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Cliff Stricklin guides companies and executives through critical situations where litigation is a possible result. He advises clients in commercial disputes and defends them against government inquiries and private allegations of wrongdoing. He is a trusted advisor to C-suite executives and board members. He performs independent investigations on behalf of corporations and boards on subjects that include auditing, accounting, corporate governance and control, sexual harassment, and fraud. Should litigation become necessary, Cliff is an accomplished trial lawyer who has successfully tried and won some of the nation’s largest, most complex cases, including those involving Enron and Qwest.

Cliff aggressively defends corporations and executives in serious matters involving commercial litigation, antitrust, the False Claims Act, securities fraud and regulation (including cryptocurrency issues), industrial accidents, healthcare fraud, and environmental claims. He provides sophisticated advice and counseling in government investigations and parallel civil suits.  His industry experience includes healthcare, finance & banking, fintech & cryptocurrency, oil & gas, pipelines, regulated utilities, telecommunications, civil engineering, web-based retail, biotech, medical devices, food production, faith-based organizations, real estate investments, recreation & hospitality, sports & entertainment, higher education, and mining.

His public service positions have included the roles of First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney with the Enron Task Force, and State District Judge in Dallas, Texas.  

As a federal prosecutor, Cliff was one of the few attorneys to have won the two highest awards bestowed by the U.S. Department of Justice: the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service for his work as a key member of the Enron Task Force, and the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for his work prosecuting the CEO of Qwest Communications for insider trading.

Cliff’s courtroom experience also extends to the bench. During his distinguished term as a state district judge in which he heard thousands of cases – not a single case was overturned on appeal. Cliff also served as presiding judge in Dallas County, Texas, a position he used to implement a number of measures designed to bring openness and fairness to the justice system. The Dallas Morning News opined, “Mr. Stricklin totes impressive credentials. His work ethic, calm judicial temperament and judgment have earned him the respect of his robed colleagues … Mr. Stricklin has performed admirably on the bench.”

Additionally, Cliff created the White Collar Criminal Law program at the University of Colorado’s School of Law and served there as an adjunct professor for ten years. He is also Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Full Bio

Credentials

J.D., Washington and Lee University School of Law

B.A., Baylor University

Colorado

Texas

American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section, Rocky Mountain Region White Collar Crime Committee Chair

Colorado Bar Association, Securities Section

The Blue Bench, a Sexual Assault Prevention, Care & Advocacy Organization, Board Member

Urban Peak, a Homeless Youth Prevention & Assistance Organization, Board Member

Lawyer of the Year


Colorado Law Week, 2024

Barrister's Best White Collar Lawyer


Colorado Law Week, October 2023

Litigator of the Week


The American Lawyer, December 2022

Band One, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations


Chambers USA, Colorado, 2012-Present

U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service


U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service


U.S. Department of Justice

Colorado Super Lawyer


Super Lawyers, 2011-Present

Named to “Alumni 150” as being one of the Baylor University’s 150 most remarkable graduates over the last 150 years


Baylor University

Best Overall Litigator


Law Week Colorado’s Best in Show, 2011

Winner of the PowerBook Legal Industry Leader Award


Denver Business Journal, 2007

Awarded the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Director’s Award for Outstanding Criminal Investigation


FBI

Close

Recognition

Lawyer of the Year


Colorado Law Week, 2024

Barrister's Best White Collar Lawyer


Colorado Law Week, October 2023

Litigator of the Week


The American Lawyer, December 2022

Band One, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations


Chambers USA, Colorado, 2012-Present

U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service


U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service


U.S. Department of Justice

Colorado Super Lawyer


Super Lawyers, 2011-Present

Named to “Alumni 150” as being one of the Baylor University’s 150 most remarkable graduates over the last 150 years


Baylor University

Best Overall Litigator


Law Week Colorado’s Best in Show, 2011

Winner of the PowerBook Legal Industry Leader Award


Denver Business Journal, 2007

Awarded the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Director’s Award for Outstanding Criminal Investigation


FBI

Matters

Represented the former CFO of a technology company in a federal grand jury investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division into alleged non-solicitation and “no poach” agreements. After a six-month long investigation, the government declined to prosecute and closed the case.

