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Elpidio “PD” Villarreal, Partner





Elpidio “PD” Villarreal, a partner at Gilbert Litigators & Counselors, has more than 35 years of litigation experience, both as a partner at national law firm Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal (now part of Dentons) and as chief of litigation for several major multinational companies, including global head of litigation for GlaxoSmithKline for a decade and, most recently, as chief litigation officer of Allergan (now part of AbbVie). 

Current Litigation:

Working with Gilbert Litigators’ Managing Partner Bob Gilbert, PD is a lead attorney in one of the most prominent antitrust class action lawsuits in the United States, Henry et. al. v. Brown University et. al. The litigation alleges that 17 elite, private universities have been colluding for years in a financial aid price-fixing conspiracy. The firm and its co-lead counsel represent more than 200,000 plaintiffs. The defendants are represented by several of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the world.


Areas of expertise:


PD has litigated and managed a variety of significant lawsuits, including multiple large antitrust actions involving major pharmaceutical products, such as Avandia and Paxil, where claimed damages totaled many billions of dollars. PD formulated defense strategies in litigation lasting years and directed large teams of inside and outside antitrust counsel. He has also lectured on litigation, conflict resolution and diversity at multiple elite universities, including Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, Stanford Law School, NYU Stern School of Business and University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business, and has written extensively on these subjects. PD also provides C-suite strategic advice concerning litigation, dispute resolution and law department management.


His experience at a senior level includes:

  • Pharmaceutical litigation

  • Antitrust litigation

  • Alternative dispute resolution

  • Litigation involving significant public policy issues

  • Fraud and business tort cases

  • Product Liability

  • Fiduciary duty litigation

  • International arbitration and litigation

  • Technology litigation 

  • Trade secret, trademark and copyright litigation

  • Complex contractual disputes

  • Disputes between joint venture partners

  • Defamation

  • False advertising

  • Licensing and distribution disputes

  • Corporate governance issues

  • Corporate dissolution disputes

  • Internal investigations

  • Regulatory compliance investigations

  • Shareholder litigation

  • Whistleblower litigation 


  • Columbia University, B.A. 1982

  • Yale Law School, J.D. 1985


Awards & Honors: 

  • Named one of The Legal Intelligencer 2015 Diverse Attorneys of the Year

  • Named one of The Legal 500 United States-Corporate Counsel 100 in 2013

  • Named one of the most innovative corporate counsel in America by Law360 in 2011

  • Winner of the 2011 CPR Diversity in ADR Award

  • Winner of the 2008 Lucero Award from the Latino Justice Organization



  • Illinois and U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

  • Connecticut



Robert D. Gilbert

Elpidio “PD” Villarreal

Robert S. Raymar

David Copeland

Julian B. Caprow

CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER - LinkedIn article:

During the past 30 years the Chief Legal Officer (CLO) role has gone through a gargantuan revolution...pioneers include James L. Lipscomb, Thomas Sabatino, Jeff Kindler and PD Villareal...Chief Legal Officers can be compared to mighty warriors

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