ProfessionalsTheodore V. Wells Jr.
A partner and co-chair of the Litigation Department, Theodore V. Wells, Jr. has extensive litigation experience in white-collar 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 has noted that Ted “is considered by many to be ‘the best trial lawyer in the country.’” Since 2013, Chambers USA has named Ted 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. The Legal 500 has recognized him as a Leading Lawyer in white-collar criminal defense and as a Leading Trial Lawyer. Recently, in 2017, Ted was named a recipient for the New York Law Journal’s “Lifetime Achievement” award.
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 include:
- the successful defense of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Michael Espy in U.S. v. Espy;
- 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 statutes;
- the successful defense of former New York Governor David Paterson for possible ethics violations;
- the successful defense of Margaret Flake and U.S. Congressman Floyd Flake in U.S. v. Flake;
- 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. Grigsby.
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 marketing issues.
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. Regan;
- 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 malpractice actions.
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 audit committee.
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 University.
Ted served as an editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.