Former DOJ Attorney Jeffrey Wertkin Joins Akin Gump

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 09:48

Akin Gump today announced that Jeffrey A. Wertkin, a former trial attorney in the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), has joined the firm as a partner in its litigation practice. Mr. Wertkin is an experienced False Claims Act (FCA) litigator who will add significant depth to Akin Gump’s experience in this space, including within the health care industry.

“False Claims actions can pose a significant threat to clients in a wide range of areas,” said Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith. “Amid a slew of prosecutions related to government contractors, health care providers and others who present claims for payment to the federal government, Jeff will be a strong addition to the firm, and I am delighted to have him with us.”

While at the Justice Department, Mr. Wertkin directed teams of lawyers and agents in investigating complex allegations of health care fraud. He enforced the False Claims Act against pharmaceutical manufacturers, managed care plans, pharmacy benefit managers, retail and long-term care pharmacies, hospitals and hospice companies. Having led more than 20 major fraud investigations on behalf of the Justice Department, Mr. Wertkin has first-hand knowledge of the legal and practical considerations that shape government investigations and FCA litigation. He also gained subject-matter knowledge and experience in several key enforcement areas, including application of the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Amendment, claims alleging medically unnecessary care and allegations of risk-adjustment fraud by health plans.

Mr. Wertkin served as lead counsel in the first-ever False Claims Act suit filed by the Justice Department alleging damages under the Medicare Part D program. In another matter, he was lead counsel in an FCA federal jury trial alleging nationwide Medicare fraud by a hospice company, obtaining a favorable jury verdict. In addition, Mr. Wertkin settled multiple matters on behalf of the DOJ, resulting in multimillion-dollar recoveries.

“Jeff’s FCA trial and prosecution background, including his abundant work in the health industry, made him a very attractive candidate for us,” said Stephen M. Baldini, head of Akin Gump’s litigation practice. “His extensive credentials, which include the relatively rare experience of trying a major False Claims case to a successful jury verdict, will be an invaluable resource to our clients.”

“The False Claims Act presents great challenges for businesses and individuals alike, and Akin Gump offers one of the most accomplished FCA practices in the country,” said Mr. Wertkin. “I look forward to applying my experience as a federal prosecutor and fraud investigator on behalf of the firm’s clients, and to partnering with Akin Gump’s deep bench of litigators and health care practitioners to offer the kind of effective legal counsel that leads to positive results.”

About Jeffrey A. Wertkin

Prior to working at the Justice Department, Mr. Wertkin was an associate in the Washington office of a large international law firm, where he managed all aspects of complex civil litigation, including civil discovery, motions practice and trial preparation. He represented clients in federal courts at the trial and appellate levels on matters involving challenges to final agency actions under the Administrative Procedures Act. He also provided regulatory compliance counseling to clients in the health care and energy sectors.

Mr. Wertkin is also a recognized leader in the field of administrative law and regulatory policy. He is presently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, where he teaches a course on federal agencies and administrative rulemaking. He received his J.D., as well as a Ph.D. in Government, from Georgetown University and his B.A. from Haverford College.