Wick Sollers is Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C., office and former Chair of King & Spalding’s Special Matters & Governmental Investigations Practice Group. Chambers USA calls Mr. Sollers a “first-class defense lawyer who is known for his strong healthcare practice.” He has represented numerous corporate and individual clients in high profile investigations, including President George H.W. Bush in two Independent Counsel investigations; Coach Joe Paterno and his estate in litigation against the NCAA; multiple CEOs, CFOs and other top executives in various industries being investigated by Federal and State law enforcement agencies; multiple General Counsel, in-house lawyers and outside counsel and a number of government officials, including a top Department of Justice official, the Inspector General of NASA, an FBI lawyer caught up in the WACO scandal and others.
His practice over the last 15 years has increasingly focused on representing companies and individuals in pharmaceutical, health care, medical device and FDA investigations. Additional experience includes defending accounting fraud cases, grand jury practice, criminal environmental, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and money laundering cases, internal corporate investigations, representation before congressional committees, federal criminal trials and appeals, and general civil litigation, including qui tam cases.
After earning his undergraduate degree in economics from Princeton University in 1977, he received his law degree in 1982 from the University of Maryland where he was Order of the Coif and Articles editor of the Maryland Law Review. He then served as law clerk for the Honorable Norman P. Ramsey, United States District Court in Maryland. From 1985-88, Mr. Sollers was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Maryland and from 1988-89, he was Special Counsel to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Investigations.
Healthcare and FDA Practice:
- In 2014, Mr. Sollers obtained a government declination and relator dismissal with prejudice of a Qui Tam lawsuit filed and investigated in the N.D.Ga.
- Mr. Sollers represented the Product Manager of Fresinius/NMC who was indicted on 17 felonies by a federal grand jury in Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Sollers ultimately convinced the U.S. Attorney’s Office to dismiss the case in its entirety and the client was fully exonerated.
- Mr. Sollers resolved a criminal and civil investigation of Eisai, Inc. based on a qui tam complaint alleging off-label promotion and anti-kickback violations, conducted by the Boston U.S. Attorney’s Office, for an $11 million civil settlement and no corporate integrity agreement.
- Mr. Sollers represented Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in a broad-based investigation for alleged off-label promotion of four products and violations of the anti-kickback statute by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore. The case was resolved civilly in October 2012 with a civil settlement and no admission of liability.
- Mr. Sollers also represented an international pharmaceutical company in two federal price reporting investigations, one in the District of N.J. and the other in E.D. Pa. Both cases, which originated with federal whistleblower complaints, were declined.
- Mr. Sollers represented the former President of a pharmaceutical company in a federal off-label promotion investigation in the District of N.J. No charges were filed.
- Mr. Sollers obtained a declination from the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Central District of California for a major pharmaceutical company being investigated for alleged violations of the False Claims Act, including potential off-label promotion, as well as alleged violations of the anti-kickback statute.
- Mr. Sollers has represented several healthcare regulatory partners at a prominent DC law firm before the grand jury, in U.S. Attorney’s Office interviews and during their appearance at trial as witnesses in the TAP Pharmaceutical case in Boston., as well as in AWP litigation filed by the State of Pennsylvania.
- Mr. Sollers has successfully obtained several other declinations from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston in significant healthcare investigations.
- Mr. Sollers represented a large HMO in a False Claims Act investigation and a publicly traded biotech company in an investigation for off-label promotion and related issues by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia and the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office. He is currently representing a large health care provider in a broad pricing investigation being conducted by the E.D. PA. USAO. He has also represented a number of non-target corporate executives before the USAO in Philadelphia.
- Mr. Sollers has obtained declinations on several criminal investigations, conducted by the Department of Justice, Office of Consumer Litigation, of alleged false filings by corporations with the FDA, , including price reporting and Best Price issues.
- Mr. Sollers represented Jazz Pharmaceuticals in a federal criminal/civil investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the E.D.N.Y. into off-label promotion, a case that was settled favorably in June 2007.
