Brian Whisler is a senior leader in the Litigation and Government Enforcement Practice, and has previously served as Chair of the DC Litigation and Government Enforcement Practice Group. He is a member of the Global Compliance and Investigations, Dispute Resolution and Health Care and Life Sciences Practice Groups.
Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Brian served for fifteen years as a federal prosecutor with the US Department of Justice. During that time, he was the Criminal Chief Assistant US Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond, overseeing and prosecuting cases ranging from white collar crime, violent crime, public corruption, and terrorism. His trial practice focused predominantly on white collar cases, including health care fraud, securities fraud, public corruption, money laundering and tax fraud. He previously served as an Assistant US Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina for ten years, where he focused on white collar prosecutions and received the Attorney General’s Award for his prosecutions in a money laundering investigation resulting in convictions of more than 25 defendants after three jury trials and multiple guilty pleas. He also served as Chief of Appeals and Health Care Fraud Coordinator for the same jurisdiction.
Brian has also served as adjunct professor at the University of Richmond, TC Williams School of Law and an instructor at the National Advocacy Center for the US Justice Department in Columbia, South Carolina.
Brian has extensive federal trial and appellate experience, having tried over 30 cases to verdict and argued more than 40 cases at the federal appellate level. He is experienced in handling a broad range of civil and criminal matters, including cases implicating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, False Claims Act, Anti-Money Laundering laws, Health Care Fraud, Securities Fraud, and Procurement Fraud.
Brian has led multijurisdictional internal investigations and provided regulatory advice to multinational and domestic clients across many sectors, including oil and gas services, pharmaceuticals, financial services, manufacturing, and telecommunications. Additionally, he has developed compliance programs for Fortune 50 corporate clients, advised Boards and Audit Committees, guided companies and individuals in government investigations in multiple global jurisdictions and defended clients in criminal and civil litigation. He also represents companies and individual clients in investigations before multilateral institutions, including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, as well as the US Agency for International Development, the United Nations, and the Global Fund.
Representative Legal Matters
Represented investment advisor firm and its president in a civil enforcement action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, resulting in a favorable settlement based on allegation of negligent conduct.
Represented multiple entities and individuals in US Department of Justice investigation predicated on the Panama Papers.
Represented state executives in US Environmental Protection Agency suspension and debarment proceedings, resulting in dismissal of suspensions.
Secured from the US Justice Department a declination of prosecution with no financial penalty for a US government contractor after making a voluntary disclosure and conducting an internal investigation of conduct in Afghanistan.
Representing a multinational company in pending investigations before the World Bank, US Justice Department and UK Serious Fraud Office.
Represented a US-based consulting company in an FCPA investigation before the US Justice Department and Securities & Exchange Commission.
Served as pool counsel for witnesses from the Cabinet and Senior Staff of Governor McDonnell in federal corruption case of U.S. v. Robert McDonnell et. al., Eastern District of Virginia.
Represented a US defense contractor in FCPA investigation before the US Justice Department.
Represented a global financial institution in FCPA investigation before the US Justice Department.
Represented a member of the US Congress in a federal grand jury investigation.
Represented a multinational corporation before the Global Fund Sanctions Board.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- International Bar Association
- Virginia State Bar, Health Care Law Section
- Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists - Member
- Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics
- ABA Global Anti-Corruption Task Force
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims~United States (2016)
- District of Columbia~United States (2013)
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina~United States (2010)
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (2002)
- North Carolina~United States (1994)
- U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina~United States (1993)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit~United States (1989)
- Virginia~United States (1989)
- George Mason University (JD) (1989)
- Grove City College (BA) (1985)
Co-author, "How FARA May Be Affected By New Case Law And Reforms," Law360, February 2023
Co-author, "COVID-19 Brings Increased Scrutiny from Development Banks," Ethisphere Magazine, December 2020
Co-author, "Procurement Collusion Strike Force and Implications for US Companies and Beyond," November 2019 (nominated to shortlist for Concurrences 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards)
Co-author, "Anticipating New French Anti-Corruption Rules," Law360, 23 September 2015
Author, "Why DOJ Struggles to Convict Individuals in FCPA cases," Law360, 8 September 2015
Author, "Anticipating New French Anti-Corruption Rules: France Signals Willingness to Strengthen Legislation to Combat Bribery and Corruption," Global Investigative Review, September 2015