Shook Partners Re-Elect Madeleine McDonough as Chair

Premier trial firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon has re-elected Madeleine McDonough for a second, five-year term as chair effective January 1, 2022.  McDonough is nationally known in the legal community as a trusted advisor, experienced firm leader and litigation trailblazer. She began her first term as chair January 1, 2017, after 26 years with the firm.

“I thank my colleagues for the continued opportunity to lead our firm,” said Shook Chair Madeleine McDonough. “My priorities as chair are to continue to deliver A+ legal services, anticipate our clients’ needs, and provide them with unparalleled excellent advice and counsel.”

Shook was recently recognized as one of the Top 30 law firms in the country by BTI Consulting Group in its annual client service survey. Shook entered the top tier of the annual list for the first time since BTI began conducting the survey 20 years ago. As Brennan Torregrossa, senior vice president and head of global litigation with GSK noted, “Madeleine is one of our most trusted lawyers. We turn to her to handle our most challenging issues in our most challenging cases. It is no surprise that her law firm partners have entrusted her with leading the firm again.”

“We have been laser-focused on guiding our clients through a tumultuous year,” said McDonough. “Our attorneys exceeded the expectations of clients who were facing unprecedented challenges and retooled to advise clients in new and different ways.” 

Under her leadership, the firm has added offices in Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, and New York and attracted key laterals to focus on class actions, international arbitration, intellectual property and high-stakes environmental work. McDonough is a strong advocate for initiatives such as Shook Scholars, a mentoring program to help diverse law students navigate the legal industry, and The Honorable Jon Gray Lawyers Leadership Academy, which helps develop and transition the next generation of ethnically and racially diverse Shook lawyers into firm leaders who will serve clients in key roles.

“Madeleine is an exemplary leader whose bold vision, innovation and courage has propelled the firm to remarkable achievements in diversity, equity and inclusion, and market leadership in product liability and trial capabilities,” said Sandra Phillips Rogers, who serves as group vice president, general counsel, chief legal officer and chief diversity officer of Toyota Motor North America, Inc. “In the 25 years I have known Madeleine, she has delivered outstanding client service and has been relentlessly dedicated to sustaining a firm culture where members can reach their fullest potential.  I wish Madeleine all the best in her second term as chair and offer her my heartfelt congratulations and full support.”

McDonough serves on the board of directors for the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP), a national organization composed of law firm leaders who are committed to understanding and addressing the reality of diversity in today’s legal profession.

“While Madeleine is clearly a well-respected leader by her Shook colleagues, she is also an inspiring leader in the broader legal profession for her commitment to and work on behalf of efforts to make the legal profession more diverse, equitable and inclusive,” said Sandra Yamate, the chief executive officer for IILP. “She says the things that lawyers who are women, come from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, are LGBTQ+, and/or have disabilities, not only want to hear but need to hear from law firm leaders.”

McDonough brings more than three decades of experience at Shook to her role as chair. She has served on Shook’s Executive Committee for 15 years and previously led the firm’s Pharmaceutical and Medical Device practice. During her tenure, Shook has represented dozens of major pharmaceutical clients, including each of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies worldwide – Pfizer Inc., GlaxoSmithKline and Bayer, among them.

Before her legal career, McDonough worked as a clinical pharmacist, and she obtained an LLM in Global Health Law from Georgetown Law Center many years ago.  This science and health background guides her representation of pharmaceutical, medical device, and food and cosmetics manufacturers in product liability, regulatory and related issues, and has proved useful in evaluating pandemic-related analyses and mitigation measures. McDonough also previously co-chaired the firm’s Agribusiness and Food Safety and Life Sciences and Biotechnology teams.

McDonough has been widely recognized for both her litigation experience and contributions to the legal profession. In 2019, McDonough received the Women, Influence & Power in Law Award for Innovative Leadership from Corporate Counsel/In-House Counsel magazine. The National Law Journal named her among the nation’s top 50 “Litigation Trailblazers and Pioneers” in its inaugural class. Other honors include:

  • The Legal 500 United States
  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Who’s Who Legal, Product Liability Defense, Life Sciences
  • Life Science Star, LMG Sciences

McDonough earned her juris doctorate from the University of Kansas and an LL.M. in global health law from Georgetown University Law Center.