Craig C. Martin

Chairman, Midwest

Chicago
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
300 North LaSalle Dr.
Chicago, IL 60654-3406
T 312 728 9050
F 312 728 9199
cmartinwillkie.com

Craig C. Martin serves as Chairman, Midwest for the firm, a member of the Executive Committee, and a partner in the Litigation Department. A leading national trial lawyer, his clients include major Chicago companies and some of the nation’s most influential families, and he regularly appears as lead counsel in trials and appeals in state and federal courts as well as in domestic and international arbitrations. Craig also counsels boards and board committees of public and private companies and law firms on a variety of sensitive and complicated matters, and conducts board and management-driven investigations involving various subjects domestically and internationally.

Craig frequently speaks and writes on a variety of business and legal topics. Among his recognitions, he is listed in Chicago Magazine’s “Power 100,” a list of Chicago’s most powerful people and Crain’s Chicago Business “Who’s Who” in Chicago civic, professional, and cultural leaders. He is also highly ranked in Chambers USA (2021), which states that “he is great from the courtroom to boardroom, is unflappable in difficult situations and his skills as a trial lawyer are extraordinary.” Chambers has previously highlighted Craig’s “impressive intellect and great demeanor,” which are “very helpful in high-stakes contentious matters.” In the current edition Craig is ranked as a leading lawyer in four areas: Litigation: Trial Lawyers (National); ERISA Litigation (National); Litigation: General Commercial (Illinois); and Intellectual Property (Illinois).

Craig has appeared in The American Lawyer’s “Litigator of the Week” column for his courtroom successes, and has been featured in The National Law Journal’s “Masters of the Courtroom Winning Litigators” special report honoring trial lawyers for their victories in high-stakes matters.

Additionally, he teaches trial advocacy at the Harvard Law School and frequently presents at the Stanford Directors’ College on a number of legal topics, including crisis management.

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Craig C. Martin serves as Chairman, Midwest for the firm, a member of the Executive Committee, and a partner in the Litigation Department. A leading national trial lawyer, his clients include major Chicago companies and some of the nation’s most influential families, and he regularly appears as lead counsel in trials and appeals in state and federal courts as well as in domestic and international arbitrations. Craig also counsels boards and board committees of public and private companies and law firms on a variety of sensitive and complicated matters, and conducts board and management-driven investigations involving various subjects domestically and internationally.

Prior Experience

Craig was previously a partner at another major law firm in Chicago, where he also served as firm chair.

Selected Professional and Business Activities

Craig serves on the Aspen Institute board of trustees, as well as the boards of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, the Crown Family Philanthropies, the Urban League of Chicago, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the University of Chicago Law School Advisory Council. He is also a member of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and the Economic Club of Chicago.

Craig teaches Advanced Trial Advocacy at Harvard Law School and Crisis Management at the Stanford Directors College.

For nearly two decades, he was a member of the Corporate Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, including serving as secretary, vice-chairman and as chairman from 2011 to 2014. For nearly a decade, Craig served on the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness.

He received the Judge Learned Hand Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee for his extraordinary professional accomplishments and dedication to philanthropic and civic endeavors.

He is currently an active member of the American Law Institute and American Bar Association, Section on Litigation, and the Richard Linn American Inn of Court.

Selected Publications and Lectures

Publications

  • Co-Author, “Determining Necessity of Discretionary Distributions,” The Estate Planner, June 17, 2020
  • Co-Author, “Making a Federal Case out of Trustee Termination,” WealthManagement.com, March 3, 2020
  • Co-Author, “The Perils of Failing to Follow the Trust Instrument,” The Estate Planner, November 20, 2019
  • Co-Author, “SIPCO and Covered Business Methods – Courts Continue to Struggle with PTAB Regs,” Bloomberg Law, November 15, 2019
  • Co-Author, “Early Returns on Actuarial Equivalence Cases,” Employee Relations Law Journal, Winter 2019
  • Co-Author, “A Trustee’s Fiduciary Duties May Extend to 529 Accounts,” WealthManagement.com, June 26, 2019
  • Co-Author, “Everything Old is New Again: Stock Drop Lawsuits on the Rise,” Employee Relations Law Journal, Summer 2019
  • Co-Author, “Drawing the Line Between Possible and Plausible in Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims,” Employee Relations Law Journal, Spring 2019
  • Co-Author, “Fee Awards Under ERISA – The Long and Winding Road to ‘Some Success on the Merits,’“ Employee Relations Law Journal, Autumn 2018
  • Co-Author, “New Plaintiffs’ Firms Bring Increased ERISA Litigation Risks for Employers,” Employee Relations Law Journal, Summer 2018
  • Co-Author, “Corporate Information Technology Transactions and Disputes,” Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel, May 2018
  • Co-Author, “What Happens After Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims Stemming from Denials of Benefits Survive a Motion to Dismiss,” Employee Relations Law Journal, Spring 2018
  • Co-Author, “Equitable Relief under ERISA Following Amara,” Employee Relations Law Journal, Winter 2017
  • Co-Author, “The Upward Trend in ERISA Class Action Class Action Settlements,” Employee Relations Law Journal, Autumn 2017
  • Co-Author, “Cert Denial in Carolinas Electrical Workers Retirement Plan a Win for ERISA Plan Service Providers,” Employee Relations Law Journal, Summer 2017
  • Co-Author, “A Deepening Split: Enforceability of Venue Selection Clauses Under ERISA,” Employee Relations Law Journal, Spring 2017
  • Co-Author, “Crisis Management,” Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, Fourth Edition; Thomson Reuters & The American Bar Association Section of Litigation, December 2016 and 2017, 2018 and 2019 Supplements
  • Co-Author, “A Cautionary Note on Venue Selection Clauses in ERISA Plans,” Employee Relations Law Journal, Winter 2016
  • Co-Author, “Providers Beware: Failure to Keep Track Means You Have to Pay It Back,” Employee Relations Law Journal, Autumn 2016
  • Co-Author, “When the Shoe Doesn’t Fit: Provider-Plaintiffs’ Standing in the Face of Anti-Assignment Clauses,” Employee Relations Law Journal, May 9, 2016
  • Co-Author, “Will the Duty to Monitor Erode ERISA’s Limitations Provisions?” Employee Relations Law Journal, Spring 2016
  • Co-Author, “The ERISA Trifecta: Injury, Standing, and Equitable Relief,” Employee Relations Law Journal, Winter 2015
  • Co-Author, “When Is a Church Not a Church?” Employee Relations Law Journal, Autumn 2015
  • Co-Author, “A Farewell to Yard-Man,” Employee Relations Law Journal, Summer 2015
  • Co-Author, “Perez v. Bruister: An Appraisal,” Employee Relations Law Journal, Spring 2015

Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, “Phoenix Issue IV. Antitrust – Patent Interface and Conflict in view of FTC v. Qualcomm” The Naples Round Table, February 2021
  • Panelist, “Phoenix Issue II. Is There a Current Conflict between the Goals and Implementation of the Patent Laws and Antitrust Laws that Is Impeding the Effectiveness of the US Patent System’s Ability to Promote Investment in Developing and Marketing New Technology?” The Naples Round Table, February 2020
  • Moderator, General Counsel Roundtable, First Chair Awards Conference, August 28, 2019
  • Speaker, “Luncheon and Keynote Address,” Stanford Directors’ College, June 25, 2019
  • Moderator, 8th Annual Chicago Legal Market Conference, June 18, 2019
  • Panelist, “Phoenix Issue VI. Is There a Current Conflict Between Implementation of the Patent Laws and Antitrust Laws?” The Naples Round Table, February 2019
  • Panelist, “Political Changes Affecting Our Business,” Aon Global Law Conference, March 2018
  • Panelist, “When Disaster Strikes ... From VW, to BP, to GM, to WF, and Beyond,” Stanford Directors’ College, June 27, 2017
  • Panelist, “Challenges of Commercial Litigation,” International Legal Alliance Summit (ILISA), June 15, 2017
  • Panelist, “Trade Secrets Protection: How to Respond Effectively When a Company Becomes A Victim of American Intellectual Property Theft,” Kirkland & Ellis, June 9, 2017
  • Speaker, “Compensation and Staffing as Levers of Cultural Changes,” Global Law Leaders Conference, October 3, 2017
  • Moderator, 14th National Forum on ERISA Litigation, American Conference Institute, March 1, 2017
  • Panelist, “When Disaster Strikes,” Stanford Directors’ College, June 21, 2016
  • Panelist, American Conference Institute’s 11th National Forum on ERISA Litigation, March 1, 2016

Recognition, Honors & Awards

  • Leading Lawyers Network – Top 100 Business Lawyers in Illinois (2009), Commercial Litigation, since 2004
    Advisory Board Member
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
    Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service, 2012, 2018 (Tobert v. Colvin)
  • Best Lawyers in America – Commercial Litigation (since 2014)
  • Chambers USA – Litigation: General Commercial (Illinois) (since 2014); Litigation: Trial Lawyers (Nationwide) (since 2021)
  • Chambers USA – ERISA Litigation (Nationwide) (since 2021)
  • Chambers USA – Intellectual Property (Illinois) (since 2021)
  • The Legal 500 United States – Leading Trial Lawyer (since 2019), The Legal 500 United States – Dispute Resolution - General Commercial Disputes (since 2016); Leading Lawyer (since 2017)
  • The Legal 500 United States – Dispute Resolution - Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense (since 2017)
  • The Legal 500 United States – Labor and Employment - ERISA Litigation (since 2016)
  • Chicago Magazine – “The Power 100,” 2015
  • Harvard Law Society of Illinois – Role Model, 2012
  • American Jewish Committee – Judge Learned Hand Human Relations Award, 2011

Publications / News / Events

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Recognition, Honors & Awards

  • Leading Lawyers Network – Top 100 Business Lawyers in Illinois (2009), Commercial Litigation, since 2004
    Advisory Board Member
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
    Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service, 2012, 2018 (Tobert v. Colvin)
  • Best Lawyers in America – Commercial Litigation (since 2014)
  • Chambers USA – Litigation: General Commercial (Illinois) (since 2014); Litigation: Trial Lawyers (Nationwide) (since 2021)
  • Chambers USA – ERISA Litigation (Nationwide) (since 2021)
  • Chambers USA – Intellectual Property (Illinois) (since 2021)
  • The Legal 500 United States – Leading Trial Lawyer (since 2019), The Legal 500 United States – Dispute Resolution - General Commercial Disputes (since 2016); Leading Lawyer (since 2017)
  • The Legal 500 United States – Dispute Resolution - Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense (since 2017)
  • The Legal 500 United States – Labor and Employment - ERISA Litigation (since 2016)
  • Chicago Magazine – “The Power 100,” 2015
  • Harvard Law Society of Illinois – Role Model, 2012
  • American Jewish Committee – Judge Learned Hand Human Relations Award, 2011
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