Led the defense of a large food manufacturing company and its majority shareholders against claims of breach of fiduciary duty and oppression brought by the minority shareholders. The plaintiffs' lawsuit sought to dissolve the company and $2 billion in damages. After a two week trial a jury found for the company and the majority shareholders and the plaintiffs took nothing. The jury foreperson was later quoted as saying, "[Stricklin's] closing was amazing. [The defense team] did a great job. To us at least, the closing really pieced together a lot of the evidence we had questions about or thoughts about."

Represented the former CEO of a Fortune 250 healthcare company against first of their kind federal antitrust criminal charges involving "no poach" agreements brought by the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. After a two week trial a jury found the client not guilty of all charges.

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Close

Matters

Represented the former CFO of a technology company in a federal grand jury investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division into alleged non-solicitation and “no poach” agreements. After a six-month long investigation, the government declined to prosecute and closed the case.

Led the defense of a large food manufacturing company and its majority shareholders against claims of breach of fiduciary duty and oppression brought by the minority shareholders. The plaintiffs' lawsuit sought to dissolve the company and $2 billion in damages. After a two week trial a jury found for the company and the majority shareholders and the plaintiffs took nothing. The jury foreperson was later quoted as saying, "[Stricklin's] closing was amazing. [The defense team] did a great job. To us at least, the closing really pieced together a lot of the evidence we had questions about or thoughts about."

Represented the former CEO of a Fortune 250 healthcare company against first of their kind federal antitrust criminal charges involving "no poach" agreements brought by the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. After a two week trial a jury found the client not guilty of all charges.

Represented two banking executives in a grand jury investigation involving theft of trade secrets and computer crimes. After a six month investigation, case was dismissed by prosecutors.

Represented a midstream pipeline company in relation to largest pipeline spill of its kind. After a seven year investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice's Environmental and Natural Resources Division, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, all claims were resolved with a Clean Water Act Misdemeanor and Failure to Report felony. The plea did not include any individuals or restitution, did not require a corporate monitor or debarment, and allowed the fine to be paid out over five years.

Led the defense of a large food manufacturing company in a qui tam action under the False Claims Act matter brought by an individual U.S. Department of Agriculture Inspector valued at over $1b. The matter resulted in the government declining to intervene and the U.S. District Court dismissing the Inspector's lawsuit with prejudice and awarding client costs.

Represented a Fortune 250 healthcare company in a False Claims Act lawsuit brought by a whistleblower. The matter resulted in the U.S. District Court dismissing the complaint based on motions, and the relator did not re-file.

Represented a Fortune 250 healthcare company in an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Health and Human Services in an investigation relating to the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law. The matter resulted in no action being taken.

Represented a CEO of a large, publicly-traded tech company in an independent board member investigation. The matter resulted in no action being taken.

Represented a Chief Accounting Officer of a large civil engineering firm in an U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into financial reporting issues. The matter resulted in a “no action” letter provided by SEC.

Represented a corporate owner in an insider trading investigation brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Department of Justice. The result of the matter was the entry of a “no admit or deny” administrative order and no charges were brought.

Represented a national telecom provider in a qui tam matter under the False Claims Act matter alleging fraud into the Federal Government E-Rate program. The matter resulted in the federal government declining to intervene and the case being dismissed.

Represented a large regional not-for-profit hospital in a qui tam matter under the False Claims Act alleging Medicare and Medicaid fraud. The investigation lasted 18 months, with the results being a minimal settlement with the state Attorney General’s office, and the federal government declining to intervene.

Represented a large civil engineering firm in a qui tam matter under the False Claims Act matter and a civil and criminal investigation by the Department of Energy and the Department of Justice. The matter resulted in the relator being dismissed, and there was a civil settlement with the DOJ that included a non-prosecution agreement.

Represented a large engineering and infrastructure corporation in a qui tam matter under the False Claims Act investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's Office related to liquid petroleum gas installation issued during Hurricane Katrina recovery. The matter resulted in the government declining to intervene and the case being dismissed.

Represented a principal investor in a complicated investment plan investigated over a three-year period for securities fraud. The matter resulted in no charges being filed.

Represented a healthcare industry executive investigated for conspiracy to defraud the government and importation of unlicensed medical devices. The matter resulted in no jail time, no probation, a guilty plea to misprision and a $10k fine.

