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, including The American Lawyer, which recognised the firm as its Product Liability Litigation Department of the Year in 2012 and 2008, as well as a finalist in its 2010 and 2016 contests. For 13 consecutive years, Shook has also been named the Product Liability Defence Law Firm of the Year by WWL; and Shook was named one of Law360’s Product Liability Groups of the Year in 2015 and 2016. The firm has repeatedly been named in the IP Law & Business rankings “Who Protects Innovation in America?” and “Top Guardians of the IP Nest”. The National Law Journal selected IP litigation co-chair Trent Webb as a Winning Litigator in 2017.
Main areas of practice: Shook is known for its abilities and expertise in litigation – more than 90 per cent of its attorneys are litigators, and many have advanced degrees in health and sciences fields. The firm has represented leading international companies in a variety of industries, including tobacco, pharmaceutical and medical devices, technology, chemicals and automotive. In the past three years alone, Shook lawyers have tried nearly 100 cases to verdict 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, and currently represents the largest US tobacco company as lead trial counsel in its pending litigation. In recent years, the firm has leveraged its complex product liability litigation expertise 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. 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: Led by chair Madeleine McDonough, Shook stands out for its commitment to diversity in the workplace and its inclusive culture. Women or diverse lawyers, offering creative problem solving, advise nearly half of the firm’s top 65 clients. In 2019, Shook announced its new partners, which were comprised of nearly fifty per cent women or diverse lawyers. External recognition of measurable commitment occurs nearly 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 among the ranks of the most highly compensated partners.
Clients: 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.