Photo of Mike  McGowan

Mike McGowan



Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., 1988

University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1983, cum laude



Mike is a tenacious defense attorney, serving as counsel to companies across the country. He successfully litigates matters for manufacturers, retailers, construction companies, and government entities in areas like product liability, construction and municipal liability.

Mike defends product liability cases involving everything from brake systems to ozone generators and destruct units to cosmetic manufacturing processes. In past instances he defended cases involving toxic poisoning, deaths and catastrophic loss due to product defects, fire and explosions. He has designed programs for manufacturers to bring their products into compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act. He also constructed a product compliance/audit program for the world's seventh largest furniture maker and drafted warnings for consumer products of medical device companies. As chair of the Product Liability Practice Group, Mike oversees a team providing these services to clients across the country.

Mike represents general contractors, prime contractors, real estate developers, landowners, second tier contractors and insurers in all types of construction-related litigation including construction defect cases. He has successfully litigated issues of tenders of defense, hold harmless agreements, and indemnification agreements.

Additionally, Mike defends civil rights and municipal tort liability cases. He has used the Illinois Tort Immunity Act to great effect in defending diverse clients such as state agencies, numerous municipalities and various schools, forest preserves, park districts and villages.

Mike is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. In that capacity he is charged with ensuring that the firm’s mission and values are upheld.


  • Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers List: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated
  • Selected by the Leading Lawyers Network as a "Leading Lawyer" in construction and products liability defense law
  • Named to the Who’s Who in America editions in 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Cambridge Who’s Who; Marquis Who’s Who, 60th, 61st, 62nd, 63rd, 64th, 65th, and 66th editions; Top 100 Illinois Lawyer in 2007; Continental Who’s Who, 2007

Memberships & Involvement

  • Member: SmithAmundsen Executive Committee

Presentations & Events

  • Fall 2016 USLAW NETWORK Client Conference, Colorado Springs, CO, September 24, 2016
  • Targeted Tenders and Related Issues Under Illinois Law
    National Claim Services, Seminar; Atlanta, GA, August 24, 2016
  • Presentation on Malicious Prosecution
    Client Seminar, April 20, 2016
  • Product Liability Seminar
    Client Seminar, December 11, 2015
  • Liability Claims & Issues in Excess Liability Coverage
    Client Seminar, October 15, 2015
  • Excess Casualty Claims: Emerging Trends
    Client Webinar, September 14, 2015
  • Ethics in Claims Management
    Client Seminar, Metairie, LA, August 19, 2015
  • Garage Liability & Garage Keepers Liability
    Client Seminar, Lake Zurich, IL, August 14, 2015
  • Dental Trauma and Facial Injuries
    Client Seminar, San Antonio, TX, July 21, 2015
  • Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Webinar, June 11, 2015
  • Tools to Substantiate the Value of a Complex Claim
    Client Seminar, Robbinsville, NJ, November 20, 2014
  • Builders Risk/Commercial Leases
    Client Seminar, November 4, 2014
  • Ethics
    Client Seminar, Jersey City, NJ, October 16, 2014
  • Webinar, July 24, 2014
  • Green Technologies: Commercial Building Construction
    Client Seminar, Wilmington, DE, May 29, 2014
  • Webinar, May 27, 2014
  • Winning with Presentation Technology
    Client Seminar, Lake Mary, FL, May 20, 2014
  • Ethics: Building Trust in the Age of Trust Busters
    Client Webinar, April 21, 2014
  • Tort Immunity Session
    Client Seminar, Mechanicsburg, PA., April 14, 2014
  • Risk Transfer
    Client Seminar, Wilmington, DL, March 2013
  • The WebMD Effect
    Client Seminar, Maple Grove, MN, February 2013
  • Presumption of Negligence
    Client Seminar, Chicago, IL,, October 2012
  • Mechanism of Injury
    Client Seminar, Irving, TX, September 2012
  • Effects of the Aging Workforce
    Client Seminar, Chicago, IL, August 2012
  • Commercial Liability Law Updates
    Client Seminar, August 2012
  • Effective Litigation Management
    Client Seminar, Charlotte, NC, July 2012
  • Legal Update: Environmental Issues
    Client Seminar, Jersey City, NJ, June 2012
  • Effects on Aging Workforce in Claims
    Client Seminar, Knoxville, TN, May 17, 2012
  • Ethics and Abuse in Claims Management
    Client Seminar, Schaumburg, IL, April 2012
  • Consumer Product and Safety Improvement Act
    USLAW Conference, Dana Point, CA, April 2012
  • Ethics Presentation
    Client Seminar, Roswell, GA, March 2012
  • Ethics Presentation
    Client Seminar, Memphis, TN, February 2012
  • Evaluating Cases
    Client Seminar, Chatsworth, CA, June 2011
  • Ethics
    Client Seminar, Tampa, FL, April 2011
  • Bleacher Risk Management and Maintenance
    National School Boards Association’s 70th Annual Conference, April 2010
  • Money is the Root of All Evil
    USLAW Conference, Miami, FL, April 2010
  • Construction Supervisory Liability
    Concrete Contractors Association, OSHA 30 Hour Safety Course, March 2010
  • Jury Psychology in Large Loss Cases
    Client Seminar, March 2010
  • OCIP and CCIP Construction Contracts
    Client Seminar, Hoffman Estates, IL, February 2010
  • Claims Handling in Construction
    Client Seminar, February 2010