Led the defense of Xcel Energy, Inc. and Public Service Company of Colorado against federal criminal charges arising out of an accident that killed five contractors at a hydroelectric power plant. The result of the matter after a five-week long trial involving complex OSHA regulations, was a jury returning not-guilty verdicts in favor of both companies.

Represented a large food production company in environmental litigation against the seller of property that failed to disclose the presence of asbestos. The result of the matter was a successful settlement for the client.

Represented Chemical & Metal Industries, Inc. in an appeal from a $3m fine and restitution award in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The result of the matter was the restitution being vacated completely and the fine being reduced to $500k.

Represented an executive at a Fortune 500 healthcare company in a matter involving the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law. The matter resulted in no charges being brought.

Defended a natural gas production and distribution company against a civil complaint filed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The result of the matter was a successful settlement for the client.

Defended Eddie Bauer in an intellectual property case involving trademarked brand names. The matter resulted in a successful resolution for Eddie Bauer.

Represented a Nobel Prize winning scientist in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Commerce relating to climate change issues. The matter resulted in no charges being brought.

Matters

Represented the former CFO of a technology company in a federal grand jury investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division into alleged non-solicitation and “no poach” agreements. After a six-month long investigation, the government declined to prosecute and closed the case.

Led the defense of a large food manufacturing company and its majority shareholders against claims of breach of fiduciary duty and oppression brought by the minority shareholders. The plaintiffs' lawsuit sought to dissolve the company and $2 billion in damages. After a two week trial a jury found for the company and the majority shareholders and the plaintiffs took nothing. The jury foreperson was later quoted as saying, "[Stricklin's] closing was amazing. [The defense team] did a great job. To us at least, the closing really pieced together a lot of the evidence we had questions about or thoughts about."

Represented the former CEO of a Fortune 250 healthcare company against first of their kind federal antitrust criminal charges involving "no poach" agreements brought by the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. After a two week trial a jury found the client not guilty of all charges.

See more

Close

Matters

Represented the former CFO of a technology company in a federal grand jury investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division into alleged non-solicitation and “no poach” agreements. After a six-month long investigation, the government declined to prosecute and closed the case.

Led the defense of a large food manufacturing company and its majority shareholders against claims of breach of fiduciary duty and oppression brought by the minority shareholders. The plaintiffs' lawsuit sought to dissolve the company and $2 billion in damages. After a two week trial a jury found for the company and the majority shareholders and the plaintiffs took nothing. The jury foreperson was later quoted as saying, "[Stricklin's] closing was amazing. [The defense team] did a great job. To us at least, the closing really pieced together a lot of the evidence we had questions about or thoughts about."

Represented the former CEO of a Fortune 250 healthcare company against first of their kind federal antitrust criminal charges involving "no poach" agreements brought by the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. After a two week trial a jury found the client not guilty of all charges.

Represented two banking executives in a grand jury investigation involving theft of trade secrets and computer crimes. After a six month investigation, case was dismissed by prosecutors.

Represented a midstream pipeline company in relation to largest pipeline spill of its kind. After a seven year investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice's Environmental and Natural Resources Division, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, all claims were resolved with a Clean Water Act Misdemeanor and Failure to Report felony. The plea did not include any individuals or restitution, did not require a corporate monitor or debarment, and allowed the fine to be paid out over five years.

Led the defense of a large food manufacturing company in a qui tam action under the False Claims Act matter brought by an individual U.S. Department of Agriculture Inspector valued at over $1b. The matter resulted in the government declining to intervene and the U.S. District Court dismissing the Inspector's lawsuit with prejudice and awarding client costs.

Represented a Fortune 250 healthcare company in a False Claims Act lawsuit brought by a whistleblower. The matter resulted in the U.S. District Court dismissing the complaint based on motions, and the relator did not re-file.

Represented a Fortune 250 healthcare company in an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Health and Human Services in an investigation relating to the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law. The matter resulted in no action being taken.

Represented a CEO of a large, publicly-traded tech company in an independent board member investigation. The matter resulted in no action being taken.

Represented a Chief Accounting Officer of a large civil engineering firm in an U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into financial reporting issues. The matter resulted in a “no action” letter provided by SEC.

Represented a corporate owner in an insider trading investigation brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Department of Justice. The result of the matter was the entry of a “no admit or deny” administrative order and no charges were brought.

