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Brian T. Kelly



With 25+ years of experience in government investigations and white collar defense, Brian Kelly is a nationally recognized former federal prosecutor and high-profile trial attorney. Brian has tried numerous federal cases including, most notably, U.S. v. James “Whitey” Bulger. His seasoned judgment and strategic counsel comes from decades of experience in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in both Boston and San Diego.

Brian defends corporations and executives in federal and state investigations involving the False Claims Act (FCA), health care fraud, SEC inquiries, internal corporate investigations, insider trading allegations, white collar criminal defense and NCAA compliance matters.

What do you focus on?

My current practice focuses on complex criminal and civil matters involving government investigations, insider trading, white collar criminal defense and regulatory compliance on behalf of public and private clients.

I work extensively in health care and life sciences representing pharmaceutical and medical device companies and executives with issues involving allegations of health care fraud and False Claims Act violations. I also represent individuals facing SEC and DOJ probes.

As a federal prosecutor, I handled some of the most sensitive and complex government trials and investigations including RICO, health care fraud and abuse, public corruption, bank fraud, money laundering, mail and wire fraud, labor racketeering, union corruption and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations. I also achieved successful results in running major investigations in well-known, high-profile cases involving official misconduct, embezzlement, obstruction of justice, perjury, extortion and homicide.

My background gives me a unique perspective and allows me to protect my clients’ interests by proactively identifying risks and providing an objective assessment of the severity of possible violations, as well as the likely response from government investigators and prosecutors. I help my clients develop and implement strategies to mitigate their exposure and damages to their reputations and businesses.

What do you see on the horizon?

The federal government is more aggressive today than ever before and this trend will continue as a growing number of white collar crime and corporate misconduct investigations are being pursued by the DOJ and the SEC.

Representative Experience

  • Representing the founder and former CEO of a prescription opioid manufacturer on federal and state litigation matters.
  • Advising DraftKings, a fantasy sports business, with respect to responding to various regulatory inquiries and assisting in various litigation matters across the country.
  • Defending a national hospice company in an ongoing DOJ probe of a qui tam action.
  • Representing a business in a government inquiry regarding allegations of campaign finance fraud.
  • Defending an investment banker in Rhode Island federal court against the SEC’s allegations of securities fraud. At issue is a $75 million bond offering by the state of Rhode Island to finance a pre-revenue video game company, 38 Studios LLC, which was owned by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.
  • Represented a Fortune 500 company in a federal investigation conducted by the Boston U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The investigation was closed with no finding of wrongdoing by the company.
  • Represented the Massachusetts Port Authority in the successful resolution of a lawsuit regarding the installation of an electric transmission cable between the Main Ship Channel and the Reserve Channel in the Boston Harbor.
  • Represented a Fortune 100 technology company in an internal investigation into possible FCPA violations.
  • Involved in the efforts to recover $500 million of artwork stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990.
  • Handled charges of financial fraud involving Boston’s Big Dig project, a massive, years-long highway construction project.

Speaking Engagements

  • “Government Investigations,” Risk Management Summit, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 16, 2017
  • “Public Corruption and Government Fraud Prosecutions Panel,” Boston Bar Association, Boston, MA, April 3, 2014
  • “Policing and Politics led by Ed Davis,” Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Institute of Politics, Cambridge, MA, March 26, 2014
  • “Handling High Profile Criminal Cases,” Suffolk University Law School, Center for Advanced Legal Studies, Boston, MA, March 20, 2014

Prosecutors obtain extortion conviction using Mafia expert

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | January 04, 2018

Boston government investigations and white collar defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted in this article about a recent federal court case that convicted a man of extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion, where the prosecutors presented expert testimony from a Mafia expert.

Billionaire Insys founder can remove ankle monitor: judge

Reuters (also picked up in U.S. News and World Report) | November 28, 2017

This coverage quotes Boston government investigations and white collar defense partner Brian Kelly, who successfully argued that his client, Insys Therapeutics founder John Kapoor, is not a flight risk and should not have to wear an ankle bracelet with GPS monitoring.

Billionaire pharmaceuticals entrepreneur indicted in alleged fentanyl fraud scheme

Wall Street Journal | October 26, 2017

This article quotes Boston government investigations and white collar defense partner Brian Kelly for representing John Kapoor, the former chief executive of pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics, Inc. in an ongoing investigation.

Exclusive: Prosecutors identify Insys founder as unindicted co-conspirator in opioid case

Reuters | September 14, 2017

This article quotes Boston government investigations and white collar defense partner Brian Kelly for representing John Kapoor, the former chief executive of pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics, Inc.

Should judiciary limit PACER access to protect informants?

