About us

We are DBMS

Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth are Chicago’s premier trial lawyers for professionals and industry.

We deliver defense verdicts in complex professional liability cases. We successfully defend top automotive and pharmaceutical companies in high-stakes mass tort and product liability cases. We are respected, formidable litigators who play by the rules and who know how to win for our clients.

Our success stems from our fundamental understanding of the role litigation plays as part of any business. While most cases never reach trial, our clients and adversaries know that we are skilled in the courtroom, having tried hundreds of cases since the firm was founded in 1995.

In Chicago and beyond, we know the judges and the judges know us. We value our reputation as sophisticated advocates who avoid unnecessary, wasteful litigation tactics. Our clients benefit from our practical and creative approach to handling matters, as well as the efficiency afforded by working with a small litigation firm.

Our skill and experience in litigation has been recognized frequently. Three of our partners have been elected to the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers, as many as much larger law firms. Two partners have been recognized by Chicago Lawyer magazine as among the top 20 tort defense lawyers in Chicago.  Five partners have been named among the “Top Ten” lawyers in Illinois in their respective fields of medical malpractice and product liability defense, giving our firm a quarter of the lawyers in Illinois on those lists.

We represent a broad spectrum of clients, ranging from Fortune 50 companies to several of the world’s most prestigious hospitals and academic institutions, as well as individual physicians in every area of medicine. We know that to our clients, every case is unique. We work closely with our clients to develop the best approach for the case to achieve their business goals.

Our history

Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC was founded in 1995 by eight attorneys with a vision of a high-stakes litigation firm with a focus on client service at reasonable cost. Since then the firm has tried hundreds of cases and developed a reputation in Chicago as the go-to firm for particularly difficult and high-exposure cases in the country’s most challenging jurisdictions.

While the firm initially concentrated on professional liability, product liability and insurance defense, over the years it has also developed capabilities in complex commercial litigation, appellate, class action and mass tort defense. Today its more than 35 lawyers also have extensive experience representing clients in the automotive, manufacturing, professional services and pharmaceutical industries.

No firm in Chicago has tried more complex cases as successfully as Donohue Brown. In the two decades since its founding, the firm has quadrupled in size, reflecting the confidence of long-time clients and its ability to attract new clients who need effective trial counsel in a wide variety of fields.

The firm and its attorneys are well known in the community, both through their reputation in court and from their speaking engagements.  They count among their accolades countless awards and recognitions from legal and peer rankings, including American College of Trial Lawyers, Chicago Lawyer magazine, Leading Lawyers and Super Lawyers.

Career at DBMS

Since 1995 DBMS lawyers have developed a reputation as formidable litigators who play by the rules and know how to win for clients. In Chicago and beyond, our clients benefit from our practical and creative approach to handling matters, as well as the efficiency of working with a small litigation firm.

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