Dan Webb, a partner in the litigation department, serves as firm chairman and is a member of the Executive Committee. His trial practice concentrates in the areas of major commercial, civil, regulatory, and white-collar criminal cases.
Mr. Webb has tried more than 100 jury cases, including numerous successful complex commercial and white-collar criminal trials, representing, on several occasions, large corporations in jury trials lasting two months or longer. Mr. Webb joined Winston & Strawn in 1985 as a partner, after serving as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Mr. Webb has spent his entire professional life as a courtroom trial attorney and litigator. He received international attention for his successful prosecution of retired Admiral John Poindexter in the Iran-Contra affair. As the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, he spearheaded the “Operation Greylord” investigations into judicial corruption in Cook County, Ill.
He received national attention for his work as lead trial counsel for General Electric, successfully defending it against criminal price-fixing allegations related to industrial diamonds, as well as for his representations of Microsoft Corp. in its antitrust litigation, Philip Morris in its tobacco-related litigation, and Verizon in obtaining a $58 million verdict in a patent litigation matter.
Moreover, a team of Winston attorneys, led by Dan Webb, conducted an internal investigation at the New York Stock Exchange related to the compensation of its former Chairman and CEO, Richard A. Grasso. Following Winston’s investigation, summarized in what is now known as the “Webb Report,” the New York’s Attorney General's Office sued Grasso for the return of more than $120 million in compensation.
Other recent success for clients in securities matters include obtaining favorable settlements for Ernst & Young in a securities class action brought by stockholders of HealthSouth Corporation and for Cisco Systems in a securities class action brought by the Plumbers & Pipefitters National Pension Fund, and obtaining summary judgment for Scientific-Atlantic in a securities fraud class action.
On the antitrust front, Mr. Webb successfully represented Wyeth (Pfizer) against an antitrust class action relating to its patented potassium chloride product K-Dur®, and is now defending C.R. Bard against claims of anti-competitive conduct relating to sales contracts with group purchasing organizations for catheters, and Monsanto against the antitrust claims brought by competitor DuPont relating to Monsanto's patented Roundup Ready® weed killer.
As for other class action experience, one of Mr. Webb's most significant cases was for Philip Morris. He serves as lead counsel in Engle, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al. the first—and to date, only—class action brought by cigarette smokers for punitive damages to be tried to verdict. He also served as chief trial counsel for another high-profile class action civil trial that resulted from the failure of Lincoln Savings, the S&L institution owned and operated by Charles Keating, Jr.
Mr. Webb’s corporate clients also have included Abbott Laboratories; Alcoa; Altria Group, Inc.; American Airlines; Caremark International; Deloitte & Touche LLP; General Electric; Monsanto; and Research in Motion.
Ratings and Rankings
- Illinois Super Lawyers – Highly ranked as an Illinois Super Lawyer from 2005-2012, including a No. 2 ranking in 2012, and a No. 3 ranking in 2011.
- Chicago Magazine – Ranked as No. 65 in the 2012 “100 Most Powerful Chicagoans” list, which called him the "go-to litigator for white-collar defendants nationwide."
- Chambers & Partners USA – 2012, ranked in Litigation: Trial Lawyers, Products Liability & Mass Torts, Antitrust, listed as a star individual in Litigation: White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations and Litigation: General Commercial; 2011, ranked in Litigation: Trial Lawyers, Products Liability & Mass Torts, Antitrust, listed as a star individual in Litigation: General Commercial and Litigation: White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations; 2010, ranked in General Commercial Litigation, Antitrust, White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations, and Products Liability; 2009, ranked as a top attorney in Antitrust, General Commercial Litigation, Products Liability, and White-Collar Crime; 2007 and 2008, ranked as a top attorney in Litigation and Products Liability; 2006, ranked No. 2 nationally in Product Liability, listed with exceptional recommendations in Illinois in Commercial Litigation and White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations; 2005, listed with exceptional recommendations in Illinois in Commercial Litigation; 2004, listed with exceptional recommendations in Commercial Litigation, and ranked third in Antitrust Litigation in Illinois; 2003, listed with exceptional recommendations in Illinois in Commercial Litigation.
- The International Who’s Who of Business Crime Lawyers - Ranked as one of the world's leading business crime defense lawyers in the 2013 edition.
- Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers – Best of the Best 2008 – Ranked as the top litigation expert in the United States and one of the top 25 litigation experts in the world.
- Benchmark Litigation – Included as a National and Illinois Litigation Star in the 2013 edition for his general commercial litigation, product liability, and white-collar crime practices.
- Corporate Crime Reporter – Ranked as the No. 1 white-collar criminal defense attorney.
- Leading Lawyers Network – Ranked as the No. 1 business litigator in the Chicago area, the No. 1 business lawyer in Illinois, and the No. 1 lawyer in all areas of law.
- Expert Guides to the World's Leading Litigation Lawyers – Identified as an expert; received more nominations than any other expert in the world.
