Daniel F. Kolb
  1. Senior Counsel

Mr. Kolb has more than 45 years of experience as a practicing litigator and trial lawyer in both federal and state courts throughout the United States. Since he became senior counsel in July of 2011, he has devoted himself primarily to service as a mediator and arbitrator and to handling impact cases for those in need.

Mr. Kolb has been appointed to serve as a Mediator in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and New York's Supreme Court Commercial Division and Appellate Division for the First Department. He is also a member of the AAA Commercial and Accounting Panels of Arbitrators and CPR’s Panel of Distinguished Neutrals.

Work Highlights

  • Designated Arbitrator by two Fortune 100 corporations to resolve disputes between them arising out of a multi-billion dollar cross-border joint venture agreement
  • Arbitrator in AAA arbitration brought by major corporations involving complex commercial contract claims as to distressed debts ranging into the hundreds of millions of dollars
  • Representation of U.S. Fortune 100 corporation in the arbitration of a contract dispute with a major European corporation
  • Representation of major professional firms in numerous mediations arising out of the failures of major financial institutions, including successively the three largest bank failures in the history of the United States, several Fortune 500 corporations and the largest insurance company in North America
  • Representation of law firms in mediations arising out of malpractice claims in excess of $100 million dollars
  • Representation of New York’s Legal Aid Society in its pursuit of funding for effective defense of indigents in criminal matters
  • Along with The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, representation of plaintiffs in mass actions brought on behalf of individuals scammed when they sought mortgage modifications
  • Significant involvement in Election Protection efforts coordinated by The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Successful submission of an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in Caperton v. Massey Corporation on behalf of major corporations and business organizations seeking a decision that the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution required recusal by a justice of the Supreme Court of West Virginia who had received exceptionally large campaign contributions from a party
  • Successful submission of an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Haywood v. Drown on behalf of law school professors seeking reversal of a New York Court of Appeals decision affirming the State’s grant of immunity to corrections officers from civil rights-based damage claims
  • Further examples of representation of those in need include serving as counsel for a class of pre­school children in the City of New York seeking disability benefits provided by law, successful representation of a death row inmate and representation of indigent defendants in appeals after murder and robbery convictions


Mr. Kolb has been recognized as a leading lawyer in several legal industry publications, including:

  • Listed as a leading lawyer in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and Benchmark Litigation
  • Recipient of the Gould Award for Outstanding Advocacy, presented by the Office of the Appellate Defender
  • Recipient of The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Whitney North Seymour Award for Exemplary Support for Those in Need
  • Several times recipient of the Legal Aid Society’s Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service

Of Note

Mr. Kolb's current and past memberships include:

  • Member, American College of Trial Lawyers; former National Chair of the College’s Access to Justice Committee
  • Member, AAA’s Advisory Committee on Accounting Matters
  • Member, ADR Section, American Bar Association
  • Member, Dispute Resolution Section, New York State Bar Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee
  • Member, Audit Committee, New York City Bar; former Vice President and Chair of the Executive, Judiciary and Litigation Committees
  • Member of the Board, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; former National Co-Chair; Chair of the Development Committee
  • Vice Chair, Board of Directors, The Legal Aid Society; Chair of the Development Committee
  • Chair, Audit Committee, Brennan Center for Justice

Professional History

Davis Polk & Wardwell, LLP – 1965 to the present

  • Senior Counsel, 2011-present
  • Partner, 1973-2011
  • Practice Coordinator, Litigation Practice, 1989-1998
  • Head of the Washington Office, 1980-1988
  • Associate, 1965-1972

Practice Focus

Bar Admissions

  • State of New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. New York
  • U.S. District Court, S.D. New York


  • A.B., College of the Holy Cross, 1963
  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 1965
    • cum laude
    • Order of the Coif
    • Member, Michigan Law Review