Sara Gourley is a litigation partner in Sidley's Chicago office. She is a leader of the Products Liability Practice and served on the firm's Executive Committee for more than 15 years. Sara has substantial experience in pharmaceutical, medical device and blood products liability litigation. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of pharmaceutical and medical device defense, especially multi-jurisdictional coordination and defense of class actions. Sara is currently lead counsel for Smith & Nephew in a MDL relating to hip implants and was lead counsel for Takeda Pharmaceuticals in the MDL and related state court litigation regarding ACTOS, including serving as trial counsel in the first related case to go to trial in state court. She has served in leading defense roles for clients in many of the pharmaceutical industry's most significant litigation.
Sara is consistently recognized for her products liability work by the industry's leading ranking publications including Chambers USA, LMG Life Sciences, Legal 500, Benchmark Litigation, The International Who's Who of Life Sciences Lawyers, and The Best Lawyers in America among others. Sara was named a thought leader in the inaugural Who's Who Legal: Thought Leaders 2017 guide and "Product Liability Lawyer of the Year" at the 2016 Who's Who Legal Awards. She was also named for product liability in the 2016 Who's Who Legal: Life Sciences edition, which recognized her as a "seasoned specialist in pharmaceutical and medical device liability claims and class actions." Chambers USA has quoted industry insiders who have lauded Sara as a "strategic thinker" and "extremely knowledgeable." Since 2015, Chambers USA has recognized Sara in its Band One category for her work in Product Liability, and she is listed on the "Spotlight Table" for the Product Liability: Pharmaceutical category. The Legal 500 US 2018 recommended her as a leading lawyer in Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action for both the Consumer Products and the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices (Defense) categories. Sara was named to The National Law Journal's 2015 list of "Outstanding Women Lawyers," joining 75 of the "most accomplished female attorneys" who represent "excellence in private practice, corporate counsel work, public interest representation, legal education and the judiciary." Benchmark Litigation also recognizes Sara as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation.
Sara is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, The International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), Defense Research Institute, and the Chair of DRI's Drug and Medical Device Steering Committee. She frequently speaks and publishes on topics relating to the defense of product liability claims.
Last updated: July 2018