Daniel J. Collins

daniel.collins dbr.com
Phone: (312) 569-1358 (312) 569-1358
Fax: (312) 569-3358


Daniel J. Collins represents companies, boards of directors, and senior executives in responding to government and regulatory inquiries, conducting internal investigations, and handling other complex litigation matters. He is an experienced trial attorney, having tried more than 25 cases to verdict in criminal and civil proceedings in both federal and state courts. Dan currently serves as a Managing Partner of the firm, chair of the firm's Litigation Group and co-chair of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations practice.

Dan, a former federal prosecutor, has extensive experience working with federal and state prosecutors, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and other regulatory agencies.

Before joining Drinker Biddle, Dan was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. During this time he investigated and prosecuted a wide array of white collar crimes. Dan held multiple supervisory positions while at the United States Attorney’s Office, including Deputy Chief of the Financial Crimes and Special Prosecution section, where he oversaw the work of several senior AUSAs in the investigation of more complicated white collar matters. Before that, Dan served as Acting Chief and Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Section, where he supervised and trained AUSAs in federal criminal practice and trial advocacy.

Dan also served seven years as the Export Enforcement Program Manager for the Northern District of Illinois. He counseled the senior management of criminal enforcement authorities who investigate violations of country-based sanctions and export controls. Dan supervised and participated directly in numerous investigations, and frequently coordinated with the Department of Justice’s National Security Division to obtain the necessary approval for charges against companies and individuals.

Before he worked as an AUSA, Dan founded a trial firm where he represented companies and individuals in a wide range of matters, including trade secret theft, trademark infringement, breaches of restrictive covenants, and shareholder disputes. Dan tried cases before juries in both federal and state court, prosecuted and defended numerous requests for temporary restraining orders, and argued appeals before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Illinois Appellate Court. Dan also has been appointed as a Special Assistant Attorney General on two separate occasions, representing the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions and the Illinois Office of Banks and Real Estate.

Dan has lectured extensively on a variety of enforcement issues facing companies, including international sanctions and export controls, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and internal controls relating to fraud. He has lectured both in the United States and abroad, including London, Paris, Rome, Dublin, and Prague. 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.


Dan is regularly retained by companies, boards of directors, audit committees, special litigation committees, and general counsel to conduct internal investigations. Selected representative matters include:

  • 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.

Dan defends companies and senior executives on a wide range of white collar criminal and related civil matters. Selected representative matters include:

  • 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.

During his time as a federal prosecutor, Dan investigated a wide array of white collar crimes, including commodities and securities fraud, bank fraud, mail and wire fraud, computer access fraud, health care fraud, export controls and sanctions, public corruption, tax evasion and money laundering. Selected representative matters include:

  • 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.


Chambers USA, Illinois, Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations (2015-2019)
Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers

Dan was trusted to lead several high-profile matters as a prosecutor, and earned several awards:

The Department of Justice’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney
The National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medal
The FBI Director’s Award for Excellence in Counter-Terrorism Investigations
The Federal Executive Board’s Award for Outstanding Law Enforcement Team
Department of Justice Performance Awards

Awards Methodology (www.drinkerbiddle.com/content/awards)

Dan Collins is praised by peers as 'a very savvy, tactical and hard-working lawyer, who is held in high esteem in the community.'


Clients have described Dan as a 'really smart guy who is also down-to-earth' with 'a great bedside manner.'


Daniel Collins regularly represents companies under government investigation and high-profile executives facing criminal charges. He is held in high regard by clients, who describe him as ‘enormously responsive and practical. He has the credibility of having been with the DOJ; he has that experience plus a practical sense.’


Daniel Collins of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP is a specialist in white-collar criminal trials and government investigations. He offers strengths in disputes concerning healthcare violations, securities fraud and embezzlement. Sources report: ‘His strengths are his ability to analyze and strategize, and he also has first-rate cross-examination skills.’



Bar Admissions

  • Illinois


  • DePaul University College of Law, J.D., with Honor, Order of the Coif
  • Northwestern University, B.A., Chick Evans Scholar

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois