Shook, Hardy & Bacon has long been recognised as one of the premier litigation defence firms in the country. Shook has represented companies in the science, health, technology and consumer goods sectors in their most substantial national and international product liability, mass tort and complex litigation matters for more than 130 years.
Shook’s success in these areas has captured the attention of many in the industry. WWL has named Shook Product Liability Defence Firm of the Year in every one of 14 years that this category has been running, most recently in 2019. In 2020, BTI Consulting named Shook a “Product Liability Powerhouse”; it is one of only two firms in the US to receive this ranking. Also in 2020, The Legal 500 ranked Shook London among the UK’s top 10 firms for its product liability - defendant practice, ranking it in band two for the second consecutive year. Shook was named one of Law360’s Product Liability Groups of the Year in 2015 and 2016. The American Lawyer has twice recognised the firm for its Product Liability Litigation Department of the Year Award. Shook has repeatedly been named in the IP Law & Business ranking surveys “Who Protects Innovation in America?” and “Top Guardians of the IP Nest”. Managing Intellectual Property recognised seven Shook partners in 2020 as “IP Stars” in areas including patent litigation, copyright law and counselling.
Main areas of practice
Shook is known for its abilities and success in litigation – more than 90 per cent of its attorneys are litigators, and many have advanced degrees in the health and sciences fields. The firm has represented leading international companies in a variety of industries, including pharmaceutical and medical devices, technology, chemicals and automotive. In the last five years alone, Shook lawyers have tried more than 100 first chair trials in state and federal courts, successfully defending clients against claims involving product liability, environmental and toxic tort, patent infringement, labour and employment and other claims. Shook has represented the industry’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturers for more than 40 years. The firm has also represented US cigarette manufacturers in product liability litigation continuously since 1957. In recent years, the firm has leveraged its complex product liability litigation experience to build substantial national practices in intellectual property, environmental and toxic tort litigation, data security and privacy, employment litigation, commercial litigation, regulatory counselling and public policy. In 2019, Shook launched its cannabis law practice, which draws on the experience of more than 30 attorneys across its 15 offices to help national and multinational companies consider risk from multiple angles in this emerging arena. While product liability remains a core strength and a growth area for the firm, practice diversification has allowed Shook to offer a variety of innovative solutions to regulatory and compliance challenges as well.
Champions for diversity
Shook stands out for its commitment to diversity in the workplace and its inclusive culture. The firm is led by chair Madeleine McDonough, who is on the board of directors for the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP). In 2020, Shook announced its new partners, 50 per cent being women lawyers. External recognition of measurable commitment occurs almost annually. For the ninth year in a row, Shook received the Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF). The award grants the certification to major law firms that meet objective criteria for the number of women equity partners, the number of women in firm leadership positions, and women among the ranks of the most highly compensated partners. Shook was also recognised by Vault as a top-ranked firm for women, sitting among the nation’s most prestigious law firms.
Shook has represented nearly three-quarters of the Fortune 100. The firm’s clients include global industry leaders who demand proven legal strategies. As a result, the firm has developed long-standing relationships with many of its clients. “There is no shortlist for national counsel of a major pharmaceutical company that doesn’t include Shook,” said the former general counsel of one of the nation’s leading pharmaceutical companies in an article on Shook. Another client added that Shook attorneys litigate like they’re going to trial, but not unnecessarily. “If a matter does end up going to trial, they’ll be in the best possible position to defend it,” the Shook client told the ABA Journal.