Madeleine McDonough to Take Reins at Shook

Shook, Hardy & Bacon, which has more lawyers in Kansas City than any other regional firm, announced today that Madeleine McDounough would succeed John Murphy as chairman of the 127-year-old firm, starting Jan. 1, 2017. 

McDonough, a litigator who joined Shook 26 years ago, after working as a clinical pharmacist, will lead a firm recognized nationally for its expertise in complex litigation–particularly in science, medicine and technology. She’ll take over after Murphy concludes his third five-year term, which has marked Shook’s rise to the top of the legal sector here.

McDonough is a 10-year veteran of the firm’s executive committee and chairs its pharmaceutical and medical-device unit, the largest practice group of its kind, with a history of representing global corporate names like Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Bayer. She also serves as co-chair for Shook teams practicing in agribusiness and food safety, as well as life sciences and biotechnology.

“My first priority as chair,” she said, “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.”

“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 in a news release announcing the vote by Shook’s shareholders. “Madeleine is a star, and I am excited to see what she will accomplish.”

With Murphy at the helm, the firm was a leader in adopting alternative-fee arrangements and innovative billing strategies, helping make it the only firm in the nation to win the Value Champion Award from the Association of Corporate Counsel three times.