Finch McCranie Expands Compliance and Whistleblower Practice with Two Former Senior Department of Justice Trial Attorneys


Renée Brooker and Eva Gunasekera will be based in Washington, D.C

ATLANTA – Renée Brooker and Eva Gunasekera, former attorneys in senior positions with the United States Department of Justice, have joined the Atlanta-based law firm of Finch McCranie, LLP (www.finchmccranie.com) as Counsel, according to Finch McCranie Partner Richard Hendrix.  The two will be based in Washington, D.C., where they will join the firm’s practice in monitorships and compliance-related services to businesses.  Both attorneys join Finch McCranie colleagues on a team that is assisting Larry Thompson, also counsel at Finch McCranie, who has been named Independent Corporate Compliance Monitor and Auditor for Volkswagen AG during its three year term of probation.  They will also enhance the firm’s whistleblower practice.

“We are thrilled that Renée and Eva have joined our firm, providing Finch McCranie with a strong and respected full-time presence in Washington,” said Finch McCranie Partner Michael Sullivan.  “Both were stars within the Department of Justice’s Civil Division with significant trial experience.  Renée and Eva will add immense value to our whistleblower practice, as well as assist us with helping businesses improve their ethics and compliance programs, based on the principle that companies of high integrity perform better in the marketplace.  They have over three decades of combined government experience, evaluating companies’ compliance with the False Claims Act, the Stark and Anti-Kickback laws, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and other civil and criminal laws.”

Brooker spent nearly two decades in the Civil Division of the Justice Department in a senior leadership position.  She had direct oversight for investigations, litigation, settlements, mediations and trials involving the healthcare, pharmaceutical, defense, financial services, cigarette manufacturer and higher education industries.  She received numerous awards from the Justice Department for sizeable recoveries and successes at trial, and was architect of the financial fraud cases under President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.  Brooker was also a lead counsel in both the drug pricing fraud litigation involving the pharmaceutical industry and the nine-month civil RICO trial against the tobacco industry for misleading the American public for decades about the health effects of smoking.

Gunasekera spent nearly nine years at the Justice Department, where she chaired the Civil Division’s healthcare fraud practice as Senior Counsel.  She had significant responsibility for investigating, litigating and resolving cases involving the alleged fraudulent practices of pharmaceutical manufacturers, healthcare providers, durable equipment manufacturers, physician groups, managed care providers, pharmacies, hospice and nursing home providers, government suppliers and defense contractors.  Many of her cases involved parallel criminal proceedings.  In 2015, Gunasekera was a lead counsel in the most complex False Claims Act trial in recent history.  Prior to working for the Justice Department, Gunasekera worked in private practice at two international law firms, handling complex commercial litigation and administrative trials.  She played a significant role on the team that represented the Enron Creditors Recovery Corp. in the bankruptcy proceeding, successfully returning billions of dollars to creditors in the wake of the Enron scandal.  Both she and Brooker are graduates of the Georgetown University Law Center.

“With the addition of D.C.-based experienced counsel, Finch McCranie continues to expand its high quality compliance services to a range of organizations from small businesses to publicly-traded companies,” said Hendrix.  “Whether the company is subjected to a monitorship, or is required to retain an independent review organization (IRO) under a corporate integrity agreement with a federal oversight agency, our firm will assist the client to ensure it can meet robust ethical and compliance standards.  In addition to joining us in conducting internal investigations, Renée and Eva will help evaluate, oversee and monitor corporate compliance with internal company compliance policies and laws that are unique to each company’s business.”

About Finch McCranie

Finch McCranie, LLP is one of the most experienced specialty law firms in the United States, with a history of more than 50 years.  Led by former federal prosecutors, its practice includes compliance, monitorships and internal investigations; white collar criminal defense; representation of whistleblowers worldwide in qui tam litigation under the False Claims Act, and in the IRS and SEC Whistleblower Programs; complex business litigation and serious injury litigation.  The firm is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. with two attorneys, both former Department of Justice trial attorneys, based in Washington, D.C.  Finch McCranie has earned the highest rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which rates law firms nationwide.  http://www.qui-tam-litigation.com, www.finchmccranie.com

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About Michael Sullivan

Michael A. Sullivan is a former federal prosecutor who has more than twenty-five years of experience in sophisticated civil and criminal litigation.

Mr. Sullivan has represented large businesses and individuals in complex cases, many involving fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty. His trial experience over three decades has included white collar criminal cases, civil fraud, business torts, and serious personal injury and death cases. Mr. Sullivan was selected to Georgia Super Lawyers’ list in 2006-2012.

From 1995-98, Mr. Sullivan served as a federal prosecutor in the Independent Counsel investigation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which included the prosecution of former Secretary of the Interior James Watt. He also has defended businesses and individuals in white collar criminal investigations and prosecutions, including financial fraud and tax investigations.

In addition to handling a variety of complex civil cases, Mr. Sullivan represents whistleblowers worldwide in qui tam litigation under the False Claims Act, in the IRS Whistleblower Program, and in the new SEC and CFTC Whistleblower Programs.

Mr. Sullivan has worked with the False Claims Act since the late 1980s and has both defended and prosecuted cases under the False Claims Act.

Since the December 2006 inception of the new IRS Whistleblower Program, Mr. Sullivan has also represented tax whistleblowers in submissions totaling many billions of dollars. He has also worked with the IRS Whistleblower Office staff in presenting programs on best practices in pursuing IRS Whistleblower claims.

In 2009 and again in 2010, Mr. Sullivan was contacted by staff members of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee to discuss how the new SEC and CFTC Whistleblower Programs under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act should operate. He has also met with the SEC and CFTC Chairmen and senior staff to recommend changes to the proposed rules for SEC and CFTC Whistleblower claims.

Mr. Sullivan is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and Vanderbilt Law School, where he was Senior Articles Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review. He clerked for U.S. District Judge Marvin H. Shoob in Atlanta from 1984-86.