- Mr. Sollers, along with his former partner, Larry Thompson, represented a major healthcare provider in a fraud investigation being conducted by the New York Attorney General’s Office. That matter was successfully resolved.
- Mr. Sollers represented GlaxoSmithKline in a consumer fraud lawsuit announced by the New York Attorney General’s Office under Eliot Spitzer on June 2, 2004, and resolved favorably in August of 2004.
- Along with Judge Griffin Bell, Mr. Sollers represented the outside Board of Directors of Beverly Enterprises in a federal criminal investigation in San Francisco into false claims by the nursing home chain.
- Mr. Sollers has represented pharmaceutical clients and health care providers in investigations being conducted by multiple State Attorneys General, both stand alone and taskforce (NMFCU) and Consumer Protection investigations in coordination with federal law enforcement authorities. Among the Attorneys General before whom Mr. Sollers has represented clients are New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Florida. He has represented clients successfully in investigations by the AGs, Consumer Protection Division, in all 50 States.
- Mr. Sollers has conducted numerous internal investigations and counseled healthcare and FDA clients on a variety of disclosure and governance issues.
Trial and Appellate Practice:
- Mr. Sollers argued Leocal v. Ashcroft before the United States Supreme Court, challenging the scope of a federal criminal statute that defines “crimes of violence” for which a lawful permanent resident may be removed from the United States. The Court, in an opinion authored by Chief Justice Rehnquist, issued an unanimous 9-0 decision, reversing the Eleventh Circuit, in a complete victory for Mr. Sollers’ client.
- Mr. Sollers, along with his partner Steve Cowen, obtained the full acquittal of their client, the former Controller of Qwest, in a nine-week highly-publicized trial in federal court in Denver, Colorado. The acquittal was the first in a high-profile case of this nature since the Enron scandal broke.
- Mr. Sollers obtained an acquittal in a six-week trial in federal court in Maryland on three of four counts charging an executive of a medical device manufacturer with fraud in the filing of 510(k) applications with the FDA. The remaining false statement count, on which the defendant was convicted, was overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit after Mr. Sollers argued the case. The case was ultimately dismissed with prejudice by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the client fully exonerated.
- From 1985-1988, Mr. Sollers served as Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Maryland where he prosecuted cases involving narcotics, contract murder-for-hire, bank robbery, savings and loan fraud, and other white collar crimes, in addition to the first federal environmental case tried in that district. His experience at the United States Attorney’s office included over 15 federal criminal jury trials and six arguments before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Diverse Government Investigations Practice:
- Along with Judge Griffin Bell, Mr. Sollers represented former President George H.W. Bush in the Iran-Contra and Clinton Passport Independent Counsel investigations.
- Also with Judge Bell, Mr. Sollers led publicly disclosed internal investigations into the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (“OPR”) at FBI Director Mueller’s request; and the Statue of Liberty Foundation at the request of its Board of Directors.
- Along with his former partner Larry Thompson, Mr. Sollers represented Lockheed Corporation in the investigation and settlement of allegations of violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) as a result of payments made by Lockheed to a member of the Egyptian Parliament. Mr. Sollers has conducted numerous FCPA internal investigations and regularly counsels clients on FCPA compliance.
- In addition to the acquittal at trial of the CFO of Qwest above, Mr. Sollers represented the CFO of Dynergy and the Executive Vice-President of Finance at WorldCom. No charges were filed against either client.
- Mr. Sollers counsels clients on preventive measures to allow them to avoid litigation and government investigations. He has worked with numerous companies to create and refine compliance programs that conform to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations.
- During 1988-1989, Mr. Sollers was Special Counsel to the United States Senate Committee on Investigations, a broad-based investigation into fraud in American Indian programs. He conducted televised hearings at the conclusion of this investigation.
Awards & Recognition
- Selected for inclusion in Chambers, Best Lawyers in America, (since 2006); D.C. Superlawyers, LawDragon 500; Legal 500, for white-collar criminal defense; and The International Who’s Who of Business Crime Defense Lawyers 2012-2016; as well as being named a LNG Life Science Superstar in 2012-2016 and Benchmark “Litigation Star.”
- Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, inducted 2002.