Michael Olsen is co-leader of the Chicago Litigation practice and co-leader of Mayer Brown’s mass tort and 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, bankruptcy, purchase and sale agreement disputes, construction litigation and general business and commercial litigation.
Currently, Mike 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 is 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 represented domestic and international companies in construction and supply contract litigation including an arbitration involving delay and cost overrun claims at an iron ore manufacturing facility.
Mike has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, Benchmark, Legal 500 and other publications.