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Brian K. French



Brian French is a partner and member of the firm’s Government Investigations and White Collar Defense team. He represents clients in government enforcement and internal compliance matters, primarily involving the life sciences and health care industries.

What do you focus on?

Government Enforcement

I represent a wide range of life sciences companies, health care organizations, executives, and employees in government investigations and related criminal and civil litigation initiated by the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Offices, state attorneys general, government contractors, and qui tam relators. I’ve defended numerous pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies, as well as individuals, in government enforcement matters and litigation involving alleged off-label promotion, Anti-Kickback Statute violations, consumer protection, and pricing and reimbursement issues. I’ve also represented hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, dialysis providers, home health, hospice, and rehabilitation therapy organizations, physician groups, and individuals in grand jury and False Claims Act investigations, audits by Medicare and Medicaid contractors, and voluntary self-disclosures relating to alleged billing fraud, improper coding, Medicare and Medicaid overpayments, and Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law violations.

Compliance Advising

An important part of my practice involves providing proactive compliance advice to clients in the life sciences and health care industries, particularly in connection with the regulatory gaps that emerge with the advent of new technologies and business models. I assist clients in assessing their key risk areas and help them to develop strategies and programs that reflect the particular needs and goals of their organizations. I advise clients on a wide range of issues involving appropriate product and service promotion, compliance with Medicare and Medicaid pricing and reimbursement regulations, appropriate financial arrangements and collaborations between and among industry and providers, the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (Open Payments) and related transparency initiatives, co-payment assistance and patient assistance programs, patient education and medication adherence initiatives, among others.

What do you see on the horizon?

The existence—or lack—of a robust compliance program will be an increasing focus of government investigations of health care organizations. We’re working proactively with clients to develop effective compliance programs to detect improper conduct within their organizations and avoid violations.

Representative Experience

Life Sciences Investigations and Litigation

  • Representation of GlaxoSmithKline in two separate government investigations involving alleged off-label promotion, anti-kickback violations, and improper “Best Price” reporting under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. These matters, along with a third investigation, were resolved in 2012 as part of a global criminal and civil settlement.
  • Representation of various pharmaceutical manufacturers in average wholesale price (“AWP”) multidistrict litigation and AWP lawsuits brought by various state attorneys general.
  • Representation of a pharmaceutical sales executive targeted in a federal investigation involving allegations of off-label promotion and anti-kickback violations.
  • Representation of managed care account executives of a pharmaceutical manufacturer in a federal grand jury investigation involving allegations that company personnel deceived insurance companies and Medicare into covering the costs of certain medications through the submission of false prior authorization information.
  • Representation of an international pharmaceutical manufacturer in connection with a federal investigation of off-label promotional activities.
  • Representation of a charitable patient assistance program in a federal investigation involving the organization’s arrangements with a pharmaceutical manufacturer donor.
  • Representation of a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in an investigation by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office involving potential violations of state gift ban and payment reporting regulations.
  • Representation of a medical device manufacturer in connection with its dealings with an outside monitor imposed under a Deferred Prosecution Agreement.
  • Representation of a former regional account manager of a large pharmaceutical company in connection with a federal investigation of alleged anti-kickback violations.

Health Care Investigations and Litigation

  • Representation of a national hospice provider in an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts involving Medicare billing issues.
  • Representation of multiple institutional dialysis providers in a joint investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the New York Attorney General’s Office regarding alleged Medicaid billing violations.
  • Representation of the owner of multiple skilled nursing facilities in a federal investigation involving Medicare billing issues.
  • Representation of numerous employees of a rehabilitation therapy provider in a federal grand jury investigation involving alleged Medicare billing issues.
  • Representation of a California hospital in a federal investigation involving its arrangements with local ambulance providers.
  • Representation of a national hospital chain in connection with the federal investigation of the New England Compounding Center and the multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis.
  • Representation of a Massachusetts teaching hospital in connection with its voluntary disclosure of Medicare overpayments associated with patients who received observation services.
  • Representation of a physician-hospital organization in an internal investigation of potential anti-kickback violations.
  • Representation of a health care billing organization in False Claims Act litigation in the State of Hawaii.

Other Investigations

  • Representation of a construction company in a federal investigation of alleged government contract set aside fraud.
  • Representation of quasi-governmental organization in federal grand jury investigation involving potential honest services fraud.

Groundbreaking False Claims Act Decision: Unanimous Supreme Court Upholds ‘Implied False Certification' Theory Under Certain Circumstances

Westlaw Journal Government Contract | July 18, 2016

This column discussing an important United States Supreme Court decision regarding False Claims Act liability was co-authored by Boston partners Brian French and Fred Kelly, Boston associates Hannah Bornstein and Sydney Pritchett, and Washington, DC, associate Emily Harlan.

Life Sciences Cases to Watch in the 2nd Half of 2016

Law360 | July 13, 2016

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian French, a member of the Life Sciences team, is quoted in this story looking at important cases the industry is monitoring for the remainder of the calendar year. Brian is quoted discussing False Claims Act matters.

Contact

Brian K. French

Partner

Boston

Phone: 617-345-1258


Fax: 866-507-5878

Boston College Law School, J.D.

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, B.A., cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Massachusetts

Florida

U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida

Brian has earned an AV Preeminent Rating® from Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest rating available for legal ability and professional ethics, in the areas of Litigation, White Collar Crime, and Health Care. He has been recognized in the Legal 500 United States Editorial (2013) for life sciences. In 2005 and 2007, Brian was recognized by Boston Magazine for inclusion in the annual “Massachusetts Super Lawyers – Rising Stars”® list, a designation granted to just 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state.

Brian is a Co-Chair of the Health Care Fraud Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Litigation Committee, as well as a member of the Summer Jobs Program Steering Committee and the Public Policy Subcommittee of the Criminal Law Section of the Boston Bar Association. He was a founding member, and served as Regional Vice-Chair, of the Public Schools Committee of the ABA’s Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities. He was also a contributing author to the Criminal and Enforcement Litigation section of the ABA’s 2006, 2007, and 2008 editions of the Annual Review of Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation.

In the community, Brian serves on the Advisory Board for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston’s YouthConnect program, an advocacy and intervention program for at-risk youth, and is a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of Brookline Youth Hockey. Brian is a past member of the Dana-Farber Leadership Council, where he served for four years as Co-Chair of the DFLC Walk Committee. He also previously served on the Board of Directors of both the Silvio O. Conte Education Foundation and Families for Depression Awareness.

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