Winston Y. Chan is a litigation partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s San Francisco office. He has particular experience leading matters involving government enforcement defense, internal investigations and compliance counseling, and regularly represents clients before and in litigation against federal, state and local agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission and State Attorneys General. Mr. Chan is Co-Chair of the firm’s False Claims Act/Qui Tam Defense practice group.
Mr. Chan is a Chambers-ranked attorney in the category of White Collar Crime and Government Investigations, and Benchmark Litigation recognizes him as a Litigation Star for being “recommended consistently as a reputable and effective litigator by clients and peers.” He is regularly included in Best Lawyers, as well as Who’s Who Legal for Investigations. Global Investigations Review ranks Mr. Chan in its annual Global Guide of Recommended Investigations Counsel, including in their inaugural list of “the most eminent lawyers in the field under 45.” In addition, Mr. Chan is a LMG Life Sciences “Star” in White Collar and Government Investigations, and previously was named in Law360 as one of just five nationwide “Rising Stars” in White Collar Criminal Defense under the age of 40 “whose legal accomplishments belie their age.”
From 2003 to 2011, Mr. Chan served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, where he investigated a wide range of matters as part of that office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section, including False Claims Act violations, health care fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, hedge fund improprieties, insider trading, accounting fraud, market manipulation, and fraudulent offerings of securities. Mr. Chan additionally prosecuted cases in the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, where he handled matters involving Italian, Eastern European and Asian criminal enterprises, for which the Attorney General awarded Mr. Chan one of the Department of Justice’s highest awards for his “exemplary and historic work.”
As a senior prosecutor, Mr. Chan served in a number of supervisory roles at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including as Health Care Fraud Coordinator. In that capacity, he oversaw all qui tam and whistleblower investigations involving allegations of False Claims Act violations, kickbacks, misbranding and off-label promotion by pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical diagnostic companies, among others. Mr. Chan also served as Deputy Chief of the General Crimes section, where he supervised and trained all first-year AUSAs in their investigation, prosecution and trial of federal offenses ranging from fraud to violent crime. By the conclusion of his tenure with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Chan had trained approximately half of the 83 line prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York.
Mr. Chan earned his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Yale University, and his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School, where he was on the Yale Law Journal and president of the Pacific Islander, Asian and Native American Law Students’ Association. Following law school, Mr. Chan served as a law clerk for the Honorable Leonard B. Sand of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and then for the Honorable Chester J. Straub of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. While a federal prosecutor, Mr. Chan taught a clinical course at Columbia Law School on the principles of federal prosecution and a first-year lawyering course at Fordham University School of Law.
He speaks conversational Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese, and serves on the Diversity Committee of the firm’s Bay Area offices.
Recent significant engagements involving government enforcement defense include:
- Defended a leading technology company in connection with an FCPA investigation by the SEC relating to alleged marketing practices in East and South Asia, and successfully obtained a no-action letter.
- Defended a major pharmaceutical company in connection with a False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute investigation by the DOJ, U.S. Attorney’s Office and HHS-OIG into the company’s charitable public health initiatives, and successfully obtained a declination and dismissal of the sealed qui tam complaint.
- Defended a national health care services system in connection with a nationwide False Claims Act investigation by the DOJ, U.S. Attorney’s Office and HHS-OIG relating to alleged medical necessity issues, successfully resulting in a full declination of charges.
- Defended former executives of a global pharmaceutical and medical device company in connection with an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and State Attorney General’s Office into alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute, which was successfully closed without further action.
- Defended a registered financial advisor in connection with investigations by the State Attorney General’s and Secretary of State Offices into alleged misappropriation of client assets, and successfully obtained a full declination of charges.
- Defended a hospital executive in connection with a criminal prosecution and trial by the California Attorney General’s Office for alleged violations of elder abuse reporting statutes, and successfully obtained a dismissal disposition of all charges.
- Defended a leading health care services provider in connection with civil and criminal False Claims Act investigations by the DOJ, U.S. Attorney’s Office and HHS-OIG relating to alleged “upcoding” issues, and negotiated the terms of a Corporate Integrity Agreement.
- Represented a major hedge fund in connection with criminal and civil insider trading investigations by various U.S. Attorney’s Offices and SEC Regional Offices.
- Defended an international transportation public company in connection with multiple state and federal government investigations relating to alleged Clean Water Act and Refuse Act violations.
- Represented the Board of Directors of a multi-national oil and gas public company in connection with a DOJ environmental criminal investigation.
- Defended numerous gig-economy companies in connection with investigations by State Attorneys General throughout the country relating to alleged workers’ rights and safety violations.
