A partner and co-chair of the Litigation Department, Theodore V. Wells, Jr. has extensive litigation experience in white-collar criminal defense, complex civil and corporate litigation, SEC regulatory work, healthcare fraud, FCPA, AML and OFAC investigations, environmental matters and class action litigation.
In 2010 The National Law Journal named Ted one of “The Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers” and over the years has repeatedly selected him as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America, including naming Ted as the Lawyer of the Year in 2006. Ted also has been recognized as one of the outstanding jury trial lawyers in the United States by numerous publications including Chambers USA, which in 2012 recognized him as “the best trial lawyer in the country.” Chambers USA 2013 edition has named him a Star Performer in three categories: nationwide trial litigation, New York general commercial litigation and New York white-collar crime and government investigations, and Benchmark Litigation named him in similar categories. Legal 500 has recognized him as a Leading Trial Lawyer.
In 2010, Ted successfully defended Citigroup in
a three-week jury trial where the plaintiff, the London-based
private equity firm Terra Firma, claimed it was defrauded in
connection with its purchase of the music company EMI, and claimed
over $8 billion in damages.
In 2008, Ted successfully defended Citigroup in
a five-month jury trial where the plaintiff alleged that Citigroup
aided and abetted in the massive fraud at Parmalat, the Italian
dairy and food corporation. The jury totally rejected the $2
billion claim for damages against Citigroup and also awarded
Citigroup $364 million on Citigroup's counterclaim.
In 2012, Ted served as lead trial counsel for Bank of
America in the massive securities class action relating to
Bank of America's acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co. The case
was settled on the eve of trial.
In 2013, Ted served as lead counsel for Merck
in the massive securities fraud class action relating to the drug
Vytorin. The case was settled on the eve of trial.
Ted was lead trial counsel for Merck in the
federal regulatory investigations related to Vioxx and was lead
counsel for Abbott Laboratories in the federal
regulatory investigations relating to Depakote. Both the Vioxx and
Depakote federal regulatory investigations were successfully
settled in 2012.
Some of Ted's significant and publicly reported representations
- the successful defense of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Michael Espy in U.S. v.
- the successful defense of U.S. Secretary of Labor
Raymond Donovan and other corporate executives in
State v. Schiavone;
- the successful defense of U.S. Senator Robert
Torricelli in the Department of Justice's three-year
campaign finance investigation;
- the successful defense of investment banker Frank
Quattrone for obstruction of justice charges;
- defense of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of
staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney, on perjury charges in
U.S. v. Libby;
- the successful defense of former New York Governor
Eliot Spitzer for possible violations of federal
- the successful defense of former New York Governor
David Paterson for possible ethics
- the successful defense of Margaret Flake and
U.S. Congressman Floyd Flake in U.S. v.
- the successful defense of Tennessee financier Franklin
L. Haney, accused of campaign contribution law violations
in connection with the Clinton/Gore 1996 Presidential campaign in
U.S. v. Haney; and
- the successful defense of San Francisco investment banker
Calvin Grigsby of fraud charges involving the Port
of Miami and Dade County, Florida in U.S. v.
In addition to defending a number of political figures, Ted has
also represented numerous corporate executives and corporations in
jury trials, grand jury investigations and before the SEC. Ted also
has extensive experience in representing major pharmaceutical
companies in criminal and civil matters involving off-label
More specifically, he has defended:
- financier Michael Milken in various criminal
and civil securities litigations;
- financier Michael Steinhardt in the Salomon
Brothers Treasury Investigation;
- hedge fund manager James Regan in the first
Wall Street RICO prosecution in U.S. v.
- Carnival Corporation in U.S. v.
Carnival Corporation (environmental prosecution); and
- Exxon Mobil Corporation in
U.S. v. Exxon (environmental prosecution).
Ted also has extensive experience in representing major
corporations in massive class action litigations, including
Merck, Johnson & Johnson,
Bank of America, Mitsubishi
Corporation, Carnival Corporation and
Philip Morris Corporation.
In addition, Ted has successfully defended major law firms in
With extensive experience in corporate governance issues, Ted
previously served on the Board of Directors of CIT Corporation, a
New York Stock Exchange company, where he was a member of CIT's
Ted is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has
served as co-chair of the White-Collar Criminal Section of the
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has been a
faculty member of the Practising Law Institute Trial Advocacy
Program, a teaching team member of the Harvard Law School Trial
Advocacy Workshop and a lecturer at the Securities Regulation
Institute. He has lectured on the use and scope of the RICO
statute, the defense of securities, healthcare and environmental
criminal and civil matters, federal grand jury procedures and
federal sentencing guidelines.
Active in social, political and community affairs, Ted served as
national treasurer for Senator Bill Bradley's presidential campaign
and is the chairman emeritus of the NAACP Legal Defense and
Educational Fund Board of Directors. He previously served, on
a pro bono basis, as general counsel to the New Jersey NAACP, New
Jersey co-chairperson of the United Negro College Fund and general
counsel to the New Jersey Democratic Party. Ted is a Fellow of
the Harvard Corporation, the governing body of Harvard
Ted served as an editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil
Liberties Law Review.