CHICAGO, Sept. 12, 2006— LAWFUEL – US Law News Daily – Winston & Strawn today announced that the firm’s executive committee unanimously approved the election of litigation heavyweight Dan Webb as chairman of the firm. He replaces Governor James R. Thompson who stepped down after 12 years as Winston’s chairman.
“It is a privilege to be elected chairman of the firm, and although I fully intend to continue in my day-to-day practice and to serve our clients, I look forward to assisting our leadership team in its efforts to plan for the future,” said Webb.
Webb, 61, is recognized consistently as one of the most sought-after trial lawyers in the United States. He received international attention for his successful prosecution of retired Admiral John Poindexter in the Iran-Contra affair. As the U.S. district attorney for the northern district of Illinois, he spearheaded the “Operation Greylord” investigations into judicial corruption in Cook County, Illinois. He received national attention for his work as lead trial counsel for General Electric, successfully defending it against criminal price-fixing allegations, as well as for his representation of Microsoft Corporation in its antitrust litigation and Philip Morris in its tobacco-related litigation. In addition, Webb represented the New York Stock Exchange in connection with an internal investigation over compensation to its former Chairman Richard Grasso and currently represents the NYSE in subsequent litigation. Most recently, Webb served as lead counsel in the six-month jury trial of former Governor of Illinois George H. Ryan on public corruption charges. He resides in Burr Ridge, Illinois.
Webb also commented, “All of us at Winston & Strawn owe Jim Thompson, our former chairman, and Jim Neis, our former managing partner, a tremendous debt of gratitude. Under their leadership, they have greatly enhanced the firm’s reach and have positioned us to take advantage of many future opportunities.” Thompson, 70, will remain actively involved with the firm and throughout the business community as senior chairman. His distinguished career includes serving as the longest-term governor of Illinois; he was also U.S. district attorney for the northern district of Illinois. Listed as one of the nation’s 100 most influential lawyers by the National Law Journal, Thompson gained additional national recognition as one of the ten commissioners appointed by Congress to examine and report about the events related to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Thompson and the other nine commissioners issued the “911 Report” in August, 2004. Thompson first joined Winston & Strawn in 1975 and rejoined the firm when he left the governor’s office in 1991. Thompson was educated at the University of Illinois and Washington University, and received his law degree from Northwestern University Law School. Thompson resides in Chicago.
“I decided it was time to step down as chairman, but I am looking forward to remaining involved at the firm as senior chairman and providing whatever assistance I can to the firm,” stated Thompson.
The election also marks the formal transition of managing partner from Neis to Thomas Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald will now be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the firm and will consult with Neis on the transition of such responsibilities.
Fitzgerald, 52, is a partner in the firm’s tax practice and was named managing partner-elect in February 2006. His practice focuses on tax issues related to acquisitions, divestitures, mergers and reorganizations as well as tax controversy matters. Fitzgerald joined the firm as an associate in 1979 and has served on the firm’s executive committee and chaired the compensation committee. Fitzgerald is a graduate of Notre Dame Law School and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame. He is a resident of Oak Brook, Illinois.
Winston & Strawn LLP is a national commercial law firm with more than 850 attorneys in nine offices including Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Paris, Geneva and Moscow.