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.
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.