Andy Liu

Partner

  • Investigations, False Claims Act litigator, white collar defense

  • Former DOJ Trial Attorney and Agency General Counsel

  • Super Lawyer, White Collar Crimes and Peer rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell

About

Andy Liu’s practice focuses on the representation of corporate and individual clients in all phases of criminal and civil matters including internal investigations, compliance and ethics reviews, federal grand jury investigations, False Claims Act litigation (including retaliation allegations), suspension and debarment, and other complex civil litigation and criminal proceedings. He has represented individuals and corporations in matters involving government procurement fraud, health care fraud, price fixing, kickbacks, bribery, public corruption, conflict of interest laws, and other areas. He has written and presented extensively on the False Claims Act and other issues.

Prior to co-founding Nichols Liu, Andy was General Counsel of the Social Security Administration, a Partner at Crowell & Moring LLP, and a Trial Attorney with the United States Department of Justice.  He was twice awarded the Department of Justice’s Special Achievement Award. Andy is active in Bar activities, having served as a board member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington, D.C. Area and as vice-chair of the Committee for Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity for the ABA’s Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and on the Board of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, and has also served as a member and chair of the Board of the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center.

Andy received a B.S.M.E. from Lehigh University in 1988 and an M.S.M.E. degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1992. In 1995, he received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center where he served on the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics.

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1995
  • University of Texas at Austin, M.S.M.E., 1992
  • Lehigh University, B.S.M.E., 1988

Bar and Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia Bar
  • New York State Bar
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Accolades

  • Peer rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell
  • U.S. Department of Justice Special Achievement Award (2001, 2002)
  • Commissioner’s Citation for Exemplary Public Service, Social Security Administration (2017)
  • Member of the Senior Executive Service
  • Super Lawyer, White Collar Crimes

Practice & Expertise

  • Internal and Government Investigations
  • False Claims Act
  • Public Corruption
  • Health Care Fraud
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Experience

  • Represented a munitions manufacturer in a qui tam suit relating to alleged product substitution and non-conformance with contractual specifications. He secured dismissal of the suit with prejudice before trial.
  • Represented a battlefield contractor in a qui tam suit alleging fraud in the performance of security detail contracts; the majority of allegations were dismissed on summary judgment and jury returned verdict for the defendant on all remaining claims.
  • Represented major defense contractor in False Claims Act litigation concerning alleged conspiracy in connection with alleged misuse of U.S. aid by a former Israeli Air Force officer.
  • Represented foreign construction company in qui tam suit alleging fraud in connection with the building of U.S. Embassy; successfully argued dismissal of suit at summary judgment stage and affirmance of the dismissal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
  • Represented foreign company in parallel criminal, civil and congressional investigations relating to alleged fraud in connection with over one billion dollars in government contracts; successfully avoided any charges.
  • Represented major food supplier in parallel criminal and civil investigations relating to federal Prime Vendor contracts; successfully avoided any charges.
  • Represented federal Immigration Judge in Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility/Office of Inspector General investigation relating to DOJ hiring practices; no adverse action taken.
  • Represented attorney in connection with parallel criminal and congressional investigations relating to alleged tax shelter fraud; no charges brought.
  • Represented former political appointee in Department of Justice Office of Inspector General investigation relating to conflict of interest laws; no charges brought.
  • Represented a major defense contractor in a criminal investigation relating to alleged violations of espionage statutes; successfully convinced the government to close the investigation without any charges.
  • Represented former head of a federal Agency in criminal proceeding concerning alleged violations of conflict of interest laws; successfully negotiated misdemeanor disposition.
  • Represented major railroad in qui tam suit; successfully obtained dismissal of the suit.
  • Represented a Medicare Carrier in a six-year federal investigation prompted by a qui tam suit alleging fraud in connection with the processing of claims; successfully obtained dismissal of suit without unsealing.
  • Represented major metals manufacturer in DOJ investigation relating to alleged antitrust violations; closed without prosecution.
  • Represented major advertising Agency in internal investigation relating to possible kickbacks in connection with a federal contract and represented the client in a voluntary disclosure to Agency successfully concluded without criminal, civil or administrative charges.
  • Represented eighteen mining companies in qui tam suit alleging that they had fraudulently obtained mineral rights on federal lands by failing to disclose their alleged foreign ownership in mining claim records with the Interior Department; successfully obtained dismissal.
  • Represented federal Agency in an administrative investigation and subsequent enforcement actions against the regulated entity and its top officials in connection with earnings manipulation issues.

