Robert T. Adams


Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP
2555 Grand Blvd.
Kansas City, MO 64108
United States

Tel: 816.559.2230


Rob practices in the areas of products liability, intellectual property litigation, insurance coverage litigation and commercial litigation. He has first-chaired more than 30 jury trials in several different federal and state courts. He has made numerous arguments in appellate courts throughout the country. Rob has been recognized repeatedly by Chambers USA, with one client noting Rob as an “outstanding lawyer, very responsive and successful in resolving matters for us.”

Rob is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and is listed in the Best Lawyers of America and Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. The Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association named Rob a Dean of the Trial Bar and Missouri Lawyers Weekly honored him as “Missouri Lawyer of the Year.”

Rob has been an active member of various bar organizations over his career. By appointment from the Missouri Supreme Court, Rob acts as the chair for the Missouri Approved Instruction Committee, which drafts instructions for use in civil cases. He has also served on the Missouri Bar Board of Governors, the Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association. Rob is also member of the Product Liability Advisory Council. He is on the firm’s Executive Committee.

  • J.D., University of Missouri – Columbia School of Law (Law Review), 1987
  • B.A., University of Kansas, 1984
Bar Admissions
  • Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • THE POWER List—Business Defense Attorneys in Missouri, Missouri Lawyers Media (2021-2022)
  • Acritas Stars
  • Influential Appellate Advocate, Missouri Lawyers Weekly (2020)
  • Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys:
    • National Products Liability Star (2009-2021)
    • Top 100 Trial Lawyers, National and Missouri/Local Litigation Star (2017-2018, 2022)
  • Most Powerful 250 Business Leaders in Greater Kansas City, Ingram’s (2017-2018)
  • Top Verdict for 2016 for the United States, Courtroom View Network
  • Product Liability Attorney of the Year, LMG Life Sciences (2016)
  • Life Sciences Star, LMG Life Sciences
  • Dean of the Trial Bar, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (2016)
  • Largest Reported Defense Verdict in Missouri, Missouri Lawyers Weekly (2016, 2014, 2013)
  • Who’s Who Legal, Product Liability Defense, Life Sciences – Product Liability (2014 – Present)
  • The Legal 500 United States (2010-Present)
  • The Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2004-Present)
    • Nationwide, Litigation: Trial Lawyers
    • Nationwide, Band 2 – Product Liability & Mass Torts
    • Star Individual – Litigation: General Commercial
  • Expert Guides: Guide to the World’s Leading Product Liability Lawyers (2004-Present)
In the realm of product liability defense, few—if any—firms compare to Shook, Hardy & Bacon. Shook knows how to protect your bottom line and your product’s reputation when it is called into question. We offer the total package:  the knowledge and experience to assess and develop the best defense strategy and themes available; an in-house team of scientists and other individuals with advanced degrees to help prepare the expert-related aspects of the case; and the largest team of product-liability trial lawyers in the country. We are always mindful of the need for cost-effective solutions and case management throughout the course of representation.

Our client relationships speak strongly to our long history of winning the product liability cases entrusted to us.  We have represented some of our largest and most prestigious clients for more than three decades, and in one instance, for more than six decades. These companies repeatedly select us to handle their most complex and contentious product liability cases, from MDLs, class actions, mass actions and multi-jurisdiction onslaughts of individual cases, right down to challenging individual cases. Shook also advises on and implements nationwide and international product recalls when necessary. Our clients include the manufacturers of automobiles, consumer goods, food and beverages, pet care and animal health products, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon has long been recognized as one of the premier litigation firms in the country. For more than a century, the firm has defended companies in their most substantial national and international products liability, mass tort and complex litigation matters.

The firm has leveraged its complex products liability litigation expertise to expand into several other practice areas and advance its mission of “being the best in the world at providing creative and practical solutions at unsurpassed value.” As a result, the firm has built nationally recognized practices in areas such as intellectual property, environmental and toxic tort, employment litigation, commercial litigation, government enforcement and compliance, and public policy.

“Robert Adams is an experienced trial lawyer who regularly acts as first chair across a range of product liability cases, with particular expertise in pharmaceutical MDLs.”
Chambers & Partners