Gurney_Brent

Brent J. Gurney

Brent Gurney is a first-chair trial lawyer with over 30 years of significant jury trial and other court experience in complex civil and criminal cases throughout the United States. Mr. Gurney specializes in telling complex stories simply and persuasively to judges and juries. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers; a Member of its Complex Litigation Committee; and a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. He is regularly listed in Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation and White Collar Criminal Defense and in Washington DC Super Lawyers.

Among Mr. Gurney's substantial jury trials is his defense of a former manager for a medical device manufacturer accused of fraudulent off-label marketing. In that case, Mr. Gurney obtained a complete dismissal of all charges following opening statements and testimony from the government's first witness. AmericanLawyer.com called the dismissal "quite the dramatic turn." The dismissal was one of five cases featured in "Winning," the National Law Journal's annual report on significant trial victories.

Mr. Gurney's significant jury trials also include the jury verdict for IGEN that allowed it to terminate its licensing agreement with Roche, IGEN's key business objective, and awarded $505 million in damages. The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit sustained the termination right, after which Roche purchased IGEN in a $1.25 billion deal. The $505 million jury verdict, which the Fourth Circuit reduced, ranks fourth in the National Law Journal's top verdicts in that year.

Mr. Gurney’s litigation experience is broad and diverse. He has represented clients on complex matters including the False Claim Act, mortgage and financial fraud, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, complex construction disputes, trade secret misappropriation, copyright infringement, healthcare fraud, and criminal tax violations, as well as investigations into financial and other matters for clients in the United States, Europe, Africa, South America, Asia and the Middle East.

Mr. Gurney’s experience also includes a wide variety of unique and high-profile matters. For example, he oversaw a successful lawsuit in the Beijing Intermediate Court case in the People’s Republic of China for copyright infringement under the Berne Convention that required the Chinese government to protect the literary and artistic works of US citizens. The decision represents a landmark case in China for the protection of foreign copyrights under the Berne Convention. He also represented major cities in sensitive and high-profile investigations by the US Department of Justice into whether their police departments engaged in a pattern and practice of civil rights abuses by their police departments.

Mr. Gurney previously served as Assistant US Attorney in the US Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland, and was later appointed Deputy Chief for the Southern Division. Mr. Gurney prosecuted, conducted and oversaw grand jury investigations involving money laundering, healthcare fraud, bank fraud, credit card fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, government contracts fraud, federal income tax evasion, violent crime, narcotics, the Food, Drug & Cosmetics Act, and asset forfeiture.

Recent Publications & Highlights

  • Mr. Gurney presented at the ACTL CLE on "Opening Statements and Closing Arguments" on June 6, 2017.
  • Mr. Gurney spoke at the ACEC Meeting in Washington DC as part of a panel in the session “No Disputing It: Risk Mitigation Strategies from an AE Litigator” on April 24, 2017.
  • Mr. Gurney spoke about several recent high profile criminal cases as part of a panel called "An Exploration of Ethical Issues Raised by Stevens, Stryker Biotech, and Similar Cases" at the Food and Drug Law Institute Annual Conference on April 25, 2012.
  • Mr. Gurney spoke in a panel entitled "Anatomy of a Health Care Fraud Case: Lessons from Stryker" at the Boston Bar Association Health Care Fraud 2012 CLE Program on April 10, 2012.
  • Mr. Gurney spoke in the panel "A Year in Legal Insight: Developments to Meet a Rapidly Evolving Industry" at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston which was part of the Medical Devices Summit 2012 produced by Opal Events on March 7, 2012.
  • Mr. Gurney presented "Disturbing Developments: Increased Strict Liability Prosecutions of Corporate Officers: The Crime of Doing Nothing" at the FDLI Enforcement and Litigation Conference in Washington DC on October 13, 2010.
  • Mr. Gurney presented "The Crime of Doing Nothing: Strict Liability for Corporate Officers under FDCA" at the FDLI Enforcement and Litigation Conference in Washington DC on October 13, 2009.
  • Mr. Gurney also presented "Problems and Pitfalls for In-House Counsel: Personal Liability of Corporate Counsel" at the Personal Care Products Council's 2009 Legal and Regulatory Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia on June 18, 2009.
  • Mr. Gurney was quoted in The Daily Record on October 5, 2008. He discussed a recent law amending the Federal Rules of Evidence and limiting the circumstances under which attorney-client privilege is waived during discovery in the article, "New Rule Curbs Inadvertent Waiver."
  • Mr. Gurney was quoted in the September 30, 2008 article, "Embracing 502, the New Hope for Attorney-Client Privilege," which appeared in Compliance Week.
  • Mr. Gurney was quoted in the September 29, 2008 article, "New Discovery Rule to Curb Accidental Privilege Waiver," which appeared in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, discussing a newly signed law that amends the Federal Rules of Evidence.
  • Mr. Gurney was quoted in the March 2008 issue of the RPM Report article, "No Walk in the Park: FDA Talks Tough About Executive Accountability" discussing the applicability of the Park Doctrine in strict liability prosecutions in the pharmaceutical industry, under the Food Drug & Cosmetic Act.
  • Mr. Gurney was quoted in the July 6, 2007 issue of Rx Compliance Report discussing strict liability prosecutions in the pharmaceutical industry under the responsible corporate officer doctrine.
  • Mr. Gurney was quoted in U.S. News & World Report concerning trends in white-collar crime: "The Crackdown Cracks, Getting tough on corporate crime is so yesterday. The pendulum is swinging back, hitting everyone from gumshoes to judges," U.S. News & World Report, April 24, 2006 (available at www.usnews.com).