Insights

Publications

Speaking Engagements

  • “Compliance and Enforcement” PubKGroup’s 4th Annual Year-in-Review – Live Webcast (December 12, 2018). Moderator and Speaker: Andy Liu; Speakers: Fred Levy, Marcia Madsen, Justin Chiarodo.
  • “Compliance and Enforcement” PubKGroup’s 3rd Annual Year-in-Review – Live Webcast (December 7, 2017). Moderator and Speaker: Andy Liu; Speakers: Fred Levy, Mike Mason, Peter Eyre.
  • “Fraud, Debarment & Suspension,” West Government Contracts Year In Review Conference (February 17-20, 2015). Speakers: Andy Liu and W. Stanfield Johnson.
  • “Preserving the Privilege: Developments and Best Practices to Protect The Applicable Privileges During Internal Investigations,” Construction Industry Ethics & Compliance Initiative Spring Conference (May 7, 2014). Moderator: Andy Liu.
  • “Fraud, Debarment & Suspension,” West Government Contracts Year In Review Conference (February 18-21, 2014). Speakers: Andy Liu and W. Stanfield Johnson.
  • “Procurement Fraud: A Look at Trends in Government Enforcement and How to Tailor Your Compliance Efforts,” NCMA World Congress 2013, Nashville, TN (July 21-24, 2013). Presenters: Andy Liu and Jonathan Cone.
  • “Expert Liability Reports & Depositions: Setting the Stage for Trial Testimony,” ABA National False Claims Act and Qui Tam Trial Institute, Washington, D.C. (June 5-7, 2013). Moderator and Presenter: Andy Liu.
  • “Fraud, Debarment & Suspension,” West Government Contracts Year In Review Conference (February 19-22, 2013). Speakers: Andy Liu and W. Stanfield Johnson.
  • “The Expanding Procurement Fraud Landscape: A Look at the Trends, Cases Developments in Government Enforcement over the Past Year,” Presentation to National Contract Management Association, Free State Chapter (January 17, 2013). Co-Presenters: Andy Liu and Jonathan Cone.
  • “Fraud, Debarment & Suspension,” West Government Contracts Year In Review Conference (February 21-24, 2012). Speakers: Andy Liu and W. Stanfield Johnson.
  • “Sustaining Corporate Compliance in an Era of Whistleblowers,” 2011 National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Convention, Atlanta, GA (Nov. 18-20, 2011). Panelist: Andy Liu.
  • “Fraud, Debarment & Suspension,” West Government Contracts Year In Review Conference (February 22-25, 2011). Speakers: Andy Liu and W. Stanfield Johnson.
  • “Update on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the False Claims Act,” – Live Webcast with Grant Thornton (June 10, 2010). Presenters: Andy Liu, William Olsen (Grant Thornton), John Barnes (Grant Thornton).
  • “Government Contracting and Mandatory Voluntary Disclosures,” ABA 23rd National Institute on White Collar Crime 2009 (March 4-6, 2009). Panelist: Andy Liu.
  • “Evaluating the Effectiveness of Corporate Counsel Initiatives,” ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession’s Fall Minority Counsel Program (September 8, 2006). Panelist: Andy Liu.

