Barrett Howell focuses his practice on white collar criminal defense. Barrett has experience investigating and litigating complex civil and criminal cases involving securities and healthcare fraud. Barrett defends companies and executives in government investigations and enforcement actions involving allegations of securities and accounting fraud, Medicaid and Medicare fraud, bribery, kick-back, and corruption, as well as qui tam suits alleging violations of federal and state civil false claims acts. He has defended clients before multiple federal and state agencies including the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG), state attorneys general and state securities boards, as well as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Barrett’s practice also focuses on conducting internal investigations and advising corporate Boards on internal controls over financial reporting and data protection protocols.
Barrett is a cofounder of the University of Texas Government Enforcement Institute and is a frequent speaker and author on corporate governance and ethical compliance issues.
Recent Notable Matters
Multiple individuals and companies — various SEC accounting, asset valuation, and insider trading investigations
Numerous companies and individuals — defending in connection with federal and state whistleblower lawsuits and resulting civil and criminal investigations conducted by HHS-OIG, the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and state Medicaid officials
Multiple healthcare providers and DME/pharma interests — successfully representing in Anti-Kickback, Stark Act, and False Claims Act investigations and cases
National bank — conducting internal investigation for Audit Committee into whistleblower allegations involving related-party transactions
Fortune 500 computer hardware company — defending in FCPA lawsuit and parallel government investigation
NYSE-listed company — defending in parallel criminal and civil enforcement actions by DOJ and SEC involving alleged FCPA violations
Large-scale energy and lighting systems management company — defending in SEC investigation involving revenue recognition and related accounting issues
Oil and gas drilling and production company — conducting international internal investigation into foreign transactions and possible FCPA violations
Board of directors and special committee — counseling on governance matters related to, and conducting internal investigation instigated by, whistleblower complaint from disgruntled former public-company CEO
Former chief financial officer of a Fortune 500 business process outsourcing company — defending in SEC investigation and enforcement action involving resale transaction revenue accounting
Publicly-traded company’s audit committee — conducting internal investigation on behalf of the client, instigated by whistleblower complaint involving accounting and financial reporting issues
Global investment advisor — defending in SEC investigation involving valuation and financial reporting
Financial services and lending company — defending in SEC investigation focused on goodwill valuation and impairment testing
Healthcare company — defending in parallel DOJ criminal and civil investigations
Software company — conducting internal investigation on behalf of the client into unauthorized related-party transactions
Board of directors and audit committee of NYSE-listed company — advising the client through whistleblower initiated internal corporate investigation and accounting restatement
CEO of a NASDAQ-listed company — defending against SEC enforcement action involving allegations of improper revenue recognition
Publicly-traded personal care products company — representing in connection with SEC and General Accounting Office inquiries regarding intangible asset accounting and valuation methodologies*
Former executive of publicly-traded company — defending against SEC enforcement action involving allegations of stock option backdating*
Board of directors of publicly-held telecommunications equipment manufacturing company — representing in connection with internal investigation of alleged breaches of fiduciary duty*
* Work completed prior to Bracewell
Publications and Speeches
“What to Do When the Government Comes Knocking,” Dallas Association of Corporate Counsel Annual In-House Symposium, April 21, 2017.
“Do's and Don’ts All Counsel Should Know About Government Investigations,” State Bar of Texas Annual Business Law Course, November 17, 2016.
“The Forensic Accountant: A Key Witness in the Defense Arsenal,” Business Valuation, Forensic & Litigation Services Conference, October 23, 2015.
“Whistleblowers: Are You Prepared?”; Multi-National Counsel Boot Camp: Practical Solutions for International Lawyers, Southwestern Institute for International and Comparative Law, June 15, 2015.
“Getting All Judgmental – Disclosure of Loss Contingencies Under ASC 450 (FAS 5)” CLE presentation to in-house legal counsels, Texas, April 30, 2015.
“What To Do When the Government Comes Knocking – Practical Tips for In-House Counsel” University of Texas Corporate Counsel Institute, Austin, Texas, April 17, 2015.
“Government Investigations, Part II: Best Practices for Internal Investigations,” University of Texas Continuing Legal Education Government Enforcement Institute, Austin, Texas, May 21, 2014.
“Legal Ethics for In-House Counsel,” State Bar of Texas Advanced In-House Counsel Course, August 1, 2013.