerable experience representing a diverse range of clients in product claims, including several mass tort cases.
Jack McCowan Jr is very well regarded as a “hardworking and highly competent lawyer” with a very impressive litigation practice.
Laura De Santos is a notable name in the Texan market, endorsed for her superb skills as a litigator.
David Dukes receives high praise from sources who remark, “He would be on the list of the top five lawyers to call if you were a product manufacturer with a tough case.”
John Kuppens is a highly capable litigator with considerable experience offering clients crucial advice and representation across the consumer and mechanical products sectors, among others.
Marc Williams has extensive experience representing clients in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, proving himself a go-to practitioner for disputes in this area.
James Rogers is a long-standing figure in the market who stands out for his extensive experience in high-profile pharmaceutical and medical devices litigation.
Gordon McKee is an “exceptionally good practitioner” and a “dean of the bar”, who “well respected” for his “very strong practical approach”.
James Sullivan QC is an “excellent litigator with a lot of experience”, considered by some to be “absolutely the best”.
Robin Linley is highly sought after as an “excellent litigator” and a “next-generation leader”.
Tripp Haston receives widespread praise for his first-rate practice and is recognised as “one of the leaders in pharmaceutical litigation”.
Charles "Chuck" Stewart III is singled out for his “terrific practice”, with an impressed peer labelling him as “one of the best product lawyers in the country”.
Lela Hollabaugh is actively involved in mass tort cases and individual lawsuits where she represents leading pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in product liability matters.
Other leading individuals
Fasken’s Peter Pliszka is the “correct choice for this list”, as an “exceptional lawyer” who is “well respected” for his leading work on product liability claims across a range of matters from medical devices to food.
Steven Rosenhek is a “real international lawyer who is able to coordinate and manage teams all over the world with a lot of charm, skills and experience”.
Scott Maidment at McMillan is “well respected” for his impressive experience handling product liability litigation before all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.
Mary Thomson at Gowling WLG is a “very smart and experienced litigator”, highly adept in his handling of major class actions and mass tort litigation.
Glenn Zakaib of Borden Ladner Gervais is a “sophisticated lawyer”, renowned for “managing excellent cases” and providing “great results”.
Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore’s Quentin Urquhart Jr has an excellent reputation in the product liability market for his exceptional work on litigation relating to pharmaceuticals, consumer fraud and tort.
Kim Moore is a prominent name with extensive experience representing clients on issues such as pharmaceutical and medical device claims.
Christy Jones at Butler Snow is an outstanding product liability specialist with over 30 years’ experience handling complex cases.
Dechert’s Mark Cheffo is a “superstar lawyer” who impresses with his “extremely thorough practice”. One peer calls him the “best lawyer I have ever seen argue a Daubert motion”.
Sheila Birnbaum is a “leading attorney in product liability” and is regarded as the “queen of tort and pharmaceuticals”.
Molly Hood Craig of Hood Law Firm enjoys a stellar reputation in the market for her “outstanding” practice which focuses on pharmaceutical and medical device litigation.
At McDowell Knight Roedder & Sledge, Edward Sledge III is a long-standing fixture in the market whose world-class practice encompasses liability claims related to construction and aviation.
Archibald Reeves IV is highly respected for his deep expertise in a number of areas including pharmaceutical and medical device and class action cases.
Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum’s Tarek Ismail is a “superb litigator and strong trial lawyer” who is “very recommended” by peers for his exceptional work with pharmaceutical clients.
Andrew Goldman is recognised as a “star” for the breadth of his experience as a trial lawyer in complex product liability claims
At Campbell Conroy & O’Neil James Campbell has a “tremendous reputation as a great trial lawyer” and is known for his “excellent” products-focused practice.
Joseph O’Neil is recognised for his vast experience in representing a wide range of pharmaceutical, medical devise and automotive clients in high-profile cases.
Venable’s Bruce Parker continues to impress market commentators with his exceptional practice which focuses on pharmaceutical and medical device product liability.
Craig Thompson is celebrated as “one of the top trial lawyers” in the country. He is “wonderful in front of a jury”, and is revered for his “top-notch” practice and his impressive knowledge of technology.
R Bruce Barze Jr of Barze Taylor Noles Lowther is a “terrific practitioner”, renowned for his “outstanding” handling of product liability cases in the automotive industry.
At Foliart Huff Ottaway & Bottom Amy Sherry Fischer is praised for her “excellent practice” which covers drug and medical product-related liability claims.
