John Kelly centers his practice on aviation, product liability, and general tort defense litigation. He represents clients in all areas of the aerospace industry, including aircraft manufacturers, engine manufacturers, component manufacturers, airlines, operators, maintenance facilities, and pilots. John has represented defendants in both fixed-wing and helicopter crashes as well as defendants involved in mass airline disasters. John has also successfully represented defendants in lawsuits involving toxic torts, workplace injuries, and catastrophic industrial accidents.

John appears in numerous state and federal jurisdictions throughout the country and works on matters involving foreign courts and tribunals. He has tried both jury and bench trials to verdict, argued at the appellate level, obtained early dismissals and summary judgment in numerous venues, and successful results in a variety of alternative dispute resolution forums. John has also represented railroads in Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), personal injury, trespasser, and major railroad crossing accident litigation.

John joined Hinshaw in 2023. Previously, he was a partner with Adler, Murphy & McQuillen, a premier aviation litigation firm in Chicago.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association

Honors & Awards

  • Recipient of the 2017 Jury Verdict Reporter Award for Trial Lawyer Excellence in the category of "Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Product Liability Case"


  • Co-Presenter, "Navigating the Skies: Trends and Developments in Aviation Law," Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Chicago, Illinois, October 18, 2023
  • "Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Delegation System," ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Aviation and Space Law Committee, Washington, D.C., 2019
  • "Evidentiary Issues in the Aviation Case," 52nd Annual Southern Methodist University Air Law Symposium, Irvine, Texas, 2018


  • "Is Self-Certification Adequate Pre-Flight?," American Bar Association TIPS, 2019
  • "Evidentiary Issues in the Aviation Case," 52nd Annual Southern Methodist University Air Law Symposium, 2018



John grew up and lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1994

B.S., Arizona State University, 1990