Brian R. Michael

Partner | Los Angeles

bmichael@mofo.com | (213) 892-5579 bmichael@mofo.com
(213) 892-5579

Brian R. Michael is a partner in Morrison Foerster’s Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White Collar Defense Groups. Brian draws upon his more than two decades of high-profile experience as an in-house leader, in private practice, and as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York and the Central District of California to represent entities and individuals in high-stakes white collar criminal cases, internal investigations, securities and regulatory enforcement matters, and complex litigation and trials. Brian’s global practice also focuses on providing crisis management and compliance counseling, including on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and anti-corruption, cybersecurity and data privacy, FinTech, blockchain technology, and digital currency, trade sanctions, and workplace conduct matters. Brian has extensive experience leading global risk assessments and helps to design and implement multijurisdictional compliance programs.

Before returning to private practice in 2017, Michael spent nearly five years as Deputy General Counsel and Group Chief Compliance Officer at global media and entertainment company 21st Century Fox, and more than eight years as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in both the Southern District of New York and the Central District of California. At 21st Century Fox, Michael played a critical role in the company’s response to multiple cross-border investigations, including the “UK phone hacking” crisis and the wide-ranging FIFA corruption matter, and oversaw global compliance for Fox broadcast, cable, digital, and sports media businesses, including National Geographic Partners and more than 300 channels in over 180 countries. As an AUSA, Michael tried numerous cases and briefed and argued multiple appeals. He led criminal investigations and prosecutions involving complex financial, securities, and healthcare fraud, cybercrime, organized crime and racketeering, money laundering, and asset forfeiture, for which he received many commendations and awards.  Brian also served as the Violence Against Women Act Coordinator for the Central District of California.

Brian was most recently a partner at another leading law firm’s white collar criminal defense and investigations practice and, earlier in his career, practiced at a leading law firm in New York City. After graduating law school, Brian clerked for former Chief Judge Gilbert S. Merritt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Brian is a frequent public speaker and commentator on white collar crime, securities and regulatory enforcement, and compliance topics. He is a member of the board of directors of the Southern California Regional Subcommittee of the ABA’s White Collar Crime Committee and serves on the Executive Committee of the non-partisan Constitutional Rights Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to civics education and engagement.

Brian earned his B.A. with distinction in general scholarship from the University of California at Berkeley and earned his J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law, where he was elected Order of the Coif.

Representative Experience

  • Representation of a lobbyist in connection with a high-profile and wide-ranging corruption probe of the Los Angeles City Council led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
  • Representation of a national governing body for an Olympic sport in an investigation led by the California Attorney General’s Office into historical allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse by local affiliates.
  • Representation of a public multinational media company in an internal investigation into the manipulation and tampering by third parties of core business activities and information.
  • Representation of a fund and its three managing members in connection with investigations led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the SEC related to a $500+ million Ponzi scheme and the prosecution of the perpetrator in the largest Ponzi scheme ever prosecuted in the District.
  • Representation of a global auto manufacturer in connection with an investigation led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California into alleged foreign bribery and the prosecution of a former employee.
  • Representation of a nonprofit entity in an internal investigation into multiple complaints regarding conflicts of interest, self-dealing, and other significant misconduct committed by top-level executives.
  • Representation of prominent private high school in Los Angeles embroiled in the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal.
  • Representation of a high-profile individual in connection with asset forfeiture and related proceedings related to the 1MDB criminal prosecution in the Eastern District of New York
  • Representation of a former senior research scientist of a multinational life sciences company in an internal investigation and parallel FDA investigation regarding alleged research misconduct by the former CEO in relation to the most expensive drug therapy ever.
  • Representation of a global FinTech entity in the design and implementation of a global compliance infrastructure related to the roll-out of a new payment tool.
  • Defense of a global auto manufacturer in consumer fraud litigation across California.
  • Led due diligence for prominent hedge fund in connection with potential deal activity.
  • Led crisis response for prominent investment funds in response to racially charged incidents at real estate developments in the wake of the George Floyd incident.
  • Representation of a global FinTech entity in investigation of alleged financial misconduct in Asia-Pacific region that came to light during due diligence for a time-sensitive and significant transaction.
  • Representation of senior public university executive in connection with whistleblower allegations of misconduct directed towards university’s leadership.
  • Representation of world-leading publisher of online video content in investigation of New York Attorney General’s Office of alleged violations of state law regulating the nature of online content.
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