Overview

Daniel Collins is a nationally recognized trial lawyer who represents clients in a variety of complex litigation matters. An award-winning former federal prosecutor, Dan regularly interacts with the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other government agencies. Dan co-leads the firm’s litigation practice group, comprising over 250 lawyers and other professionals.

Dan is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a distinction reserved for the top one percent of trial lawyers across the United States and Canada. He also has been recognized repeatedly by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, in which clients and peers have described him as “a very savvy, tactical and hard-working lawyer who is held in high esteem in the community” with “first rate cross-examination skills” and “a great bed-side manner.”

During his 10-year career as an assistant United States attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Dan led a number of significant prosecutions and trials, including the international investigation of those responsible for the planning of the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, a case featured in Frontline PBS’s “A Perfect Terrorist.” Dan held several supervisory positions, including deputy chief of the financial crimes and special prosecution section and acting chief of the general crimes section.

Internal Investigations

Dan has led numerous internal investigations on behalf of Fortune 100 corporations as well as smaller privately held organizations on a wide spectrum of issues, including securities and accounting fraud, health care fraud, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), pay-to-play regulations, antitrust, money laundering, and trade secret theft. Dan has advised clients on self-disclosure issues and on navigating issues presented by DOJ’s Principles of Federal Prosecution of Business Organizations.

Representative Experience

  • Led an internal investigation on behalf of a public corporation into allegations that business partners had violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by making improper payments to government purchasers.
  • Led an internal investigation on behalf of a Fortune 100 corporation into allegations that an overseas business unit had exported chemical-based products in violation of US law.
  • Led an internal investigation on behalf of a public corporation into allegations of accounting fraud.
  • Led an internal investigation on behalf of a Fortune 250 corporation into allegations of fraud relating to government purchases.
  • Led an internal investigation on behalf of a public corporation into allegations of issues with its revenue recognition.
  • Led an internal investigation on behalf of a not-for-profit institution into allegations of fraud and embezzlement by a senior employee. The investigation resulted in a full recovery.
  • Led an investigation on behalf of the City of Chicago into whether former City Comptroller Amer Ahmad had defrauded the taxpayers of Chicago or otherwise abused the influence of his office. At the conclusion of the investigation, Dan issued a public report of his findings.
  • Counseled an insurance company headquartered in New York in an investigation into its compliance with international sanctions.

White Collar Defense

Dan has defended companies and individuals with the primary goal of persuading authorities not to bring charges. When necessary, however, Dan has aggressively defended clients’ interests and obtained favorable results at trial. For example, in a recent high-profile, health care fraud trial, Dan obtained the dismissal of all felony charges for his client after six weeks of trial. According to the Chicago Tribune, the case “fizzled in stunning fashion in the midst of trial.”

Dan has lectured extensively in the United States and abroad on a variety of enforcement issues facing companies, including international sanctions and export controls, FCPA and internal controls relating to fraud. As a prosecutor, Dan was a faculty member at the Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center, where he spoke about complex issues in FISA/CIPA litigation. Dan also has taught courses in trial advocacy, national security, and computer crime at law schools in Chicago.

Representative Experience

  • Represented the former CEO of a national bank in a three-week criminal trial on charges that he conspired with other bank executives to commit securities fraud and other violations by causing the bank to understate its loan loss reserves and otherwise delay the recognition of loss.
  • Secured a non-prosecution agreement on behalf of a public corporation under investigation by the Department of Justice for federal program fraud.
  • Represented the former owner and CEO of a Chicago-area hospital in a seven-week criminal trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on charges that he led a conspiracy to pay kickbacks to physicians for referrals.
  • Represented a Quantitative Researcher at a high-frequency trading firm, charged with six counts of wire fraud and obstruction of justice. After negotiating a plea dismissing all wire fraud charges, Dan obtained a sentence of probation following a contested sentencing hearing.
  • Represented the President of a national construction company on charges of wire fraud, and successfully negotiated a sentence of probation.
  • Represented the Director of International Sales for a global manufacturer of plastic products in an investigation into violations of IEEPA. The investigation was closed without any action taken by authorities.
  • Represented a hospital in a false claims case filed by a whistleblower, securing a dismissal with prejudice of the complaint.
  • Represented a physician’s practice in a false claims case filed by the United States Government following a qui tam complaint by a whistleblower.
  • Represented a hospital in response to a government investigation into alleged improper billing and referral practices.
  • Represented the former CEO of a prominent institution on allegations of securities fraud.
  • Defeated requests for injunctive relief in state court against six principals of a start-up company accused of stealing trade secrets from their former employer.
  • Obtained summary judgment in federal court for a former insurance executive who was accused of breaching his duty of loyalty, tortious interference with business relations and other claims after leaving a Fortune 500 insurance company for a competitor.

Federal Prosecutions

  • Led the investigation and prosecution of six defendants who were responsible for the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, that resulted in the death of approximately 166 victims and injuries to hundreds more. The defendants included top leaders of the Pakistani terrorist organization Lashkar e Taiba. The Chicago Tribune described the case as the "most significant terrorism case ever prosecuted in Chicago."
  • Led the investigation and prosecution of five defendants who conspired to commit a terrorist attack against the Jyllands Posten, a newspaper with offices in Copenhagen, Denmark. The lead defendant, Ilyas Kashmiri, was reported to be a top leader of al Qaeda and a potential replacement for Osama bin Laden following his death.
  • Led the investigation and prosecution of a business owner who conspired to commit computer access fraud, having bribed the employees of a major credit reporting service's BPO unit in India to alter the credit scores of numerous individuals. The defendant's clients used the falsely inflated credit scores to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in financing.
  • Led the investigation and prosecution of the Mayor of the Village of Niles and the President of an insurance brokerage firm for various corruption and tax offenses. The investigation uncovered a complicated bribery scheme that had lasted for over 30 years. At the time of his arrest, the lead defendant was the second longest-sitting mayor in the United States.
  • Led the prosecution of the president of a mortgage lender, along with two other executives, for six counts of wire fraud after the lender issued fraudulent securities to victims. After a parallel investigation, the SEC filed a complaint against the same individuals, charging violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
  • Led the investigation and prosecution of an Associated Person at MF Global for commodities fraud violations. The AP had caused a loss of approximately $141 million following two days of unauthorized trading and violating speculative position limits. In the parallel civil proceedings conducted by the CFTC, MF Global agreed to pay a $10 million penalty.

Credentials

Bar Admissions

Illinois

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Education

DePaul University College of Law
J.D. with Honor, Order of the Coif

Northwestern University
B.A. Chick Evans Scholar

Insights & Events

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • Illinois Supreme Court, Character and Fitness Committee
  • Chicago Inn of Court — Past President

Civic Activities

  • Cove School, Board of Trustees — The Cove School is dedicated to students with complex learning disabilities.

Firm Leadership

  • Co-leader, Litigation Practice Group
  • Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP — Chair, Litigation Group

Honors

  • American College of Trial Lawyers — Fellow
  • Chambers USA Illinois, Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations, 2015-20
  • U.S. Department of Justice — Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney
  • U.S. Department of National Intelligence — Exceptional Achievement Medal
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation — Director’s Award for Excellence in Counter-Terrorism Investigations
  • Federal Executive Board —Award for Outstanding Law Enforcement Team
  • Department of Justice — Performance Awards

Awards Methodology

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