John L. Brownlee

Partner
  • T 202.828.1854
  • T 703.720.8053

John Brownlee is chair of Holland & Knight's National White Collar Defense and Investigations Team and is a member of the firm's Directors Committee. Mr. Brownlee's areas of focus include white collar defense and securities enforcement — including Grand Jury and Inspector General investigations, and investigations involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), False Claims Act, Food and Drug Administration regulations, compliance counseling, mandatory and voluntary disclosure matters, and internal investigations. Mr. Brownlee has extensive experience at the U.S. Department of Justice and the highest levels of federal law enforcement. His clients include corporations, officers and professionals in regulatory, investigative and trial matters. He routinely provides advice regarding risk management to companies in many sectors of the defense and healthcare industries. Mr. Brownlee holds a Top Secret/SCI level security clearance.

Mr. Brownlee served as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia. Nominated by the president, he was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2001 and served with distinction for nearly seven years. As the district's chief federal law enforcement official, Mr. Brownlee supervised the prosecution of all federal crimes and the litigation of all civil matters involving the federal government. Mr. Brownlee served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia from 1997 through 2001. As both United States Attorney and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Brownlee prosecuted numerous jury trials and argued many cases before appellate courts of the United States and District of Columbia.

Prior to joining the U.S. Justice Department, Mr. Brownlee had the distinct honor of serving as a law clerk for the Honorable Sam Wilson, U.S. District Judge, Western District of Virginia. He also served on active duty in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer and was a member of the Judge Advocate General Corps in the U.S. Army Reserves. Mr. Brownlee is a graduate of the Army's Airborne and Ranger programs. He previously served as an adjunct law professor at the University of Virginia School of Law where he taught trial advocacy.

Representative Engagements

Mr. Brownlee's extensive white collar defense and securities enforcement practice includes the following:

  • representing a public company before the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • conducting an internal investigation regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for a U.S. government contractor
  • representing a public company in False Claims Act litigation in federal court in California
  • representing a U.S. government contractor before the U.S. Department of Justice regarding allegations of fraud
  • representing two foreign companies before the U.S. Department of Justice regarding allegations of foreign bribery
  • representing the president of a foreign company before the U.S. Department of Justice regarding allegations of foreign bribery
  • conducting an internal investigation regarding the False Claims Act for a multibillion-dollar U.S. government contractor
  • representing a foreign individual before the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding allegations of securities fraud and bank fraud
  • representing an executive of a major nonprofit during an investigation by a U.S. Office of the Inspector General
  • representing a multibillion-dollar U.S. government contractor before the U.S. Department of Justice regarding allegations of fraud
  • representing a multibillion-dollar U.S. government contractor before the Small Business Administration regarding suspension proceedings
  • representing a U.S. government contractor and its president before the U.S. Department of Justice regarding allegations of fraud and bribery
  • representing a long-term care pharmacy services company before the U.S. Department of Justice
  • representing a mortgage services company before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • representing a plaintiff in a civil case filed in federal court regarding allegations of securities fraud 

Honors & Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2013-2015
  • President's Council on Integrity & Efficiency, Award for Excellence, 2007
  • National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, Investigation of the Year, Honorable Mention, 2007
  • Chief's Award, Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, 2007
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Special Achievement Award for Sustained Superior Performance, 2000

Memberships

  • Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, Permanent Member
  • The Edward Bennett Williams American Inn of Court, Member
  • National Association of Former United States Attorneys, Member
  • Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, 2011- Present
  • Virginia State Bar (Criminal Law Section), Board of Governors, 2005-2008