Brent Gurney has significant jury trial and other court experience in complex civil and criminal cases throughout the United States.
Among Mr. Gurney's substantial jury trials are the recent representation of the former chief accounting officer of a national homebuilder facing federal conspiracy, securities and obstruction charges, and the defense of a former regional manager for a medical device manufacturer who was alleged to have participated in a fraudulent off-label marketing scheme. 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. (National Law Journal/www.nlj.com, "Winning," March 12, 2012.)
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 of 2002.
Mr. Gurney was recently inducted as a fellow into the American College of Trial Lawyers.
In addition, Mr. Gurney has counseled and represented clients on issues including commercial construction disputes, trade secret misappropriation, copyright infringement, healthcare fraud, and a wide variety of matters including DOJ Civil Rights pattern and practice investigations of US police departments. He has also handled numerous sensitive internal investigations into a wide variety of financial and other matters for clients in the US, Europe, Africa, South America, Asia and the Middle East.
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.
Mr. Gurney served as a member of the teaching faculty for Harvard Law School's Trial Advocacy Workshop in January 2016.
Recent Publications & Highlights
- "Prosecutors and EPA consider the energy industry to be a prime target for investigation and enforcement." This topic is addressed in an article in the Energy Law Journal on Minimizing Risk Under the Clean Water Act, by Carol Clayton, David Gold, Brent Gurney, Mark Kalpin and Alexander White.
- "Fiduciary Duty Claims Against Construction and Design Professionals"
An article by Brent Gurney, Doug Curtis and Rachel Murphy, published in the January 13, 2014 edition of New York Law Journal
- "A Good Offense: The Benefits of Early and Aggressive Affirmative Discovery in Defending Trade Secret Misappropriation Claims"
An article by Brent Gurney, Josh Ferrentino and Alex White, published in the June 13, 2013 edition of New York Law Journal Special In-House Counsel Section
- US Fights Crime by Seizing Funds from Foreign Banks' Interbank Accounts
An article by Brent Gurney, Richard Johnston and Alyssa DaCunha, published in the April 2013 edition of International Bar Association International Litigation Newsletter
- Second Circuit Invalidates Misbranding Conspiracy Conviction on First Amendment Grounds
A WilmerHale client alert by Brent Gurney, Karen Green, Stephen Jonas, Howard Shapiro and Jonathan Cedarbaum
Pro Bono Work
Mr. Gurney maintains an active pro bono practice, which has included a number of matters for military veterans, including a former Navy Seal, and veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. He is an active supporter of the Children's Law Center in Washington DC, and a member of the Criminal Justice Act Panels for the US District Courts for the District of Columbia and Maryland, which provide representation to indigent defendants facing charges in federal court.
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).
- 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
Mr. Gurney has been quoted in AmericanLawyer.com, Bloomberg BNA Medical Devices Law & Industry Report, Businessweek.com, FDANEWS.com and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in connection with his representation at trial of the former regional manager for Stryker Biotech who was facing federal felony charges for his alleged participation in an off-label marketing scheme, but which were dismissed by federal prosecutors shortly after opening statements and the government's first witness in the interests of justice. (AmericanLawyer.com, "Government Settles with Stryker Biotech for $15 Million, Drops Charges Against Execs," January 19, 2012; Bloomberg BNA Health Care Fraud Report, "U.S. Drops Charges Against Last Stryker Biotech Official Remaining in Off-Label Case," February 8, 2012; Businessweek.com, "Stryker Biotech Agrees to Plead Guilty to Misbranding Charge," January 19, 2012; FDANEWS.com, "Last of Individual Charges Dropped in Stryker Off-Label Case," February 13, 2012; MassLawyersWeekly.com, "Defense opening upends gov't case," January 26, 2012.)
Mr. Gurney was mentioned in a Legal Times article titled, "Flat-Screen Cost Controversy Goes Global," on March 30, 2009, for his work in what has been called "one of the largest price-fixing cases ever."
Represented Purdue Pharma in connection with a lengthy multi-year criminal investigation into the marketing and promotion of the painkiller, OxyContin, by the Department of Justice, US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia, the Food and Drug Administration, and other agencies.
Represented former Rep. Jim Kolbe (R. Ariz.) in connection with a Department of Justice and US Attorney's Office investigation that ended with no finding of wrongdoing. As noted in the June 18, 2007 issue of the Legal Times - under the heading "Wilmer's Save" - this "marked the second good outcome this year for members of Congress represented by WilmerHale."
- Selected for inclusion in the 2018 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, 2016 and 2017 editions of Washington DC Super Lawyers for his Criminal Defense: White Collar practice.
- Named a Life Sciences Star in the 2012-2017 editions of LMG Life Sciences for Government Enforcement/Investigation.
Insights & News
HBX | Harvard Business SchoolCredential of Readiness (CORe), Business Analytics, Financial Accounting, Economics for Managers, with High Honors, 2015
HBX | Harvard Business School
Disruptive Strategy with Clayton Christensen: Certificate of Completion, December 2015
JD, Harvard Law School, 1985cum laude Comments Editor, Harvard International Law Journal
- Thomas J. Watson Fellowship recipient
BA, Kalamazoo College, 1981magna cum laude Phi Beta Kappa
London School of EconomicsGeneral Course Student
District of Columbia
United States Supreme Court
The Hon. Warren Matthews, Supreme Court of Alaska, 1985 - 1986
Department of Justice
United States Attorneys' OfficesAssistant US Attorney and Deputy Chief, Southern Division, District of Maryland