- Legal 500 – Listed as one of 10 leading trial lawyers in the United States for Litigation.
- The Business Insider – Named as one of the “Country’s Top Litigators” in 2010 and “One of 11 Trial Lawyers You Definitely Do Not Want to See Across the Aisle.”
- The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin – Selected in 2010 as one of the “Top 10 Lawyers for the Past 10 Years.”
- Chambers & Partners Global – Listed as first tier for litigation in the United States.
- The Best Lawyers in America – Ranked in 2012 for bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, white-collar criminal defense, mass tort litigation/class actions-defendants, and medical malpractice law-defendant practices. Ranked for both business litigation and criminal law; 2012 Chicago Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year; 2010 White-Collar Lawyer of the Year - Chicago Criminal Defense.
- Crain’s Chicago Business – Leading Lawyers (2000-present).
- National Law Journal – Selected for the “Most Influential Lawyers” Special Report in the category of Law Firm Leadership, as one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America,” and as a “Winning Attorney;” also ranked No. 25 among the top 100 verdicts of 2007 for Verizon Services Inc. v. Vonage Holdings Corp., in which Mr. Webb represented the plaintiff.
- Lawdragon – Named each year from 2008 through 2012 in the “Lawdragon 500: Leading Lawyers in America,” an annual guide to the nation’s top lawyers.
Mr. Webb is also listed in The Euromoney Guide to the World’s Leading White-Collar Crime Lawyers; Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition; and The Guide to the World’s Leading Competition & Antitrust Lawyers.
Community Service and Pro Bono Representation
In addition to his work for corporate clients, Mr. Webb is dedicated to community service and pro bono representation. In 2008, he chaired the Chicago Bar Association’s second annual Campaign for Justice, which raised a record amount of money from more than 40 law firms to help decrease the number of regional aid attorneys leaving Chicago organizations for more lucrative opportunities.
Mr. Webb defended Alex Hernandez, one of two men wrongfully convicted and later exonerated in the closely watched Jeanine Nicarico murder case in DuPage County, Ill. Mr. Webb represented Hernandez pro bono amid ongoing public outrage at the horrific abduction and homicide of an 11-year-old suburban child in February 1983 and during a period leading up to his third trial in 1995 (the first two convictions, including a death penalty and an 80-year prison sentence, had been overturned). Instead of trying Hernandez a third time with Mr. Webb at the defense table, the prosecutor dismissed the case.
In recent years, Mr. Webb has pledged significant gifts to his alma maters of Loyola University Chicago School of Law and Western Illinois University, where he established the Dan and Laura Webb Endowed Professorship in Political Science and the Dan and Laura Webb Pre-Law Scholarship Fund.
Honors and Awards
For all of his achievements during his career as a trial lawyer, Mr. Webb has received many bar and community service honors and awards. Notably, Mr. Webb was a 2010 recipient of the Inns of Court Professionalism Award. The award, given annually on a federal circuit basis, recognizes a lawyer or judge “whose life and practice display sterling character and unquestioned integrity, coupled with ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession and the rule of law.” Also in 2010, Mr. Webb was among five lawyers honored by the Anti-Defamation League at the Fifth Annual First Amendment Freedom Award Dinner in Chicago for his contributions during his service in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago. In addition, the Diversity Scholarship Foundation honored Mr. Webb as the recipient of its 2010 Unity Award, which recognizes leaders in the community who have made significant contributions within the legal profession, including embracing diversity and the ideals that diversity represents.
Mr. Webb also received The American Jewish Committee’s 2004 Judge Learned Hand Human Relations Award, which is granted to those who have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to “combating all forms of discrimination and bigotry, promoting human rights, and advocating public policy rooted in American democratic values.” In 1985, the Anti-Defamation League awarded Mr. Webb its Distinguished Public Service Award.
In 2006, the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (IACDL) honored Mr. Webb with a “Lifetime Achievement Award,” and in 2008, Chicago Lawyer named him as “Person of the Year.”
In 2009, Loyola University’s Chicago School of Law and the Law Alumni board of governors presented Mr. Webb with The Medal of Excellence. Most recently, in 2010, Loyola named its nationally recognized Center for Advocacy as the Dan K. Webb Center for Advocacy to honor his distinguished career and to recognize his significant contributions to the school. In 2007, Western Illinois University granted Mr. Webb an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for his career achievements.
Other honors Mr. Webb has received include the Distinguished Service Award from the Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry in 1982 and the City of Hope Medical Center Spirit of Life Award in 1983. In addition, the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago recognized him with its Distinguished Service Award in 2006.
Mr. Webb is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Mr. Webb also has been a member of numerous public boards and bar associations.
Mr. Webb received a J.D. in 1970 from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he graduated first in his class.
Mr. Webb is the co-author of Corporate Internal Investigations (Law Journal Seminars Press, 1993-present), considered by many general counsel to be the leading treatise on how corporate internal investigations should be conducted. He also co-authored “Up The Ladder: Litigator Responsibilities Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act,” 30 Litigation 22, Summer 2004 (with Scott P. Glauberman).
