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 in general liability matters. He successfully litigates matters for manufacturers, retailers, construction companies, government entities and insurance companies 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.


  • Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers List: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • 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

  • Introduction to Litigation: Top 40 File Handling Tips
    Client Presentation, March 12, 2019
  • Battle Royale: 3rd Party Risk Transfer vs. Sole Remedy Provisions
    Client Presentation, February 13, 2019
  • Risk Transfer – Liability and Coverage Issues
    Client Presentation, February 6, 2019
  • Top 40 File Handling Tips, Kotecki Protection and State Judicial Profiles
    Client Presentation; Chicago, IL, May 24, 2018
  • Legal Issues and Artifical Intelligence
    Client Presentation, May 8, 2018
  • Retailers Deemed Manufacturers in Product Liability Actions
    Client Presentation; Dallas, TX, October 24, 2017
  • Recalls and Government Investigations
    USLAW Network; Carlsbad, CA, September 9, 2017
  • Ethics
    Client Seminar; Pittsburgh, PA, September 6, 2017
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists
    Client Seminar; Chicago, IL, July 19, 2017
  • Best Practices for Handling Claims and Litigation
    Client Presentation; Mechanicsburg, PA, July 13, 2017
  • Top Ten Strategies for Reducing Defense Fees & Defeating Class Actions
    Bethesda, MD; Client Presentation, May 10, 2017
  • Public Entity Law
    Client Seminar, May 9, 2017
  • Tools to Substantiate a Complex Claim
    Client Seminar; Basking Ridge, NH, April 19, 2017
  • Risk Transfer, Liability Claims, and Issues in Excess Liability Coverage and Emerging Trends
    Client Seminar, March 16, 2017
  • Tools to Substantiate a Complex Claim 
    Client Seminar; Wilmington, DE, March 8, 2017
  • Presumptions of Negligence 
    Client Seminar; Chatsworth, CA, March 2, 2017
  • 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