Ellen Lyon McHugh



Ellen McHugh serves clients in product liability actions and complex discovery matters in state and federal jurisdictions throughout the United States. She partners with in-house and trial counsel to defend clients by managing a company’s discovery response from start to finish, including written discovery, company witness depositions, document identification, discovery dispute resolution, related motion practice, and protecting confidential information used in dispositive motions and at trial.

Ellen’s experience as national discovery counsel for one of the largest U.S. automakers — as well as stints as in-house counsel at a national bank and at the municipal authority owning the largest U.S. convention center — have brought her deep experience in complex and diverse individual, governmental and corporate legal matters including appellate and post-judgment issues, as well as the avoidance of discovery motion practice and the preparation of cases for trial. This 360-degree understanding of litigation lets her efficiently achieve positive resolutions for her clients.

She also represents automotive manufacturers and suppliers in class action, toxic tort, third-party subpoenas and bankruptcy matters.

Ellen establishes protocol and work-streams to achieve a client’s consistent, compliant and accurate litigation strategy, and ensures her client’s objectives with partner counsel in jurisdictions across the United States. She develops and defends a company’s response to written and deposition discovery, and resolves pre-trial motions in state and federal courts.

Ellen conducts and manages large-scale electronic document collection and review efforts with e-discovery tools and platforms. She works with vendors and directs information collection and searches as well as document retention and review efforts.

She presents regular education and training for in-house and outside counsel on changes in the law, new and unique discovery issues, and matters of import such as managing disputes, maintaining privilege and confidentiality, and proportionality. She also mentors new and emerging counsel for clients, and develops internal information management, efficiency and cost-saving initiatives to achieve cost-management goals.


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


University of Illinois College of Law
J.D. (1985)

Indiana University, Bloomington
B.S. in Public Affairs, with honors (1982)

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
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