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Knutson and Naeem to Lead Tucker Ellis Health & Life Sciences Group

February 2021

Sherry Knutson and Tariq Naeem have been named co-chairs of the Tucker Ellis Health & Life Sciences Group. One of the largest and busiest health and life sciences practices in the United States, the Tucker Ellis team represents more than half of the top 20 pharmaceutical and medical device companies in the country. The team coordinates and defends medical device and pharmaceutical product liability cases nationwide at both the trial and appellate levels, often in the role of lead national coordinating counsel in multidistrict and state coordinated mass tort proceedings. In 2020, legal analytics firm Lex Machina rated Tucker Ellis third in the number of non-MDL product liability cases handled for defendants between 2015 and 2019. The firm is ranked in Chambers USA (Product Liability & Mass Torts: Nationwide) and in The Legal 500 United States (Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action – Defense: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices).

As a participating law firm in the Mansfield Rule, Tucker Ellis is committed to ensuring that the firm considers diverse (women, minorities, and LGBTQ+) attorneys for leadership positions across its six offices, with 63% of its practice groups’ leadership held by diverse attorneys.

“Our purpose as a firm is to work to provide everyone we encounter with a different and better experience than they can get from any other law firm,” said Tucker Ellis Managing Partner Joe Morford. “We know that Sherry and Tariq – who are both first-rate lawyers and first-rate people – are the perfect choice to advance our Health & Life Sciences Group to its next leg of growth and success and to help us progress each day as we work to fulfill our purpose.”

“We’re excited to watch our practice grow and evolve under the joint leadership of Sherry and Tariq,” said Trial Department Chair Karl Bekeny. “They’re a great example of Tucker Ellis’s enduring commitment to professional excellence, collaboration, and inclusion.”

With more than two decades of experience, Ms. Knutson tries cases and coordinates the national defense of mass torts in the life sciences area. Her practice ranges from multi-plaintiff, multi-jurisdiction litigations to single-plaintiff cases. She has served as national coordinating counsel in multiple pharmaceutical mass torts and as lead counsel in coordinated proceedings in Chicago. She has tried cases to verdict in Illinois, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and West Virginia. Ms. Knutson is ranked in Chambers USA in the area of Product Liability & Mass Torts (Nationwide). She also has been recognized in publications including Benchmark Litigation, where she is a National Practice Area Star in the area of Product Liability and is listed among the Top 250 Women in Litigation and the Top 100 Trial Lawyers; Who’s Who Legal, in the areas of Product Liability Defence and Life Sciences: Product Liability; and LMG Life Sciences, where she is recognized as a Life Sciences Star in the area of Product Liability. Ms. Knutson received her law degree with high honors from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology and her undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Marquette University.

Mr. Naeem is a specialist in litigation involving health and life sciences companies, having spent the majority of his 20-year career defending pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, medical institutions, and other similar entities in cases ranging from single-plaintiff cases to complex nationwide litigation alleging wrongful death and other serious injuries. He has tried multiple cases to verdict and has been involved in various roles in numerous other trials. Mr. Naeem leads the Tucker Ellis team defending one of the manufacturer defendants in the massive opioid litigation, widely regarded as the most complex litigation in United States legal history. He has been recognized in publications including LMG Life Sciences, where he is recognized as a Life Sciences Star in the area of Product Liability, and Benchmark Litigation, where he has been named a National Practice Area Star in the area of Product Liability and Recall. Mr. Naeem received his law degree cum laude from Case Western Reserve University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from Miami University.

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