CHICAGO –Darren VanPuymbrouck, a nationally-known trial lawyer with vast experience in commercial litigation, toxic tort, class action and complex product liability matters, including catastrophic fire and explosion cases, has joined Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Chicago office as a partner in the Litigation Department. Previously, VanPuymbrouck was a partner with Schiff Hardin LLP.

VanPuymbrouck, who joins the firm’s national Commercial Litigation Practice Group, has litigated and tried lawsuits in state and federal courts around the country during his more than 25-year career, including thousands of toxic tort, product liability, and complex commercial cases on behalf of some of the largest global companies in the world.

He has developed a national reputation for his experience in fire and explosion forensics, having litigated hundreds of fire and explosion cases involving massive commercial/industrial incidents and catastrophic burn injuries and fatalities, including numerous marine fires and explosions, using his experience as a PADI-certified Advanced Open Water SCUBA and Wreck Diver. He also has negotiated county and statewide class action settlements in California, Nevada and Arizona involving thousands of property damage cases and substantial punitive damages exposure.

“Darren is a highly regarded attorney who has built a reputation nationwide as an experienced litigator,” said Mark Rust, managing partner of Barnes & Thornburg’s Chicago office. “He joins an already large number of seasoned attorneys who have found this firm to be an attractive destination because of our more efficient, yet sophisticated, platform for delivering legal services to our clients.” 

He is co-chair of the Complex Torts Committee of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Corporate Counsel. He is listed as a “Leading Lawyer” in products liability defense law by the Illinois Leading Lawyers Network and is an AV-rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell. He also frequently speaks on mass-tort and other product liability issues.

“We’re extremely pleased that someone of Darren’s national experience and stature has chosen to join our Litigation Department,” said William M. McErlean, chair of the firm’s Litigation Department. “His extensive experience handling significant trials in state and federal courts will be of great value to the firm and our clients and bolsters the significant depth of our trial bench.”

About Darren VanPuymbrouck

VanPuymbrouck is a member of the American Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association and the Defense Research Institute.

VanPuymbrouck is a graduate of the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he was the editor of the Loyola University of Chicago Law Journal. He served as a law clerk on the 7thCircuit Court of Appeals following law school. VanPuymbrouck earned his B.A. from the University of Washington, where he was a member of the honors program.

He is admitted to practice in the state of Illinois and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar).

With more than 600 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg is one of the largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from its offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Delaware, Indiana, Los Angeles, Michigan, Minneapolis, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit us online at or on Twitter at @BTLawNews