Emily Crandall Harlan

Emily Crandall Harlan is a member of the Government Investigations & White Collar Defense practice group. She counsels companies and individuals regarding how to avoid or minimize disputes with the government, and regarding how to comply with various regulatory regimes.

What do you focus on?

I focus on guiding clients through the various types and stages of government investigations and related litigation. I work with companies and individuals who find themselves facing a government inquiry or action to help them achieve expedient and favorable results. I also provide clients with legal advice concerning compliance and self-disclosure, and assist them in detecting and resolving issues before government investigations or litigation arise.

My practice involves working with clients on various matters involving the False Claims Act and other allegations of fraud in the government contract sector, including defending clients in whistleblower actions. My work in this arena has spanned different industries, including the mortgage industry, the construction industry, the medical device industry, and the housing industry.

I also assist clients with navigating the requirements for doing business abroad, including complying with export controls. This includes working with companies to detect, disclose, and remediate potential violations of the export control regulations, and to devise and implement compliance measures.

In addition to my work involving government contracting compliance, I have also handled matters concerning immigration fraud, corruption, and bribery.

What do you see on the horizon?

I expect the government will continue to apply the False Claims Act in novel ways, including in the mortgage fraud context. Although there have been some recent judicial setbacks to the government’s efforts in this regard, the massive penalties permitted under the Act make it a very attractive tool for the government.

Representative Experience

  • Defense of a publicly traded software company against allegations of false pricing involving U.S. and foreign nationals.
  • Defense of an independent state agency in an investigation regarding public contract procurement fraud.
  • Provided guidance regarding reach of U.S. export laws to foreign company pursuing business in U.S.-embargoed country, particularly as concerned transit of products through foreign company’s U.S. subsidiaries.
  • Provided product-specific export control guidance to foreign companies pursuing U.S. acquisitions, specifically concerning regulations overseen by United States Departments of Treasury, Commerce, and State.
  • Defense of the former general counsel and CEO of a public manufacturing company in parallel civil and criminal federal investigations concerning allegations of pricing and accounting fraud at a foreign subsidiary.
  • Defense of a current employee of a government-sponsored enterprise in an investigation concerning federal housing programs and government funding.
  • Defense of individual charged by Department of Justice with conspiracy to commit immigration fraud.
  • Defense of a foreign national charged by the Department of Justice with exporting restricted dual-use commodities in violation of U.S. export laws, including the Export Administration Regulations and International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
  • Defense of a government contractor who performed contract work in Iraq in fraud investigation.
  • Defense of a former union leader in a joint investigation by the Department of Justice, Department of Labor, and Internal Revenue Service.


Emily is co-chair of the Criminal Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation. In 2012, she was named a Young Lawyer Leadership Fellow by the ABA’s Section of Litigation, a two-year fellowship awarded annually to four lawyers nationally. Emily is a member of the Executive Board of the William B. Bryant Inn of Court, and of the Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court. She also serves on the adjunct faculty of The George Washington University Law School.

Law360 names attys who moved up the firm ranks in Q1

Law360 | April 28, 2017

This article mentions recent leadership promotions at the firm including David Brown, Jared Lusk, Jim Vallee, Graham Beck, Kathleen Ceglarski Burns, Emily Crandall Harlan, Daniel Gibbons, Linda Huber, Ilana Kameros, Haydon Keitner, Darren Miller, Neal Pandozzi, Edward Puerta, Stephen Reil, and Elizabeth Young.

Materiality Matters: The First Post-Escobar Decisions

Law360 | July 19, 2016

Chicago partner John Ruskusky and Washington, DC, associate Emily Harlan co-authored this column regarding expected changes for False Claims Act cases and investigations in the aftermath of the decision in Universal Health Services Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar.

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.

Takeaways From High Court's Hobbs Act Extortion Ruling

Law360 | June 14, 2016

Boston government investigations and white collar defense partner Brian Kelly and Washington, DC, government investigations and white collar defense associate Emily Harlan contributed this article about the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that a public official can be convicted of conspiring to commit extortion even when co-conspirators willingly furnish the money and/or property.

3rd Circ. Reins In Damages for Disadvantaged Business Fraud

Law360 | October 05, 2015

Government Investigations & White Collar Defense practice group leader Dave Vicinanzo, partner Mark Molloy and associate Emily Crandall Harlan authored this column on curtailing an aggressive loss theory that held defendants to more than the government’s loss in some fraud cases.

In Split Victory for Contractors and Whistleblowers, Supreme Court Rejects Expansive Statute of Limitations Theory for False Claims Act Cases and Clarifies Application of Act's "First-to-File" Bar

Pratt's Government Contracting Law Report | October 01, 2015

This contributed column is authored by Boston Government Investigation & White collar defense partner Brian Kelly and Washington, DC, Government Investigations & White Collar Defense associate Emily Crandall Harlan. Click here to read the full article.

Cell Phone Location Records Not Protected by Fourth Amendment

ABA Litigation News | October 01, 2015

Washington, DC, Government Investigations & White Collar Defense associate Emily Harlan provides commentary in this piece noting that a cell phone user does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy over a cell service carrier’s records that do not reveal the content of any communications.


Emily Crandall Harlan


Washington, DC

Phone: 202-585-8217

Fax: 866-905-3735

George Washington University Law School, J.D.

Duke University, B.A.


District of Columbia

In 2014 and 2015, Emily was recognized by Washington DC Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” in the area of white collar criminal defense.

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