Speeches and Articles
Mr. Webb spoke at the 2009 and 2010 Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Conference on “White-Collar Crime” and “Bet-the-Company Litigation Trends;” moderated a panel discussion for a Practising Law Institute Program titled “Managing Complex Federal Litigation: A Practical Guide to New Developments, Procedures, and Strategies 2009;” spoke at a PLI program in 2008 titled “Your Witness: Conducting a Killer Cross Examination;” and presented “How to Keep Your CEO—And Yourself—Out of Prison” at Corporate Counsel’s 20th Annual General Counsel Conference in New York City in June 2008.
Mr. Webb is a member of The National Law Journal’s editorial board and has co-authored a series of articles in The National Law Journal, including “Keep It Simple at First When Closing,” September 2009; “In a Closing, Argue, Don’t Summarize,” May 2009; “Expert Witness Prep,” February 2009; “Fact Witness Preparation,” December 2008; “Trial Teams,” May 2008; “Demonstrative Evidence,” March 2008; “Prior Statements,” December 2007; “Jury Voir Dire,” July 2007; and “The Opening Statement,” April 2007 (all with David Reich).
Mr. Webb has also been the subject of numerous articles published during his career as a trial attorney, including:
“War Story: It’s Easier to Cross-Examine A Priest Than A Legendary Football Coach,” The Business Insider, January 22, 2010
“‘Everyone’s Talking About this’: Cisco Pioneers Route to Alternative Billing,” Corporate Counsel magazine, November 2009
“Chicago Lawyer’s 2008 Person of the Year: Dan Webb of Winston & Strawn,” The Chicago Lawyer, December 2008
“Profiles in Power – The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America,” National Law Journal, June 19, 2006
“Closing Arguments As Real-Life Theater,” Chicago Tribune, March 9, 2006
“The Man Who Talked His Way Into Law School,” Illinois SuperLawyers, January 2006
“Witness’ Calm No Match for Ryan Lawyers’ Tenacity,” Chicago Sun-Times, December 13, 2005
“Ryan’s Trial a Battle of Heavyweights,” Chicago Tribune, September 26, 2005
“Racketeering and Fraud Trial Begins for Illinois Ex-Governor,” The New York Times, September 20, 2005
“Big Tobacco, In Court Again, But Stock Is Still Up,” The New York Times, August 14, 2005
“Ex-Governor Pins Hopes on ‘Aw, Shucks’ Guy from Bushnell,” Associated Press, March 20, 2005
“Pritzkers Settle Family Lawsuit; Cost: a Fortune,” The Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2005
“Crain’s List: 2004’s Big Litigation,” Crain’s Chicago Business, November 15, 2004
“Being Dan Webb,” The American Lawyer, September 2004
“Need a Superlawyer? Take a Number,” The New York Times, June 13, 2004
“Lead Tobacco Lawyers Some of Nation’s Best,” Winston-Salem Journal, September 21, 2004
“Tycoon’s Estate Meant Overtime for Executors – Jack Kent Cooke’s Will Sparked Fights, Big Fees; Redskins Handoff Fumbled,” The Wall Street Journal (Europe Edition), July 13, 2004
“Familiar Firepower Is Reunited in Grasso Case,” The Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2004
“Interview with Dan Webb,” Litigation, Volume 20, Number 2, Winter 2004
“In Ryan’s Corner: Top U.S. Defender,” Chicago Sun-Times, December 21, 2003
“Webb Set to Defend ‘Ryan the Man’ – Ex-U.S. Attorney a Top Litigator,” Chicago Tribune, December 19, 2003
“Peers Vote Webb Top Defense Lawyer in White-Collar Cases,” Chicago Sun-Times, May 28, 2003
“Who Do You Call When the SEC IS Knocking at Your Door? The White Collar Winner,” Corporate Legal Times, January 2003
“Webb Steps Up to Celebrity Bar – Welch Case Gives Lawyer Shot at New Kind of Stardom,” Crain’s Chicago Business, November 4, 2002
“Judge Permits a Litigator to Join Welch Divorce Team,” The New York Times, October 31, 2002
“Jack Welch to Add Top Trial Lawyer Webb to Divorce Team,” USA Today, October 30, 2002
“For Rivals, Change of Venue – Microsoft Case Puts Familiar Opponents in Unfamiliar Territory,” The Washington Post, April 15, 2002
“30 Tough Lawyers,” Chicago Magazine, March 2002
“Legal Heavyweights Add Punch to the Microsoft Case,” Los Angeles Times, March 17, 2002
“Who’s Who Among Practice Group Leaders Survey,” Chicago Lawyer, September 2001
“Can Dan Webb Pull Big Tobacco Out of the Fire?” Business Week, October 13, 1997
“Presumed Guilty,” Vanity Fair, October 1996
“GE Crushes the Trustbusters,” The American Lawyer, January/February 1995