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Elpidio “P.D.” Villarreal, Partner




Elpidio “P.D.” Villarreal, a partner at Gilbert Litigators & Counselors, has over 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). 


Areas of expertise:

P.D. has litigated and managed a wide variety of substantial

litigations including multiple large antitrust actions, involving significant pharmaceutical products such as Avandia and Paxil where claimed damages were many billions of dollars. In these actions, he directed large teams and outside antitrust counsel in litigation lasting years and formulated defense strategies for these actions. He has lectured on litigation, conflict resolution and diversity at multiple elite universities including Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, Stanford Law School, NYU and Notre Dame, and written extensively on these subjects. 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 


P.D. also provides C-suite strategic advice concerning litigation, dispute resolution and law department management.


  • 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 “P.D.” Villarreal

Robert S. Raymar

Julian B. Caprow