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | June 29, 2017

Boston government investigations and white collar defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted in this article about public access to criminal dockets on PACER.

Former Massachusetts chemist to pay $2M to wrongly convicted man

WBUR-FM (Boston NPR affiliate) | June 22, 2017

In this radio segment, Boston government investigations and white collar defense partner Brian Kelly discusses the latest developments in the case of former Massachusetts lab worker Annie Dookhan.  This week, a federal judge ordered Dookhan to pay more than $2 million to a man who was wrongly convicted as a result of Dookhan’s role in falsifying evidence.

Illegal immigrant cases on docket

The Boston Herald | May 30, 2017

Boston government investigations and white collar defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted in this article about the recent media blitz from the Massachusetts U.S. attorney’s office publicizing its work with illegal immigration cases.

3 federal prosecutors in Mass. seek US attorney post

Boston Globe | May 13, 2017

Boston government investigations and white collar defense partner Brian Kelly was quoted in this article about the three possible replacements for the US Attorney for Massachusetts position.

Prosecutors submit shortened list of Dookhan convictions they want upheld

WBUR (NPR Boston affiliate) | April 18, 2017

Boston government investigations and white collar defense partner Brian Kelly provided third-party commentary about the ramifications of former state chemist Annie Dookhan’s falsification of tens of thousands of drug tests.

RI Commerce agrees to $50K penalty to SEC for role in 38 Studios deal

Providence Journal | March 29, 2017

Boston government investigations and white collar defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted in this article about an SEC matter regarding a 2010 bond-offering.

Lahey Clinic embroiled in Bermuda’s ongoing political tumult

Boston Globe | February 15, 2017

This article is about a federal lawsuit filed by the government of Bermuda alleging civil racketeering charges against Massachusetts-based Lahey Clinic.  Boston government investigations and white collar defense partner Brian Kelly provides third party commentary on the unusual case.

Meet the judge who will hear the Boston legal challenge of Trump’s ban

Boston Globe | February 03, 2017

This article focuses on the judge who will hear Boston’s challenge of the Trump administration’s recent executive order regarding the immigration ban. Boston government investigations and white collar defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted discussing Judge Gorton’s judicial style.

Federal prosecutors launch probe of law firm over donations

The Boston Globe | November 16, 2016

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted in this article about the opening of a grand jury investigation of a Massachusetts law firm for its contributions to political candidates.

More calls for a probe of Thornton law firm’s political donations

The Boston Globe | November 02, 2016

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted in regarding his representation of a Massachusetts law firm and its contributions to political candidates.

Spotlight: Law firm ‘bonuses’ tied to political donations

Boston Globe | October 29, 2016

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is included in this article about a high-profile client matter involving a Massachusetts law firm and its political contributions.

Cannava Fighting SEC's Effort to Put Him Back in 38 Studios Suit

The Bond Buyer | October 03, 2016

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted throughout this piece that follows the ongoing developments in the fight between Peter Cannava and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Boston commercial litigation partner Steve LaRose and associate Kathleen Ceglarski Burns are also part of the legal team representing Cannava.

Why a Judge Dismissed Cannava From SEC's 38 Studios Case

The Bond Buyer | August 05, 2016

This coverage notes Nixon Peabody’s recent win on behalf of client Peter Cannava, involving SEC claims related to a bond offer involving former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling. Boston partners Brian Kelly and Steve LaRose, Providence counsel Charles Tamuleviz and Boston associate Kathleen Ceglarski Burns are listed as the litigation team, and Brian Kelly is quoted.

Probation is backed for ex-FBI official who lied at Bulger trial

The Boston Globe | July 30, 2016

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense group partner Brian Kelly is quoted in this article about former FBI supervisor Robert Fitzpatrick, who faces sentencing this week for lying on the stand at James “Whitey” Bulger’s murder trial.

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.

Is the SEC Making Cannava a Scapegoat In 38 Studios Case?

The Bond Buyer | May 11, 2016

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted in this article discussing the memorandum of law in support of Peter Cannava’s motion to dismiss the SEC’s complaint against him.

Feds probe City Hall's dealings with Boston Calling

The Boston Globe | April 29, 2016

Boston government investigations and white collar defense partner Brian Kelly is referenced throughout this article that discusses an investigation of union tactics associated with Boston’s popular music festival, Boston Calling.

SEC cites Wells Fargo with fraud in failed Curt Schilling startup

USA Today | March 07, 2016

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted in this article about the fraud charges against Wells Fargo in connection with Curt Schilling’s former video game company. Brian is noted as representing Wells Fargo’s banker.

