Michael Olsen is co-leader of Mayer Brown’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice and co-leader of Mayer Brown’s Mass Tort & Product Liability practice. He is a skilled trial lawyer who focuses his practice on mass and toxic tort litigation, but also represents national and multinational corporations in complex commercial litigation including securities and commodities litigation, purchase and sale agreement disputes, and general business litigation.

Currently, Mike represents The Big Ten Conference in the NCAA Student-Athlete Concussion Litigation (MDL 2492).  In addition, Mike was appointed by the Court to serve as lead counsel for all of the conference defendants in the MDL.  Mike also serves as national counsel for a chemical manufacturer in its litigation involving the sale of PFAS chemicals.

Mike also serves as national counsel for Union Carbide Corporation with respect to its historic sales of products containing asbestos. Mike is responsible for developing and implementing the national defense strategy, managing thousands of product liability cases across the country, and leading trial teams in difficult jurisdictions. Mike recently obtained a defense verdict for Union Carbide in a Los Angeles jury trial, and secured a summary judgment victory on the eve of trial in a consolidated mass tort action involving approximately 8,000 plaintiffs. Mike was also one of the lead counsel for Medtronic, Inc. in In re: Medtronic, Inc. Sprint Fidelis Lead, Product Liability Litigation (MDL 1905) with primary responsibility for building the defense of federal and state product liability claims.

Mike has also represented pharmaceutical and medical device companies in connection with disputes regarding vaccines and litigation involving a drug in clinical trials; developed the national defense for a Fortune 100 company in connection with its silica premises litigation; represented YUM Brands in connection with a massive food recall at its KFC stores in China, Taiwan and Thailand; conducted a mock trial regarding occupational benzene exposure; and developed, coordinated and hosted a client seminar on nanotechnology relating to patent and product liability litigation.

In addition to his mass tort and product liability practice, Mike has served as lead trial counsel in a successful securities fraud trial, secured a defense verdict after a full bench trial for United Airlines in a $150 million post-acquisition dispute, obtained a multi-million dollar verdict in a commercial dispute after a several-week jury trial in the Northern District of Illinois, and successfully handled numerous arbitration proceedings.

Mike has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, Benchmark, Legal 500 and other publications.

Lenguajes Hablados

  • English
Secrets of a Successful Trial Strategy


University of Michigan, BA

DePaul University College of Law, JD, cum laude
Order of the Coif
General Editor, DePaul Law Review



  • Illinois


  • US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


  • Northwestern University Law School, Adjunct law professor, Topics in Litigation – Mass Torts (2008-present)