Represented a national telecom provider in a qui tam matter under the False Claims Act matter alleging fraud into the Federal Government E-Rate program. The matter resulted in the federal government declining to intervene and the case being dismissed.

Represented a large regional not-for-profit hospital in a qui tam matter under the False Claims Act alleging Medicare and Medicaid fraud. The investigation lasted 18 months, with the results being a minimal settlement with the state Attorney General’s office, and the federal government declining to intervene.

Represented a large civil engineering firm in a qui tam matter under the False Claims Act matter and a civil and criminal investigation by the Department of Energy and the Department of Justice. The matter resulted in the relator being dismissed, and there was a civil settlement with the DOJ that included a non-prosecution agreement.

Represented a large engineering and infrastructure corporation in a qui tam matter under the False Claims Act investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's Office related to liquid petroleum gas installation issued during Hurricane Katrina recovery. The matter resulted in the government declining to intervene and the case being dismissed.

Represented a principal investor in a complicated investment plan investigated over a three-year period for securities fraud. The matter resulted in no charges being filed.

Represented a healthcare industry executive investigated for conspiracy to defraud the government and importation of unlicensed medical devices. The matter resulted in no jail time, no probation, a guilty plea to misprision and a $10k fine.

Led the defense of Xcel Energy, Inc. and Public Service Company of Colorado against federal criminal charges arising out of an accident that killed five contractors at a hydroelectric power plant. The result of the matter after a five-week long trial involving complex OSHA regulations, was a jury returning not-guilty verdicts in favor of both companies.

Represented a large food production company in environmental litigation against the seller of property that failed to disclose the presence of asbestos. The result of the matter was a successful settlement for the client.

Represented Chemical & Metal Industries, Inc. in an appeal from a $3m fine and restitution award in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The result of the matter was the restitution being vacated completely and the fine being reduced to $500k.

Represented an executive at a Fortune 500 healthcare company in a matter involving the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law. The matter resulted in no charges being brought.

Defended a natural gas production and distribution company against a civil complaint filed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The result of the matter was a successful settlement for the client.

Defended Eddie Bauer in an intellectual property case involving trademarked brand names. The matter resulted in a successful resolution for Eddie Bauer.

Represented a Nobel Prize winning scientist in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Commerce relating to climate change issues. The matter resulted in no charges being brought.

Credentials

J.D., Washington and Lee University School of Law

B.A., Baylor University

Colorado

Texas

American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section, Rocky Mountain Region White Collar Crime Committee Chair

Colorado Bar Association, Securities Section

The Blue Bench, a Sexual Assault Prevention, Care & Advocacy Organization, Board Member

Urban Peak, a Homeless Youth Prevention & Assistance Organization, Board Member

Lawyer of the Year


Colorado Law Week, 2024

Barrister's Best White Collar Lawyer


Colorado Law Week, October 2023

Litigator of the Week


The American Lawyer, December 2022

Band One, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations


Chambers USA, Colorado, 2012-Present

U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service


U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service


U.S. Department of Justice

Colorado Super Lawyer


Super Lawyers, 2011-Present

Named to “Alumni 150” as being one of the Baylor University’s 150 most remarkable graduates over the last 150 years


Baylor University

Best Overall Litigator


Law Week Colorado’s Best in Show, 2011

Winner of the PowerBook Legal Industry Leader Award


Denver Business Journal, 2007

Awarded the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Director’s Award for Outstanding Criminal Investigation


FBI

Close

Recognition

Lawyer of the Year


Colorado Law Week, 2024

Barrister's Best White Collar Lawyer


Colorado Law Week, October 2023

Litigator of the Week


The American Lawyer, December 2022

Band One, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations


Chambers USA, Colorado, 2012-Present

U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service


U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service


U.S. Department of Justice

Colorado Super Lawyer


Super Lawyers, 2011-Present

Named to “Alumni 150” as being one of the Baylor University’s 150 most remarkable graduates over the last 150 years


Baylor University

Best Overall Litigator


Law Week Colorado’s Best in Show, 2011

Winner of the PowerBook Legal Industry Leader Award


Denver Business Journal, 2007

Awarded the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Director’s Award for Outstanding Criminal Investigation


FBI