Environmental and Toxic Tort Lawyers Launch Shook St. Louis

Fresh from opening a New York City office and expanding in Seattle, Shook, Hardy & Bacon broadens its national reach with the addition of a St. Louis office effective June 3, 2021. A large group of premier, high-stakes environmental and toxic tort trial lawyers will launch the new St. Louis location joining Shook’s nationally recognized Environmental and Toxic Tort Litigation Practice. The firm welcomes ten lawyers, including five partners, an of counsel, four associates and five paralegals who focus primarily on environmental and toxic tort litigation for a wide variety of Fortune 100 companies covering all environmental media – whether air,  land, groundwater or surface water – as well as premises liability exposure claims.

“We have navigated the pandemic time period well, and we have started 2021 full steam ahead in the Northeast, Northwest and now Midwest,” stated Shook Chair Madeleine McDonough whom partners just re-elected for a second five-year term. “Shook’s growth is based on proactively delivering creative solutions to their challenges and needs.”

The five St. Louis Partners Drey Cooley, Lisa DeBord, Michael Cromwell, Adam Miller and Sue Werstak all hail from the same St. Louis firm. They bring decades of experience in the courtroom gaining successful results for clients in high-stakes litigation.

“We are hitting the ground running,” stated incoming Partner Adam Miller. “As soon as we start, we will be side by side with Shook lawyers trying a lawsuit for the same marquee client. We look forward this continued collaboration; we have worked with Shook attorneys for many years and know of Shook’s stellar trial reputation firsthand.”

Led by Mark Anstoetter and Dave Erickson, Shook’s Environmental and Toxic Tort Litigation Practice (ETT) handles the most difficult, contentious and complex environmental and toxic tort litigation and regulatory counseling to protect clients’ business interests. Shook ETT lawyers have successfully handled environmental and toxic tort litigation cases in state and federal courts, and administrative tribunals across the county. Shook added a prominent group of ETT lawyers in Philadelphia and Boston in 2019, as well as key hires in Orange County and other existing offices. The practice has more than doubled in a little over the last two years.

“It’s rewarding to build a practice based on what our clients need and to be part of the growth and expansion to new geographic areas,” said ETT Chairs Mark Anstoetter and Dave Erickson. “With a well-funded organized plaintiffs’ bar and increased government regulation, we’re keenly aware of the issues and challenges impacting our clients. The growth of our practice group in the last two decades reflects our commitment to meet our clients’ needs throughout the Unites States.”

New ETT associates joining Shook include Rachel Berland, Katie Landfried, Chelsea Mannery, and Kayla Solomon. Daniel Blakey, of counsel, will practice from Shook’s Los Angeles office.

Incoming Partner Sue Werstak was on her first trial team with Shook lawyers decades ago. Not only is she excited about collaborating with Shook’s highly recognized trial team, she looks forward to being part of the Shook culture which is committed to meaningful diversity and inclusion efforts.

“Madeleine has set the tone for Shook’s inclusive environment and every practice group is so collaborative,” stated Werstak. “It’s refreshing to see the various women leaders at Shook starting at the very top. Our group is excited about the move.”

In January, Shook announced the addition of a New York office and in May added a group of technology transactions IP lawyers to Seattle.

“We’ve had a busy start to 2021 and we anticipate even more growth,” McDonough said.