John L. Brownlee

Partner
  • T 202.828.1854
  • T 703.720.8053

John Brownlee is a litigation attorney who is the chair of Holland & Knight's National White Collar Defense and Investigations Team, and a member of the firm's Directors Committee. Mr. Brownlee has extensive experience in white collar defense, securities enforcement and internal investigations, having represented many companies and individuals in criminal and civil litigation, as well as in administrative matters before various federal and state agencies. He has litigated numerous cases to verdict.

Mr. Brownlee served more than 10 years at the U.S. Department of Justice – both as the United States attorney for the Western District of Virginia and as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. Prior to joining the Justice Department, he served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Sam Wilson. In addition, Mr. Brownlee served on active duty in the U.S. Army in the infantry and in the Judge Advocate General Corps (U.S. Army Reserves), and is a graduate of the Army's Airborne and Ranger programs. He holds a Top Secret/SCI level security clearance.

Representative Clients

  • The former governor of Virginia against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • The former chairman and chief executive officer of a Fortune 10 company
  • A public energy company in a five-week civil jury trial regarding allegations of fraud and breach of contract
  • A public company before the DOJ and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding allegations of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
  • A multibillion-dollar U.S. government contractor before the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Air Force against allegations of violating the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), resulting in no fines being imposed
  • A privately held company regarding allegations related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), resulting in no liability or fines being imposed
  • A food manufacturer in an emergency U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection involving the recall of multiple products and daily interaction with the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • A government contractor before the Inspector General for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) regarding allegations of violating the Price Reduction Clause in a GSA schedule contract.
  • A public company in False Claims Act (FCA) litigation in federal court in California
  • A government contractor in FCA litigation in federal court in Virginia
  • A public long-term care pharmacy services company in FCA litigation in federal court in Virginia
  • A U.S. government contractor before the DOJ regarding allegations of fraud in federal court in Utah
  • A government contractor before the DOJ regarding allegations of fraud in federal court in Florida
  • A seafood company before the DOJ's Environmental and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) regarding allegations of violating the Lacey Act and the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
  • Two foreign companies before the DOJ regarding allegations of foreign bribery
  • A foreign company before the DOJ regarding allegations of theft of trade secrets
  • The president of a foreign company before the DOJ regarding allegations of foreign bribery
  • A multibillion-dollar U.S. government contractor in an internal investigation regarding the FCA
  • A foreign individual before the DOJ and SEC regarding allegations of securities fraud and bank fraud in federal court in New York
  • The executive of a major nonprofit during an investigation by a U.S. Office of the Inspector General
  • A multibillion-dollar U.S. government contractor before the DOJ regarding allegations of fraud
  • A multibillion-dollar U.S. government contractor before the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) regarding suspension proceedings
  • A U.S. government contractor and its president before the DOJ regarding allegations of fraud and bribery
  • A mortgage services company before the SEC
  • A plaintiff in a civil case filed in federal court regarding allegations of securities fraud
  • Multiple individuals charged with criminal offenses in Virginia state courts and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia

Honors & Awards

  • Regulatory & Compliance Trailblazer, The National Law Journal, June 2015
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2013-2016
  • 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