Federal appeals court rejects Whitey Bulger's plea for a new trial

Boston Globe | March 04, 2016

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted in this article about the recent federal appeals court’s unanimous rejection of Whitey Bulger’s plea for a new trial.

Apple vs. FBI

WGBH Greater Boston | February 18, 2016

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly participated in this discussion on the U.S. government’s request of Apple to help unlock a phone possessed by one of the attackers in December's terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.

Feds could shift focus in attempt to find cash

Boston Herald | January 05, 2016

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted article discussing the latest in the James “Whitey” Bulger saga. The story notes that Bulger’s girlfriend will plead guilty to a contempt charge in a move that could force federal investigators to target other confidants in their mission to uncover millions of missing dollars.

After sex assault charges, Bill Cosby faces jail time—and his legal battles are just beginning

Washington Post | December 31, 2015

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly provides third-party commentary regarding the arraignment and criminal charge against actor Bill Cosby.  Brian discusses the importance of evidentiary rulings in this case.

Probe clears City Hall in ‘Top Chef’ extortion claim

Boston Globe | December 29, 2015

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar defense partner Brian Kelly is featured in this coverage about the findings of his three-month investigation of the local Teamsters’ alleged extortion related to the June 2014 filming of Top Chef in Boston.

City Hall probe: No sign Walsh, aides acted for Teamsters on ‘Top Chef’

Boston Herald | December 28, 2015

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is featured in this coverage about the findings of his three-month investigation of the local Teamsters’ alleged extortion related to the June 2014 filming of Top Chef in Boston.

Ex-prosecutor hired to review City Hall role in Teamster case

Boston Herald | October 01, 2015

This coverage notes that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has tapped Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly for an internal review of his administration’s role in alleged extortion scheme by Teamsters who opposed the use of nonunion workers during the Boston season of Top Chef.

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.

New DOJ Policy May Lead to Fewer Plea Deals

Bloomberg BNA White Collar Report | September 25, 2015

This story discusses a new Justice Department policy in which federal prosecutors must focus on individual accountability and that eliminates partial credit for corporate cooperation may have unintended consequences. The topic was the focus of a Nixon Peabody webinar presented by the Government Investigations & White Collar Defense team. Brian Kelly and Dave Vicinanzo are quoted.

Catherine Greig looking at more time for not cooperating

Boston Herald | September 23, 2015

The girlfriend of James “Whitey” Bulger is facing contempt charges, which could lengthen her prison time. Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly, who prosecuted Bulger, is quoted discussing what federal authorities are hoping to get from Catherine Greig including where’s Bulger’s money and who might have helped him while he was on the run.

FOX25 gets sneak peek of new Bulger movie Black Mass

WFXT-TV (FOX Boston) | September 14, 2015

Former federal prosecutor and Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is interviewed in advance of the release of “Black Mass,” Hollywood’s feature film on the life of Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.

Could new technology solve the Gardner heist?

Boston Globe | August 15, 2015

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly discusses how new technology could impact the investigation into the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum artwork heist.

Tipsters: We Know Gardner Heist Thief

The Daily Beast | August 13, 2015

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly weighs in on the investigation surrounding new developments in a famous art heist at the Gardner Museum in Boston.

Release of video after decades raises questions

Boston Globe | August 07, 2015

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly discusses the release of a video related to the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum artwork heist.

Bulger Decision to Not Testify Hampers His Retrial Effort

Boston Herald | July 27, 2015

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted in this article on the decreased chance of a new trial for Whitey Bulger following his decision not to take the witness stand.

Middlesex DA wants Tsarnaev back for 2d trial

Boston Globe | July 15, 2015

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly discusses potential challenges the Middlesex District Attorney may face in bringing the convicted Boston Marathon bomber back to Massachusetts to face state charges for the murder of an MIT police officer.

Another Tsarnaev Trial?

WGBH News | July 15, 2015

In this broadcast interview, Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is a featured panelist discussing potential challenges to the Middlesex District Attorney’s efforts to bring the convicted Boston Marathon bomber back to Massachusetts to face state charges for the murder of an MIT police officer.

Death Penalty Decision in Marathon Bomber Trial

WBUR-FM (NPR Boston) | May 15, 2015

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly discusses the jury’s death penalty decision in the Tsarnaev trial.

Contact

Brian T. Kelly

Partner

Boston

Phone: 617-345-1065

San Francisco

Phone: 415-984-5074


Fax: 855-714-9513

University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D.

Dartmouth College, B.A., magna cum laude

California

Massachusetts

U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court

2004 Exceptional Service Award – Department of Justice’s highest award received in Washington, D.C. from United States Attorney General.

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