Madeleine McDonough Elected as Chair of Shook, Hardy & Bacon

June 14, 2016 12:44 PM
Madeleine McDonough

Madeleine McDonough, a partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon, has been elected by the firm's partners to a five-year term as chair. Shook is nationally recognized as a preeminent firm for complex litigation, particularly in science, medicine, and technology; McDonough, a former clinical pharmacist, is widely known in the legal community as a trusted advisor, experienced firm leader, and litigation trailblazer.

McDonough’s term will begin on January 1, 2017. A 26-year veteran of the firm, she will succeed John Murphy, who has led Shook for the past 15 years. In 2010, at the beginning of his third term, Murphy announced he would not serve beyond 2016. Over the next six months, Murphy and McDonough will collaborate on a transition plan to ensure Shook maintains and grows its position as a go-to firm for complex, high-stakes matters.

“It has been a wonderful 15-year run, and I am excited to turn the reins over to an individual who is well-equipped to lead Shook into the future,” Murphy said. “Madeleine is a star, and I am excited to see what she will accomplish.”

McDonough: Biography and Highlights

McDonough has considerable leadership experience; she is serving in her 10th year on the Shook Executive Committee and chairs the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Division, the largest practice group of its kind. 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; this scientific background guides her representation of pharmaceutical, medical device, food and cosmetics manufacturers in product liability, regulatory and related issues. McDonough also co-chairs the firm’s Agribusiness and Food Safety and Life Sciences and Biotechnology teams.

“I believe Shook is the best law firm for products – from concept and discovery to intellectual property, business and litigation issues, and environmental needs,” McDonough said. “My first priority as chair will be to continue our focus on state-of-the-art legal services, to ensure Shook remains the best law firm for serving clients’ needs now and as challenges evolve and expand.”

McDonough has been widely recognized for both her litigation expertise and contributions to the legal profession; The National Law Journal named her among the nation’s top 50 “Litigation Trailblazers and Pioneers” in its inaugural 2014 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.

From a client perspective, “Madeleine is all that you could want from a modern lawyer,” said Joseph Spagnardi, executive vice president, legal and compliance at Shionogi Inc. “What really sets her apart is that she is a deeply experienced listener, an extraordinary assessor of priorities and a trusted advisor and confidant.”

Malini Moorthy, vice president and associate general counsel at Bayer Corp., said McDonough was “a true visionary and trusted counsel…She weaves together seemingly disparate objectives to achieve long-term solutions not only for her clients but for the industry – and does so with equal measures of passion and grace.”

PD Villarreal, senior vice president for global litigation at GlaxoSmithKline, described McDonough as “one of the finest lawyers I have ever worked with –brilliant, innovative, with enormous integrity.

“Shook has made a fine choice.”

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