John P. Bueker
John is global co-chair of Ropes & Gray’s litigation & enforcement practice group and the former co-head of the firm’s business & commercial litigation practice. He has nearly 25 years of experience successfully representing businesses and institutions in a wide variety of complex civil litigation and related government investigations and enforcement actions.
John’s practice focuses on three areas: advising major health care and life sciences companies in connection with False Claims Act litigation, defending clients involved in high-profile business and securities litigation, and helping clients navigate large, multidistrict litigation. This broad range of experience allows John to guide clients facing litigation threats on multiple fronts.
In the area of False Claims Act cases, John has advised clients from the earliest stages of pre-litigation disputes or investigations through trial. At every stage, John has secured successful outcomes. The Legal 500 notes his “strong reputation in healthcare litigation.”
John is an equally skilled advocate for clients in high-impact matters such as consumer class actions, securities and multidistrict litigation. With a deep understanding of businesses across industries, John is able to guide clients toward creative solutions in high stakes matters.
Early in his career, John served as a special assistant district attorney in the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted more than a dozen criminal jury trials.
John serves, and has served, as pro bono counsel for capital defendants in post-conviction proceedings.
False Claims Act Matters
- Major biotechnology company. Representing leading biotechnology company in an action being prosecuted by the Massachusetts USAO alleging violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute as a result of donations the company made to an independent charity whose mission was to offer copayment assistance to financial deserving patients prescribed the company’s blockbuster medication.
- Major pharmaceutical company. Representing a multinational pharmaceutical company in False Claims Act litigation alleging off-label promotion and violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute based on purported sham speaker payments, and extravagant meals and travel. The case, which raises novel First Amendment issues, has twice been dismissed on public disclosure bar grounds and is currently on appeal before the Ninth Circuit.
- Medical coding company. Representing a global health and community care technology company in False Claims Act litigation, alleging fraudulent upcoding of Medicare claims. The case was dismissed by the district court and is currently on appeal before the Sixth Circuit.
- Software company. Representing a software company in responding to a civil investigative demand seeking information about the encryption security features of software it sold to the United States government under the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
- Major medical device company. Successfully represented a major medical device company in a False Claims Act suit that alleged the company provided unlawful patient support for its signature pacemakers in the form of technical assistance provided in connection with the required periodic checks of the proper functioning of these complex devices. Litigated the case through summary judgment, obtaining precedent-setting rulings along the way, and ultimately obtained a settlement on a less than cost of defense basis.
Business and Commercial Litigation
- Consumer class action. Successfully represented The TJX Companies, Inc. and certain subsidiaries in consumer class actions brought in California, Florida, New Jersey, New York and Washington state alleging TJX's comparative price advertising practices violated consumer protection statutes in those jurisdictions, including California’s CLRA and UCL.
- Securities litigation – Section 10(b) case. Successfully represented Keurig Green Mountain Coffee Roastersin stock drop litigation, securing a favorable loss causation ruling at summary judgment that led to a favorable settlement.
- Securities litigation – Section 11 case. Successfully represented a multinational investment bank in a matter that alleged violations of Section 11 of the federal securities laws and comparable provisions of state blue sky laws arising out of a $130 million debt offering for a Chinese company that entered the U.S. public securities markets by way of a reverse merger.
- Earn-out dispute. Trial counsel for the founders of an internet retailer in a two-week jury trial with the purchasers of the business over a multimillion-dollar earn-out payment.
- Lease dispute. Following a lengthy bench trial, obtained a defense verdict for a major global law firm in a complex dispute over its conduct in connection with its termination of a lease.
- In re: Opioids MDL. Trial counsel for a global biopharmaceutical company in the largest multidistrict litigation in history. Developed the factual and expert record in state litigation where the company was prepared to try its case prior to global resolution of the more than 3,800 pending cases.
- In re: Average Wholesale Pricing Litigation. National coordinating and trial counsel for Schering-Plough Corporation and Warrick Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in a series of complex civil litigations brought by 23 state attorneys general alleging False Claims and Unfair Trade Practices Act violations. Successfully tried the bellwether MDL case. The bench trial opinion eventually led to the nationwide settlement on terms favorable to the clients. Also tried two state cases to juries, one of which settled on favorable terms while the jury was deliberating and the other resulted in a nominal damages award.
- Co-author, “What’s At Stake In Justices’ FCA Qui Tam Dismissal Review,” Law360 (June 28, 2022)
- Quoted, “Massachusetts Cases To Watch In 2022,” Law360 (January 3, 2022)
- Co-author, “The Governor’s LIBOR Legislation: Its Promise and Its Limitations,” New York Law Journal (March 18, 2021)
- Quoted, “False Claims Landscape Could Change After Decision Drops,” Bloomberg Law (May 8, 2019)
- Co-author, “The 7th Circ. Stance In Uhlig V. Fluor,” Law360 (December 15, 2016)
- Co-author, “There May Be a New Standard for FCA Liability Soon,” Law360 (April 19, 2016)
- Co-author, “Supreme Court’s FCA Ruling May Prove a Big Defense Win,” Corporate Counsel (August 20, 2015)
- Quoted, “Justices Give Companies Partial Win in Whistleblower Suits,” The National Law Journal (May 27, 2015)
- Co-author, “Justices Address Boundaries of 2 FCA Defenses in KBR Case,” Law360 (January 13, 2015)
- Quoted, “4th Circ. Leaves 'Excessive' FCA Fines Up In The Air,” Law360 (January 9, 2014)
- Presenter, “Key Enforcement Trends in Drug Pricing,” Medicaid Drug Rebate Program – MDRP 2021 (October 12, 2021)
- JD, magna cum laude, Cornell Law School, 1997; Articles Editor, Cornell Law Review; Order of the Coif
- BA, magna cum laude, Colgate University, 1992; Phi Beta Kappa
Admissions / Qualifications
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
- LMG Life Sciences Americas Awards “Government Investigations Firm of the Year” (2022)
- Legal 500 (2020)
- The Best Lawyers in America (2013-2023)
- Massachusetts Super Lawyers (2016-2021)
- Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star (2005-2007, 2010)