Dan Donovan, a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, is an experienced trial lawyer. He tries energy, financial, technology and transportation disputes across the country. Dan has secured victories for plaintiffs and defendants in high-stakes matters before trial and appellate courts, juries and arbitration panels. He also counsels companies and executives on corporate governance matters. Dan has been ranked in Chambers USA and The Legal 500 U.S. and honored as The American Lawyer Litigator of the Week, a Benchmark Litigation Local Litigation Star and a BTI Consulting Group Client Service All-Star. Dan also litigates matters for voters, represents veterans seeking benefits, and spends substantial time training and mentoring lawyers.
Dan has successfully tried and secured material judgments for plaintiffs: a multi-week arbitration for BNSF Railway resulting in a $200 million recovery; a two-week arbitration for BNSF Railway resulting in $109 million recovery; and a seven-week trial for BASF resulting in a $169.9 million jury verdict. Dan has successfully secured judgments for defendants as well: a seven-week trial for alleged fraud resulting in a complete defense verdict; judgment for an oil and gas producer in a series of cases preventing termination of leases in Utica Shale; and secured summary judgment against a certified class alleging underpayment of royalties. He has also argued appeals in federal Courts of Appeals, the Ohio Supreme Court, the North Dakota Supreme Court and intermediate state courts of appeals.
Dan has tried many of the leading restructuring cases. In the past two years, Dan successfully tried confirmation trials for Chesapeake Energy and Covia Corporation, as well as representing Gulfport Energy during its restructuring. Dan represented Charter Communications in a 19-day trial against claims by its bank lenders that it breached its obligations in connection with more than $11 billion in secured financing and claims by creditors for breaches of fiduciary duties. In what the court characterized as the "most expertly tried” case over which he presided and “one of the most hotly contested confirmation battles ever conducted,” the court found in favor of Charter on all claims. The ruling was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The case was spotlighted by The American Lawyer in its AmLaw Litigation Daily. In 2011, Dan successfully represented Innkeepers USA Trust against an investor for failing to close a $1.1 billion acquisition of a hotel portfolio due to an alleged material adverse effect. The litigation was closely tracked and noted in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
Recognized in Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Litigators,” 2024
Recognized as Litigator of the Week runners-up by The American Lawyer Litigation Daily for class certification denial in a case involving more than 1,200 oil and gas leases in the Southern District of Ohio on behalf of client Gulfport Energy Corporation
Recognized as “Litigator of the Week” by Litigation Daily, 2020
Recognized by Chambers USA for Litigation: Oil and Gas, 2020–2023
BTI Consulting Group, “Client Service All-Star,” 2019
Recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a Local Litigation Star for Antitrust; Energy and Natural Resources; General Commercial; Intellectual Property, 2019–2022
Member, Class of 2016 ADR Champions, National Law Journal
Recognized by The Legal 500 U.S. for Energy Litigation: Oil and Gas and General Commercial Disputes
Chair, Recruiting Committee for the Washington, D.C., office
Member, The George Washington University Law School Board of Advisors
The George Washington University Law Review, Notes Editor
The George Washington University Legal Research & Writing Fellow
Jacob Burns Merit Scholar
Admissions & Qualifications
- 1998District of Columbia
- The George Washington University Law SchoolJ.D.with Highest Honors1996Jacob Burns Merit Scholar
- Villanova UniversityB.S., Accountingcum laude1993