Shannon McNulty is a partner at Clifford Law Offices, leading the firm’s fraud, mass torts, whistleblower/qui tam matters and class actions. Shannon focuses her practice on complex litigation involving concealment, conspiracy, contract disputes, employment disputes, sexual harassment, environmental issues and anti-trust claims. Admitted to practice in 2004, she previously worked ten years at the Chicago Police Department, including as chief of staff for the first deputy superintendent. Prior to joining the Chicago Police Department, Shannon conducted in-depth research concerning homicides in Chicago. Using her data analysis, Shannon was part of a team that developed strategies for identifying patterns of vulnerability and risk, with corresponding solutions. She has significant experience in evaluating and litigating allegations of risk, fraud and concealment, including instances in which the government is defrauded. She frequently incorporates data-driven evidence in the work-up of her cases.
Ms. McNulty values inclusiveness and has a reputation for creating opportunities for counsel with varying backgrounds to work together on cases. Consistent with the firm’s values, Shannon is known for her collaborative leadership in cases, and she is routinely sought by counsel all over the country to join the work-up and trial of contested litigation in Chicago and elsewhere. Shannon is known for her role in cases that demand the relentless rigor, commitment and resources for which Clifford Law Offices is known. Her practice is varied, and she has successfully litigated cases against defendants located in China, Japan, Germany, Mexico and Canada. She is known for devising creative solutions in resolving complex case matters. Typically, Ms. McNulty’s cases involve subjects or parties that necessitate strict confidentiality. Clients and co-counsel equally value Shannon’s skilled risk assessment and sensible judgment in handling sensitive matters.
Most recently, Shannon was a co-lead counsel of the trial team in the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy proceedings that presented evidence during a six-day trial involving 41 witnesses resulting in a $250,000,000 settlement on behalf of acute care hospitals. In re Purdue Pharma L.P, Case No. 19-23649 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.). Shannon was also instrumental in the negotiation and implementation of an acute care hospital trust that is expected to disburse approximately $45,000,000 in relief to hospitals fighting the opioid epidemic. (In re: Mallinckrodt Plc, et al., United States Bankruptcy Court, D. Delaware, Case No. 20-12522). Shannon served as liaison counsel in the data privacy suit against TikTok which resolved for $95,000,000. (In re TikTok, Inc., Consumer Priv. Litig., MDL No. 2948, Case No. 20 C 4699). She recently resolved for $3,000,000 a whistleblower case involving allegations of product incentivization by a pharmaceutical company. She has also recently had a confidential multi-million dollar settlement against a Fortune 500 manufacturer concerning various allegations of breach of contract, fraud and concealment.
Ms. McNulty has been appointed to committee and leadership positions in several cases, including: Casino Queen Marquette, Inc. et al. v. Scientific Games Corp. et al., Case No. 1:21-cv-001798 (N.D. Ill.); In re TikTok, Inc., Consumer Priv. Litig., MDL No. 2948, Case No. 20 C 4699; In re Soc’y Ins. Co. COVID-19 Bus. Interruption Prot. Ins. Litig., Case No. 20 C 02005 (N.D. Ill. 2021); In Re: National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2492, Case No. 16 C 8727; In Re: Herbal Supplements Marketing And Sales Practices Litigation, MDL Nos. 2619, 2620, 2621, 2622, Case No. 15-cv-5070; In re Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, MDL No. 14–2522 (D. Minn.); Eubank, et al., v. Pella Window Corporation, Case No. 06 C 4481; In re Talcum Powder Litigation, Circuit Court of Cook County, Case No. 17 L 2169; In re DePuy Hip Litigation, Circuit Court of Cook County, Case No. 10 L 10506; In re Advocate Data Breach Litigation, Circuit Court of Cook County, Case No. 13 CH 20390. Consistent with her practice values, in one recent appointment of Ms. McNulty the court noted what he considered to be “… an all-star team of sorts or an Olympic team, made up of individuals from perhaps different individual teams, but who are asked to come together…” Shannon works exceptionally well under the circumstances of bringing people together for the benefit of those whom she represents.
Ms. McNulty is licensed in Illinois and admitted to practice in a number of federal district courts throughout the country, including districts in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, California and Arizona. She has argued before the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
Ms. McNulty also maintains a practice for those seriously injured, with most recently having settled cases involving the fatal stabbing of a student at school ($2.9 million); a failure to supervise and monitor a tender-aged resident of a group home ($2.25 million); the sexual abuse of a group home resident ($3.5 million); a wrongfully prescribed dosage of insulin that resulted in a brain injury ($18 million); a failure to timely diagnose an aortic dissection ($6.5 million); a failure to warn of a defect in implanted medical device ($3.5 million). She represents professionals in their partnership and contract disputes, successfully resolving several matters with confidentiality.
