Brian L. Whisler

Baker & McKenzie LLP


Brian Whisler is the immediate past Chair of the DC Litigation and Government Enforcement Practice Group and a member of the Compliance and Investigations, Dispute Resolution and Global Pharmaceuticals Practice Groups. He is also a member of the North American Government Enforcement Management Committee and the North American Healthcare Steering Committee.

Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Brian served as 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, 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.

Practice Focus

Brian has extensive federal trial and appellate experience, having tried over 30 cases to verdict and more than 40 oral arguments 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 in 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

  • Representing multiple entities and individuals in US Department of Justice investigation predicated on the Panama Papers.
  • Representing state executives in US Environmental Protection Agency suspension and debarment proceedings.
  • 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.
  • Represents a multinational company in pending World Bank investigation.
  • 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~United States (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)


  • English


Co-author, "Anticipating New French Anti-Corruption Rules," Law360, 23 September 2015


Panelist, "Dow Jones Risk and Compliance Seminar," Tokyo, Japan, 28 February 2019

Panelist, "Global Enforcement of Anti-Corruption," International Bar Association, Paris, France, 14 June 2017 

Panelist, "Managing Cross-Border Risks in Investigations and Prosecutions," International Bar Association 15th Annual Anti-corruption Conference, OECD, Paris, France, 13 June 2017

Panelist, "Addressing Reputational Risks and Improving Compliance in Multilateral Projects - The World Bank Sanctions System & Anti-Corruption Efforts," Embassy of Spain, Madrid 9 June 2017