Sam Ikard

Of Counsel

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  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Honors & Involvement
Bio overview

Sam Ikard is a trial lawyer whose practice is concentrated in the areas of product liability defense, toxic torts and asbestos litigation, class actions, and other complex business litigation. A significant portion of  his practice is devoted to representing clients in the automotive industry in high-stakes consumer fraud class actions and personal injury and wrongful death cases involving allegations of defective design, defective manufacturing, negligence, failure to warn, breach of warranty, common law fraud, and violation of consumer protection statutes.

As a member of the firm’s national discovery counsel team for a Fortune 10 automaker, Sam also provides counsel in complex, document-intensive litigation matters and is involved in all aspects of case discovery.

Prior to joining McAfee & Taft, the Oklahoma native was a litigation partner in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he spent more than eight years representing clients through all phases of civil litigation in some of the most complex litigation matters in the country.

Sam’s achievements have earned him inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch (commercial litigation).

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Experience, Honors, & Awards

Representative Experience

  • Counsel for major automotive manufacturer in federal multidistrict litigation and state civil litigation relating to nationwide safety recalls. Assisted with preparation of six personal injury bellwether cases for trial with defense verdicts achieved in all three cases that proceeded to trial. Defended against nationwide consumer fraud class action with summary judgment granted on plaintiffs’ claims for billions in economic loss damages. Achieved summary judgment on entire category of personal injury claims after court excluded plaintiffs’ causation experts. Achieved summary judgment on personal injury claims under California law after court excluded untimely expert reports and held plaintiffs’ claims could not survive without expert testimony.
  • Counsel for major automotive manufacturer in federal multidistrict litigation for putative consumer fraud class action arising out of one of largest automotive recalls in U.S. history.
  • Counsel for major manufacturer in personal injury, wrongful death, and consumer fraud products liability actions in state and federal courts related to alleged defects in off-road vehicles.
  • Counsel for consumer products manufacturer in federal multidistrict litigation and related state court actions filed by state attorneys general related to e-cigarette design and marketing.
  • Counsel for investment accounting software company in trade secret litigation involving customers lists and product documents disseminated by former employee of plaintiff. After two-week trial, jury returned an award representing 7% of plaintiff’s damages request.
  • Counsel for real estate investment company in shareholder derivative class action. Plaintiff moved for summary judgment on liability prior to taking any depositions.  After court denied plaintiff’s motion, successfully quashed belated deposition requests and plaintiff’s motion to extend schedule, resulting in plaintiff voluntary dismissing his claims with prejudice.
  • Counsel for leading global energy company in commercial contract disputes arising out of environmental cleanup efforts. Achieved favorable settlement after multiple successful dispositive motions.
  • Pro bono counsel for individuals challenging federal ban on transgender individuals serving in military. Assisted with opposition to appeals and mandamus petitions to Ninth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court.

Honors and Awards

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch (commercial litigation)
  • Named a Kirkland & Ellis Pro Bono All-Star (2018)

Professional Organizations

  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Oklahoma Bar Association

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  • Illinois, 2014
  • Oklahoma, 2022


  • J.D., magna cum laude, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, 2014
    • Managing Editor, Northwestern University Law Review; Order of the Coif; Clinical Student, MacArthur Justice Center; Student Funded Public Interest Fellowship (SFPIF); Len Rubinowitz Public Interest Fellowship
  • B.A. (Political Science), summa cum laude, University of Oklahoma, 2010
    • University Medallion (cumulative 4.0 GPA); Phi Beta Kappa; Letzeiser Honors List; National Merit Scholar; Cortez A.M. Ewing Fellowship