Brian R. Blais
Brian Blais is a partner in the litigation and enforcement practice group and a former federal prosecutor. His practice focuses on the defense of white collar investigations by criminal authorities, enforcement actions and investigations by civil regulators, internal investigations, and civil litigation, particularly in the health care, pharmaceutical, medical device, financial services, private equity, and asset management industries.
Brian began his legal career at Ropes & Gray in 2004 and rejoined the firm in 2021, after serving for over a decade as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, in the Securities and Commodities Fraud, Organized Crime, Narcotics, and General Crimes Units. As a federal prosecutor, Brian investigated and prosecuted over 150 criminal cases. He served as the lead or co-lead counsel for eight jury trials, authored approximately 20 appellate briefs filed with the Second Circuit, and argued eight times before that Court. As Co-Chief of the Office’s General Crimes Unit, Brian supervised over 500 investigations and over 40 jury trials conducted by the more than 60 Assistant U.S. Attorneys he supervised. The cases he oversaw involved corporate criminal liability, money laundering, cybercrime, wire fraud, mail fraud, tax fraud, access device fraud, and a multitude of other criminal offenses. At the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Brian also served as Deputy Chief of Criminal Appeals.
Prior to his legal career, Brian worked for four years at Goldman, Sachs & Co., first as an Investment Banking Analyst focused on leveraged finance transactions, and later as a Merchant Banking Associate and Analyst, making private equity, mezzanine, and venture capital investments. From 2001 to 2007, Brian served as an elected member of the City Council in his hometown of Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
- Represented two major pharmaceutical manufacturers in multi-year off-label marketing investigations by the Boston U.S. Attorney’s Office. Obtained joint criminal/civil resolutions on behalf of both clients.
- Defended the investment adviser of three mutual funds in Jones v. Harris Associates, in which the Supreme Court established the uniform national standard for evaluating excessive advisory fee claims under Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act.
- Brian had a successful trial record as a federal prosecutor, acting as lead or co-lead counsel for eight federal criminal trials that all resulted in convictions. Notably, he won jury convictions of the CFO of a prominent publicly-traded real estate investment trust for non-GAAP accounting fraud, and the president of a publicly-traded reinsurance company for market manipulation and other securities fraud offenses. He also obtained jury convictions of a licensed psychologist for committing health care fraud offenses and three union leaders for racketeering, extortion, and other labor offenses.
- Quoted, “U.S. Atty Self-Report Plan for Cos. Ups Uniformity, Amid Doubt,” Law360 (February 28, 2023)
- Quoted, “Justice Department prosecutors swamped with data as cases leave long digital trails,” The Wall Street Journal (November 28, 2022)
- Quoted, “New York Cases To Watch In 2022,” Law360 (January 3, 2022)
- Quoted, “Delays, distracted jurors and disappointed investors: The Elizabeth Holmes trial so far,” The Washington Post (November 6, 2021)
- Quoted, “Deputy AG Unveils New Tacks For White Collar Enforcement,” Law360 (October 28, 2021)
- Quoted, “Theranos Dysfunction Apparent at Halfway Point of Elizabeth Holmes Trial,” The Wall Street Journal (October 26, 2021)
- Co-author, “Department of Justice Under Merrick Garland,” Ropes & Gray Alert (March 17, 2021)
- Panelist, “Advising Clients with Insider Trading Issues,” Practising Law Institute’s Insider Trading Law 2022 (October 13, 2022)
- Panelist, “Workplace misconduct investigations: complexities, challenges and opportunities,” The Legal 500 Disputes Summit New York (September 20, 2022)
- JD, magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 2004
- AB (Economics), magna cum laude, Harvard College, 1997
Admissions / Qualifications
- Massachusetts, 2004
- New York, 2009
- Rhode Island, 2004
- Supreme Court of the United States, 2009
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 2010
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2007
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2022
- U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 2005
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2022
- LMG Life Sciences Americas Awards “Government Investigations Firm of the Year” (2022)