Shook, Hardy & Bacon  Professional Notice

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. Click here to view locations.

Shook’s success in these areas has captured the attention of many in the industry. WWL named Shook Product Liability Defence Firm of the Year for 16 years. In 2022, Shook was ranked again in Tier 1 of firms nationwide by Benchmark Litigation USA for Product Liability and Recall. BTI Consulting named Shook a “Product Liability Powerhouse” in 2023, for the fourth consecutive year, and Shook was named in the “Top 30” law firms serving the world’s largest clients in the BTI Client Service A-Team 2022 Survey. From 2019 - 2023, The Legal 500 has ranked Shook London among the UK’s top firms for its Product Liability - Defendant Practice, and Shook has been named one of Law360’s Product Liability Groups of the Year twice. The American Lawyer has also recognised the firm twice for its Product Liability Litigation Department of the Year Award. In addition, Shook has repeatedly been named in the IP Law & Business ranking surveys “Who Protects Innovation in America?” and “Top Guardians of the IP Nest”. In 2022, Chambers USA gave top rankings to Shook’s Product Liability, Litigation, Environmental, Insurance, Intellectual Property, Labour and Employment, Privacy and Data Security, and e-Discovery capabilities. Shook earned four National Tier 1 rankings in the U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers in America® 2023 “Best Law Firms” in Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Patent, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, and Patent Law.

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 past 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. Shook’s Cannabis Law Practice draws on the experience of more than 30 attorneys to help national and multinational companies consider risk from multiple angles in this emerging arena. In 2021, Shook launched a Technology Transactions Practice, offering counselling to high-tech companies on intellectual property transactions. 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. The firm’s growth reflects increased demand for the services offered. In 2021, Shook opened two new offices, one in New York and the other in St. Louis, and in 2022 Shook opened an office in Hartford, Connecticut, to expand the firm to 18 locations.

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). Shook has been rated in the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign for the 14th consecutive year. External recognition of measurable commitment occurs annually. In 2022, Shook achieved Mansfield Rule Certification 5.0. The certification measured and confirmed the firm’s commitment to promoting or appointing at least 30% historically underrepresented lawyers to leadership roles. Also in 2022 – for the 12th 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. In 2020, Shook launched The Honorable Jon Gray Lawyers Leadership Academy to develop and promote ethnically diverse attorneys within the legal profession.


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 short-list 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.