- Representing multiple health insurance plans in connection with False Claims Act investigations and qui tam litigation relating to alleged violations of Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) and Risk Corridor requirements, as well as Risk Adjustment scoring.
Recent significant engagements involving internal investigations include:
- Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a leading institutional investor in connection with a purported Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) whistleblower allegation relating to fraud, kickbacks, and self-dealing, as well as employment discrimination and retaliation by management.
- Conducted various internal investigations on behalf of global life sciences companies in connection with alleged FCPA, regulatory and compliance code violations, both domestically and internationally.
- Conducted an internal investigation in a dozen Asian jurisdictions on behalf of a leading technology company into alleged FCPA and antitrust violations relating to its distributor and channel partners.
- Conducted various internal investigations in China on behalf of multi-national technology companies into alleged FCPA violations relating to third-party procurement, supply chain and gifts, hospitality and travel practices.
- Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a major technology company into alleged FCPA violations relating to government tenders in Eastern Europe.
- Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a leading technology company into FCPA risks relating to customs payments by distributors in Russia.
- Conducted an internal investigation in various countries around the world on behalf of a multi-national consumer products company, relating to an alleged global cartel under investigation by U.S. and foreign antitrust authorities.
- Conducted an internal investigation in India on behalf of an international technology services company into alleged criminal trade secrets and criminal copyright violations.
- Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a global financial services consulting firm into allegations involving public contracting fraud.
- Served as counsel to the America’s Cup Review Committee in its investigation into a lethal training accident in connection with the 34th America’s Cup yacht race in San Francisco Bay.
Recent significant engagements involving compliance counseling include:
- Advised Gilead Sciences on due diligence matters in connection with its $1.4 billion acquisition of MYR GmbH.
- Advised a cryptocurrency exchange in connection with a hack and breach of its systems and resulting token theft.
- Conducted a compliance program effectiveness review on behalf of a leading pharmaceutical and medical device company under an HHS-OIG Corporate Integrity Agreement.
- Advising numerous technology, life sciences and other public companies on their anti-corruption policies, controls and compliance systems.
- Advised Salesforce on due diligence matters in connection with its $2.8 billion acquisition of Demandware.
- Advised Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corporation on due diligence matters in connection with its $920 million acquisition of KSS Holdings, Inc.
- Advised HP on due diligence matters in connection with its $3 billion acquisition of Aruba Networks.
- Advised Cadence Design Systems on due diligence matters in connection with its $380 million acquisition of Tensilica, Inc.; and its acquisition of India-based Cosmic Circuits Private Limited.
- Served on the global monitorship team supporting the Independent Compliance Monitor of Siemens AG in connection with its settlement of alleged FCPA violations across the world.
- Advised a major government contracting company on compliance remediation measures as a result of a federal investigation and prosecution of some of its employees for alleged public contracting fraud and kickbacks.
Recent significant engagements involving civil trial litigation include:
- Represented, and obtained a favorable settlement for, a hedge fund in connection with a securities fraud lawsuit it filed against a life sciences technology company in which the fund invested (Theranos).
- Defended, and obtained a favorable settlement for, a leading health care services provider in connection with a False Claims Act qui tam lawsuit filed by a former employee.
- Defended Walgreens Co. in connection with a False Claims Act qui tam lawsuit filed by a current employee, and successfully obtained dismissal of the complaint.
- Represented a major health care services provider in connection with a False Claims Act qui tam lawsuit filed by a current employee, which was dismissed by the court.
- Defended, and obtained a favorable settlement for, an international transportation public company in connection with a False Claims Act qui tam lawsuit.
- Represented General Electric in connection with the first mass tort claim litigated in Taiwan court.
- Represented, and successfully obtained judgment for, a leading mobile application designer in connection with its trademark and copyright actions against a China-based infringer.
- Defended, and obtained a favorable settlement for, China Mobile Communications Corporation in connection with intellectual property licensing lawsuits.
Bar Activities include:
- Association of Business Trial Lawyers – Northern California, Board of Governors.
- American Bar Association, White Collar Crime Committee, Northern California Regional Subcommittee, Co-Chair.
- Criminal Justice Act Panel, United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
- Bar Association of San Francisco, Criminal Justice Section, Executive Committee.
- Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, Judiciary Committee.
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Government Enforcement and Compliance Committee.
- American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law, Antitrust Law Developments, Contributor.
Speaking engagements include:
- “Enforcement Panel,” ABA Consumer Protection & Data Privacy Conference; San Diego, CA (Feb. 9, 2023).
- “Patient Support Services and False Claims Act Risks,” HCCA Healthcare Enforcement Compliance Conference; Washington, DC (Nov. 5, 2019).