Professional Affiliations

Gunther ACTL

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers     
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Member, District of Columbia Bar
  • Criminal Law and Individual Rights Section
  • International Law Section
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Criminal Justice Section
  • Litigation Section
  • Criminal Justice Act Panel Attorney, US District Court for the District of Columbia and US District Court for the District of Maryland 

Experience

    • Currently lead counsel on a case in which a software developer is suing the federal government for its mass installation of the developer’s software onto hundreds of thousands of Navy computers without authorization.  
    • Represented software provider in a dispute arising from a Fortune 500 company’s unilateral decision to walk away from a longstanding IT services project without paying for the software and services developed and provided by Mr. Gurney’s client.
    • Represented large privately held contractor in two-and-a-half-week AAA arbitration in connection with multimillion dollar claims for delay damages and other claims arising out of delayed construction project.  
    • Obtained complete dismissal of all claims against a software company in lawsuit arising out of a contract with the US Air Force for breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, conversion, tortious interference with business relations and contract, conspiracy and unjust enrichment. The case centered on software that worked by automatically converting raw technical data provided by OEMS into an interactive electronic technical format. Mr. Gurney obtained a dismissal of all charges by launching an aggressive discovery and early motions strategy.
    • Represented large tech company in a lawsuit filed in federal court by an international real estate company for breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and unjust enrichment arising out of a marketing agreement.
    • Represented a former manager for a medical device manufacturer who was alleged to have participated in a fraudulent off-label marketing scheme. Mr. Gurney obtained a complete dismissal of all charges. AmericanLawyer.com called the dismissal "quite the dramatic turn." The dismissal was one of five cases featured in "Winning," The National Law Journal's annual report on significant trial victories.
    • Represented IGEN in a lawsuit against Roche, wherein the jury returned a verdict for IGEN that allowed it to terminate its licensing agreement with Roche and awarding $505 million in damages. The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit sustained the termination right, after which Roche purchased IGEN in a $1.25 billion deal. The $505 million jury verdict, which the Fourth Circuit reduced, ranked fourth in the National Law Journal's top verdicts for that year.
    • Representing a prominent automaker in ongoing constitutional and other litigation in multiple states concerning the marketing of the company’s automobiles.
    • Representing the City of Baltimore, the City of Chicago, the government of Puerto Rico and their respective police departments in high profile civil rights pattern and practice investigations by the US Department of Justice.
    • Representing the owner in a lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court arising out of construction defects at its high-profile, iconic Frank Gehry–designed corporate headquarters.
    • Representing a large online mortgage lending company in a lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the District of Colorado by an international real estate company for breach of contract.
    • Representing the developer of high-end condominium project against claims filed in DC Superior Court by owners of construction defects, negligence and fraud.
    • Representing the owners of multiple office buildings in a prominent US city arising out of curtain wall construction defect claims against general contractors and subcontractors.

Recognition

  • Selected for inclusion in the 2010–2020 Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of Commercial Litigation and White-Collar Criminal Defense. WilmerHale's white collar and commercial litigation practices earned a first-tier ranking for the Washington DC area in the "Best Law Firms" rankings by U.S. News - Best Lawyers®.
  • Selected by Washingtonian magazine as one of the 2015 Top Attorneys in DC for Criminal Defense/White Collar.
  • Recognized in the 2015–2019 editions of Washington DC Super Lawyers for his Criminal Defense: White Collar practice. 
  • Named a Life Sciences Star in the 2012–2019 editions of LMG Life Sciences for Government Enforcement/Investigation.

Insights & News

Credentials

  • Education

    • Harvard Business School Online

      Credential of Readiness (CORe), Business Analytics, Financial Accounting, Economics for Managers, with High Honors, 2015
    • Harvard Business School Online

      Disruptive Strategy with Clayton Christensen: Certificate of Completion, December 2015

    • JD, Harvard Law School, 1985

      cum laude Comments Editor, Harvard International Law Journal
    • Thomas J. Watson Fellowship recipient
    • BA, Kalamazoo College, 1981

      magna cum laude Phi Beta Kappa
    • London School of Economics

      General Course Student
  • Admissions

    • District of Columbia

    • US Supreme Court

  • Clerkships

    • The Hon. Warren Matthews, Supreme Court of Alaska, 1985 - 1986

Credentials