Larry Ottaway is held in high esteem for his well-established practice, which focuses on civil litigation involving product liability.
Lederer Weston Craig’s Gregory Lederer wins praise from sources thanks to his expert representation of clients in complex product liability litigation.
J Michael Weston is “one of the top lawyers in the state” when it comes to handling product liability and insurance-related litigation proceedings.
Lyn Pruitt at Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard has made a name for herself as a “a great trial lawyer” and is applauded for her “really strong” product liability practice.
Spencer Silverglate of Clarke Silverglate focuses his standout practice on defending high-stakes personal injury and product liability claims.
Neil Goldberg at Goldberg Segalla is renowned as a “leading member of the products bar” for his vast experience defending product liability in pharmaceutical, medical device, trucking and toxic tort cases.
Charles Cohen of Hughes Hubbard & Reed gains endorsements for his fantastic ability to “manage an international team and coordinate global strategy”. He is also lauded as the “master of the discovery process” and applauded for his “excellent advocacy in discovery disputes”.
Watkins & Eager’s Stephanie Rippee is “very active in the field” with “a terrific reputation regionally”. She is endorsed for her “sharp legal mind” and is “a natural and strong leader”.
Walter Johnson is a “great trial lawyer” who is “very respected in the bar” with one impressed respondent stating they “think the world of him”.
The “outstanding” Mary Wells of Wells Anderson & Race gains recognition for being extremely proficient in complex litigation and handling product liability cases.
The “excellent” Philip Beck at Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott is distinguished for his ability to assist clients in a range of high-profile product liability and mass tort cases.
At Tucker Ellis, Sherry Knutson enjoys a stellar reputation in the market as “one of the best out there” for her work in product liability and toxic tort cases.
The distinguished James Mizgala gains plaudits as an “expert on science issues” with a highly visible practice.
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom’s John Beisner is roundly praised by sources as a “true leader in the field”, gaining commendation as a “top player in class action” cases.
The “unbelievably smart” Jessica Miller is hailed by one interviewee as “a fantastic lawyer” thanks to her outstanding track record in the defence of class actions and other complex civil litigation.
Andrew Chamberlin at Ellis & Winters is admired for his first-class product liability litigation practice which sees him appearing in court as counsel for a range of entities.
Malcolm Wheeler of Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell is a “first-rate lawyer” who focuses his impressive practice on product liability and class action lawsuits.
Christopher Scott D’Angelo at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads is acclaimed for his excellent work as counsel for multinational and national businesses in a range of product liability litigation. One impressed source notes, “He is one of the best I know.”
Cary Hiltgen of Hiltgen & Brewer enjoys a stellar reputation for his outstanding practice, and is distinguished as “probably the most active product liability defence counsel in Oklahoma”.
Greenberg Traurig’s Lori Cohen stands out as “one of the country’s leading lawyers”. She is deemed “the best in the business” when it comes to trying cases, and is praised for her “strategic, methodical and practical” approach.
Bruce Cranner of Talley Anthony Hughes & Knight is an “excellent trial lawyer” with “a great mind”, and is commended for his wealth of experience in “providing fabulous counsel to his clients”.
Jeffrey Holmstrand at Grove Holmstrand & Delk is a celebrated practitioner with experience handling product liability in various industries, including medicines, tobacco and motor vehicles.
Douglas Marvin at Williams & Connolly is much admired as “one of the best out there” by peers in the market. He is endorsed as a “terrific strategist” and for his “exceptional practice”.
At Weil Gotshal & Manges, Diane Sullivan is a prominent name in the market and is held in high esteem as an “incredible trial lawyer”.
The “outstanding” Kannon Shanmugam at Paul Weiss is lauded as “simply the most talented younger lawyer I have ever known” by one impressed peer. He also gains plaudits for his “very strong advocacy” which contributes to his “brilliant practice”.
Global Elite Thought Leaders
“Superstar” Ina Brock continues to be “a leading light in this sector” and gains plaudits as the “undisputed leader of the bar”. She is hailed as a “a top-notch super lawyer” and is “superb at all aspects of litigation”.
The “extremely good” John Meltzer is the “dean of the English products market”. He is ranked among the “leading lawyers in this area” and credited with “decades of experience”, with peers adding: “He is a pleasure to work with.”
Christian Di Mauro is an “excellent lawyer”, endorsed for his attentiveness to the needs of his clients when assisting them on a range of product liability issues.
Christine Gateau is “a smart and great lawyer” who demonstrates a “truly international approach to clients” and continuously offers “superb advice”.
