Kansas City-based Shook Hardy & Bacon is a top litigation
practice where big names turn for representation in bet-the-company
cases. The firm is also known for its innovative fee structures,
and has been recognized for providing top-notch representation at a
good value to clients.
Founded in 1889 by attorney Frank Sebree, a former Missouri
state legislator, Shook Hardy & Bacon handled railroad work and
went after local political corruption in the firm's early years.
The firm has been around long enough to have played a part in Wild
West outlaw lore-one of the firm's early partners, Henry McDougal,
helped a wealthy farmer file a civil lawsuit against famed bandits
Jesse and Frank James after they stole his horse at gunpoint after
robbing a bank.
Later, famed trial lawyer David Hardy joined the firm, tackling
the first anti-smoking suit in Missouri as lead counsel for Philip
Morris in 1962. Hardy's performance in that case attracted
attention from the rest of the industry-five of the six largest
tobacco companies eventually hired the firm to helm their
litigation defense. The firm quickly gained a reputation for being
incredibly thorough in pre-trial investigation and preparation and
soon after was tapped by the pharmaceutical and medical device
industry for its litigation expertise, which was followed by the
automotive industry looking to Shook for litigation defense
Shook Hardy & Bacon has since grown exponentially in the
last few decades thanks in large part to its successes on behalf of
tobacco, pharmaceutical and medical device and automotive
companies, but also more recently for its growth into intellectual
property, environmental and toxic tort, and labor and employment
litigation. In 1990 the firm had just 155 lawyers, but by 2008 it
had more than 500-with nearly 120 attorneys devoting their practice
to intellectual property and environmental and toxic tort law.
Although it now has offices in Texas, California, Florida,
Pennsylvania, Washington, DC and abroad in Switzerland and England,
Shook Hardy & Bacon still calls Kansas City its home. Both
local and national publications ranging from The American
Lawyer to the Kansas City Business Journal have given
accolades to the firm.
A Scientific Defense
With a robust scientific infrastructure in place, Shook Hardy
& Bacon's litigation practice represents the likes of the
Altria Group, Pfizer, Inc., Bausch & Lomb and E.I. Du Pont de
Nemours & Company, as well as companies like Microsoft, The
Coca-Cola Company, Toyota, and Ford Motor Company. Eli Lilly hired
the firm to handle litigation stemming from oral contraceptive and
vaccine lawsuits, and Shook Hardy & Bacon has also warded off
class action against Sanofi-Aventis for alleged side effects of
Ambien, a sleeping pill.
One of the firm's most unique assets is its sturdy
behind-the-scenes science team staffed by more than 140 research
analysts and paraprofessionals, many of whom have graduate degrees
in specialized fields like biochemistry, neuroscience, engineering,
genetics and physiology.
Shook, Hardy & Bacon's litigation successes go beyond the
tobacco and pharmaceutical industries. The firm has established a
national intellectual property practice, and has expanded into food
and beverage matters as well.