Her professional achievements are consistently recognized by her peers. In September 2021, she was presented with an Award for Excellence in Public Interest Service by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Federal Bar Association. In 2018, she was blind-nominated and elected as a member of the International Society of Barristers which recognizes attorneys who promote civility in the profession. She has been appointed to the 2023 Illinois Super Lawyers Top 50 Women List and the 2023 Illinois Super Lawyers Top 100 List. In 2023, she was one of four partners at Clifford Law Offices acknowledged in Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” in Chicago. Clifford Law Offices was also ranked in the 2023 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list nationally in Mass Tort Litigation/ Class Actions. Shannon was recognized in Notable Women in Law in 2022 by Crain’s Chicago Business. Shannon also received Crain’s Chicago Business Notable Women in Law award in its inaugural year, 2020. She was recognized on the 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers List. Moreover, Ms. McNulty has been recognized as a Best Lawyers® in America, 2015 – 2023; a Chicago Daily Law Bulletin & Chicago Lawyer Women in Law Honoree, 2020; a Leading Lawyer, from Law Bulletin Media, 2018 – Present; appointed to the Illinois Super Lawyers list, 2016 – Present; a Most Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago, Crain’s Custom Media, 2017-present; an Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2009 – 2014; and, Chicago Law Bulletin’s Forty Under 40, 2007.
Shannon attended night law school at DePaul while working full-time at the police department. Shannon’s determination resulted in her completing law school one year ahead of schedule. She was recognized as an outstanding student in trial advocacy and contracts, having received the CALI Award for excellence in both of these fields. She holds a Masters of Science from the School of Management of Public Services at DePaul University (1997), which bestowed upon her the American Society of Public Administrators’ Student of the Year Award. She graduated cum laude from Loyola University in Chicago (1992).
Shannon gives back to the community. She has worked in the Albany Park neighborhood on crime prevention efforts, which resulted in her being recognized for outstanding service by the U.N.I.T.E. civic organization, and she has also devised and implemented several successful fundraising efforts for families in Chicago’s Bronzeville community. Shannon also initiated the NYPD/CPD Memorial Foundation, raising in only two weeks nearly a half-million dollars for the immediate benefit of families of New York Police Officers who died in the 9/11 attacks. She has served six years as an officer of her school board, and recently led an effort with the fifth-grade class to make blankets and stuff care packages with necessities for delivery by the children to the veteran-residents of the Manteno V.A. Home. Shannon was also a member of the Northern District of Illinois 200th Anniversary Committee, which culminated with a bicentennial celebration of federal courts in Illinois.
Shannon is a member of the American Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers’ Association, Illinois State Bar, Chicago Bar, Illinois Trial Lawyers’ Association, International Society of Barristers, the Federal Bar Association, and the Northern District of Illinois Historical Society.
- Aviation Litigation
- Class Action / Consumer Fraud
- Personal Injury
- Premises Liability
- Product Liability
- Transportation Liability
- Medical Malpractice
- Qui Tam/ Whistleblower
- Illinois, 2004
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court Western District of Missouri
- U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
- DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois
- Juris Doctor
- University of Virginia
- Trial Advocacy Institute – January, 2008
- Northwestern University
- Summer Institute in Negotiation – June, 2006
- DePaul University
- Master of Science – 1997
- Honors: With Distinction
- Honors: American Society of Public Administrators, Student Of The Year, 1997
- Major: Management of Public Services
- Loyola University of Chicago
- B.S. cum laude – 1993
- Major: Criminal Justice
- Privatization of Public Services in the South Suburbs. DePaul University Press, May 1997
- Comprehensive Examination of the Illinois Criminal History Records Information System, ICJIA, August 1995 [contributing author]
- 1993-4 Criminal History Records Audit: Illinois’ CCH System Overview. ICJIA, August 1994
- 1993-4 Criminal History Records Audit Methodology. ICJIA, December 1993
- Detention in the juvenile justice system. ICJIA Compiler, Summer 1993
- Selected to Illinois Super Lawyers list, 2016 – Present:
- Named to “Top 100: 2023 Illinois Super Lawyers® List“
- Named“Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers® in the Chicago area for Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs, 2023
- Crain’s Chicago Business Notable Women in Law, 2022
- Best Lawyers® in America, 2015 – Present
- Chicago Daily Law Bulletin & Chicago Lawyer Women in Law Honoree, 2020
- Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin Media, 2018 – Present
- Most Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago, Crain’s Custom Media, 2017
- Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2009 – 2014
- Chicago Law Bulletin’s Forty Under 40, 2007
- International Society of Barristers
- Judicial Evaluation Committee, Investigator, 2011 – Present
- Supreme Court Committee for Rules of Evidence, Appointed, 2008 – Present
- Professional Ethics Committee, Co-Vice Chair, 2006 – 2007
- American Bar Association, Section of Litigation and Member of the ABA Annual Meeting Advisory Committee
- American Association for Justice
- Attorney’s Information Exchange Group
- Chicago Bar Association
- Illinois Trial Lawyer’s Association
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Chicago Police Department, First Deputy Superintendent, 2000 – 2003
- Chicago Police Department, Chief of Staff, 1994 – 2003
- Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, 1992 – 1994
- Saint Jude Parent Teacher Organization (2019-Present)
- Saint Jude School Board (2018-Present)
- Advisory Board Member, Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, 2004 (founding year) – 2012
- Initiated and coordinated the Chicago Police Officers’ NYPD Memorial Fund, for the children of NYPD officers’ killed on September 11, 2001
- South Suburban Mayors’ Association, Volunteer
- Volunteers at Saint Michael’s House
- Awarded by U.N.I.T.E. Civic Organization (Albany Park) for Outstanding Service
- Awarded American Society of Public Administrators’ Student of the Year