Sebastian Lach is renowned for his “very smart” work coordinating various product safety and product liability cases relating to more than 70 countries.
Francesca Rolla is held in high esteem as an “excellent litigator and a skilled defensive strategist” in the product liability space.
The “excellent” Emmanuèle Lutfalla possesses an enviable practice and is acclaimed as an “expert” in the product liability market.
Sylvie Gallage-Alwis “is a star in the international world”. She is recognised as a “well-connected expert” and a “wonderfully bright and enthusiastic” lawyer.
Thomas Rouhette has established himself as “a leading expert in this area for decades” due to his “excellent” work on complex product liability proceedings.
Other leading individuals
Daniela Karollus-Bruner of CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte has a highly impressive practice, and advises a wide range of clients in complex product liability defence.
Rod Freeman at Cooley is “well known in the field” and has gained a reputation as “one of the best product practitioners in the UK” for his excellent product safety and regulatory work, particularly in the tech space.
Ian Dodds-Smith at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer is praised by sources who credit him with an “excellent reputation” in complex product liability cases, as well as unparalleled knowledge in the field.
Shook Hardy & Bacon International’s Sarah Croft is an “expert in the field of product liability litigation”. She is “very knowledgeable about a broad range of medical device products” and has the ability to “act proactively and provide in-depth analyses”.
Bill Perry of Carter Perry Bailey is an established player in the product liability market. He is “very well known” and “highly thought of” thanks to his 30 years of experience.
John Blain at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is “very experienced with great judgement, and well attuned to picking up on matters of strategic importance to clients”. He is “a true top-notch lawyer” who impresses peers with his ability to “skilfully manage high-profile cases”.
Jacques-Antoine Robert of Simmons & Simmons has a stellar reputation as “a living legend” in the space and is highlighted as a “superb and very experienced litigator” who is “very pleasant” to work with.
Henning Moelle at Taylor Wessing is “highly visible in the German market” and maintains his reputation as “a fantastic lawyer” for product liability litigation and product safety law.
The “excellent” Anton Maurer of Anton Maurer International Legal Services is highly respected by peers who endorse him for his “specialisation in commercial law and contract drafting”.
Roddy Bourke at McCann FitzGerald is regarded as a “leading individual in the field” by market sources. He gains plaudits for the global nature of his practice and has “great international connections”.
Alessandro Giorgetti of Studio Legale Giorgetti is exalted by sources as an “excellent and very smart lawyer” with a wealth of experience in product liability claims.
Ewa Rutkowska at KRK Kieszkowska Rutkowska Kolasinski is “absolutely fantastic” and gains high praise as the “best Polish product liability defence counsel” and a “true leader of the bar”.
“The brilliant” Joanna Fulton from Burness Paull is the “go-to person” in the market. Peers highlight that she is extremely hardworking and “meticulous about every detail”. She is also “really admired by her clients”.
Jodok Wicki at CMS von Erlach Poncet is recognised for the breadth of his experience in product liability cases, as well as his strong dispute resolution, litigation and international arbitration practice.
Global Elite Thought Leaders
The “excellent” Colin Loveday is a “fabulous attorney” and “a leading light in this field”. Sources note, “He works on the highest-profile matters in product liability litigation internationally.”
Ross McInnes is recognised this year for his impressive work and is lauded as an “expert in this sector, who boasts an international network”.
Greg Williams is a “very smart, experienced lawyer”, applauded for his excellence in class action litigation and product liability claims.
Andrew Morrison is acclaimed for his top-notch commercial litigation practice and his impeccable track record in complex product liability class actions.
Other leading individuals
Stuart Clark AM at SSC Advisory is a prominent name in the market and held in high esteem for his impressive practice, which is built on more than 35 years’ experience.
Ariel Ye at King & Wood Mallesons receives strong endorsement from peers who rate her as “one of the most brilliant lawyers in China” due to her fantastic international practice.
Eugene Chen at Allen & Overy is a “sophisticated practitioner” who impresses sources with his adept ability to “properly resolve technology cases”.
Akihiro Hironaka from Nishimura & Asahi is a “superb litigator”, highlighted for “his excellent handling of the biggest, most media-covered products litigation in Japan”.
Mikio Tanaka at City-Yuwa Partners is recognised for his extensive experience representing clients on pharmaceutical, healthcare and automotive matters, among others.
Brian Oh from Kim & Chang is “highly recommended” by sources for his strong skills as an international litigator and his in-depth knowledge on product safety and regulatory frameworks.