- “M&A Risk Assessments & Due Diligence Post-DOJ Guidance: The Newest Considerations for the Pre- and Post-Acquisition Stages,” ACI West Coast Forum on FCPA Enforcement & Compliance; San Francisco, CA (Sep. 26, 2019).
- “Special Issues for Global Compliance Officers,” HCCA Compliance Institute; Las Vegas, NV (Apr. 6, 2018).
- “General Counsel in the Cross Hairs: Lessons from the Front Lines of the Government’s War to Punish the Lawyers,” Asian American Bar Association; San Francisco, CA (Mar. 20, 2018); and Asian Pacific American Bar Association; Palo Alto, CA (Mar. 6, 2018).
- “Litigating Healthcare Fraud Cases,” CLE International Annual Qui Tam Conference; San Francisco, CA (Jan. 22, 2018).
- “Navigating Privilege and Privacy in International Investigations,” Global Investigations Review Live; San Francisco, CA (May 22, 2017).
- “Significant Legal Developments in the Western Region,” ABA Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime; San Diego, CA (Feb. 28, 2018); and Miami, FL (Mar. 8, 2017).
- “The Line Between Zealous Advocacy, Client Service, and Unethical Conduct,” Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area; San Francisco, CA (Jan. 18, 2017).
- “Global Anti-Corruption Enforcement Trends and Challenges Facing Bay Area Companies,” SCCE Regional Compliance & Ethics Conference; San Francisco, CA (May 20, 2016).
- “DOJ and OIG Focus on Physician Compensation,” HCCA Compliance Institute; Las Vegas, NV (Apr. 18, 2016).
- “How To Balance Increased Business Development Pressures with China’s High Compliance Risks: How China’s Economic Slowdown Will Have an Impact on Your Anti-Corruption Initiatives,” ACI FCPA Boot Camp; Houston, TX (Jan. 27, 2016).
- “FCPA: Proactive Monitoring for Compliance and Risk Management,” Compliance, Governance and Oversight Council; San Francisco, CA (Sep. 24, 2015).
- “Conflicting Compliance: When Foreign Laws Are at Odds with Anti-Corruption Compliance under the FCPA and UK Bribery Act,” SCCE European Compliance & Ethics Institute in Prague, Czech Republic (Mar. 22, 2016); SCCE Utilities & Energy Conference in Houston, TX (Feb. 23, 2016); and SCCE European Compliance & Ethics Institute in London, UK (Apr. 1, 2015).
- “How the Sausage is Made: How the Government Evaluates FCA Whistleblower Allegations and Helps Relators Build Evidence,” HCCA Compliance Institute in Lake Buena Vista, FL (April 20, 2015); AHLA Long Term Care & The Law Conference in New Orleans, LA (Feb. 23, 2015); and AHLA Physicians & Hospitals Law Institute in Las Vegas, NV (Feb. 3, 2015).
- “Medical Necessity: The Next Wave of Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Enforcement,” Navigant Webcast (Oct. 30, 2014).
- “Anti-Corruption Compliance Challenges in High Risk Regions of the World – The Cost of Doing Business in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Russia/Eastern Europe,” SCCE Annual Compliance & Ethics Institute; Chicago, IL (Sep. 16, 2014).
- “Best Practices for Responding to Search Warrants,” ABA Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime; Miami, FL (Mar. 5, 2014).
- “Introduction to Medical Device Law & Regulation: Enforcement and Compliance,” Food and Drug Law Institute; Palo Alto, CA (Oct. 16, 2013).
- “Anti-Corruption Compliance and Local Law: What To Do When Local Law Prevents You From Complying with the FCPA,” ABA Section of International Law Fall Meeting; London, UK (Oct. 9, 2013).
- “If a Little Knowledge Can Be Dangerous, How About A Lot of Knowledge? The Ethics of Social Media in the Courtroom,” Santa Clara County Bar Association; Palo Alto, CA (June 17, 2013).
- “U.S. Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions: An Overview for Pharmaceutical, Bio-Technology, Medical Device and Life Science Businesses and Investment Funds in Asia,” Taiwan Bio Industry Organization; Taipei, Taiwan (Jan. 11, 2013).
- “Federal and State Whistleblower Laws: What You Need to Know,” Bar Association of San Francisco; San Francisco, CA (Nov. 1, 2012).
- “Red Envelopes: What Does the U.S. Anti-Bribery Law (the FCPA) Mean for Doing Business in Taiwan and Asia?” American Chamber of Commerce, Corporate Compliance Lunch Series; Taipei, Taiwan (June 8, 2012).
- “Cyber Crime: The New Face of Economic Crime,” Sandpiper Partners Program; Redwood City, CA (May 30, 2012).
- “FCPA Risks for Hedge Funds and Private Equity,” Bay Area Funds Forum; San Francisco, CA (May 24, 2012).