In the News

  • Appeals Court Preserves Attorney-Client Privilege July 8, 2014 — Compliance Week Andy Liu spoke with Compliance week about the case In re Kellogg Brown & Root before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and its significance for in-house counsel. According to the article, this case is important for all companies that conduct internal investigations as the federal appeals court decision effectively preserved attorney-client privilege protections.
  • Fifth Circuit: FCA Not Applicable to Claims That Didn’t Involve Federal Funds, Entity July 8, 2014 — BNA Federal Contracts Report Andy Liu spoke with Bloomberg BNA about the Fifth Circuit’s decision in United States ex rel. Shupe v. Cisco Sys. Inc. According to Liu, “The case serves as a reminder that although the FCA has a broad reach, it is not without limits.” The case found False Claims Act did not apply to allegations that telecommunications firms presented material false claims.
  • High Court Could Rein In Old FCA Claims With KBR Case July 2, 2014 — Law360 Andy Liu talks to Law360 about the False Claims Act case before the Supreme Court of the United States, Kellogg Brown & Root Services Inc. et al. v. U.S. ex rel. Carter, that raises questions about the law’s statute of limitations during periods of war.
  • DOJ Asks Justices To Reject Potential Landmark FCA Case June 3, 2014 — Law360 Andy Liu discussed with Law360 the arguments surrounding the DOJ having recently urged the U.S. Supreme Court not to take up a False Claims Act case that raises questions about the law’s statute of limitations during periods of war.
  • Justices Leave FCA Pleading Dispute To Circuits, For Now March 31, 2014 — Appellate, Corporate, Employment, Government Contracts, Health, and Life Sciences Law360 Andy Liu tells Law360 that because there are so many FCA suits being filed each year, and with whistleblowers bringing so many complaints forward, “it’s likely that many opportunities will arise for a Rule 9(b) clash to finally become ripe.’ There won’t be any shortage of cases in the future,…The Rule 9(b) issue will be raised again.'”
  • DOJ Skittish About Supreme Court Review Of FCA Pleading February 27, 2014 — Government Contracts Law360 Andy Liu talks to Law360 about Rule 9(b) and the misunderstanding about what the Rule means for the government. This article looks at “the open-ended interpretation of how Rule 9(b)’s pleading requirements apply to FCA litigation.” Liu says that the language in the Rule’s brief, “misreads the purpose of Rule 9(b), which is supposed to protect defendants by giving them fair notice of claims against them, safeguard them against spurious accusations and reputational harm, and reduce the possibility of meritless fraud claims that are based on speculation.”
  • Vendor Steps Up Competition by Wielding False Claims Act September 23, 2013 — Federal Times Andy Liu discusses False Claims Act (FCA) violations and how some FCA lawsuits arise from government investigations or inside whistleblowers, especially with GSA scheduled cases.
  • 5th Circ. Kickback Ruling Further Squeezes Contractors July 29, 2013 – Law360 Andy Liu explains to Law360 how a recent Fifth Circuit ruling that allows the government to punish companies for Anti-Kickback Act violations may be hard to measure in terms of practicality reach. According to Liu, this is because, “the government already has a more powerful tool to fight most contract fraud in the False Claims Act, which allows for trebled damages.” Liu continues, “It remains to be seen how much of an impact this will have, given that the conduct in Anti Kickback Act cases will often fall under the False Claims Act as well. …They often go hand in hand. If you look at a lot of the kickback cases, especially those that are coming out of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of those cases are brought under both statutes.”
  • False Claims Act Settlements Often are Business Deals July 22, 2013 — Federal Times Andy Liu provides insight as to why government contractors sometimes have a tough decision on whether to settle a case or go to trial, and why it may have less to do with what side of the law the contractors are on, and more to do with cost-benefit analysis. The attorneys note, “investigative and legal costs alone can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars before a case even gets to trial. Plus, contractors can risk debarment or suspension.” Liu explains, “attorneys always insist upon provisions in any settlement deal indicating that the client-contractor denies the allegation that gave rise to the case.”
  • Whistleblowers: Impact of Expanded Whistleblower Protections Unclear as Enforcement Begins July 9, 2013 — BNA Federal Contracts Report The enhanced whistleblower provisions for contractors may prove to be more of a headache than not. This is because the protections will expand the scope or covered actions, whereas “previously, whistleblower protections only applied to employees of prime contractors doing business with the Defense Department and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration,” explains Andy Liu. In addition to setting a three-year statute of limitation to report wrongdoing, the new provisions also expand to cover reports of “abuse of authority,” about which Liu clarifies, “though ‘abuse of authority’ is defined as an arbitrary exercise of authority inconsistent with performance of the contract, the term still creates uncertainty as to what is covered.”
  • FCA Whistleblowers Forced To Go It Alone As DOJ Drags Feet April 12, 2013 — Law360 Andy Liu discusses how there is an increase in the number of whistleblowing from competitors filing whistleblower suits with the DOJ, rather than traditional corporate insiders acting as the whistleblowers.
  • 4 Industries Facing New Heat From The False Claims Act April 9, 2013 — Law360 Andy Liu discusses how the False Claims Act has caused the number of realtor cases to rise.
  • Compliance Programs Should Be Priority For Hurricane Contractors, Attorney Says November 1, 2005 — BNA, Inc. Federal Contracts Report Andy Liu is featured for advising contractors to have a solid compliance program in place when performing hurricane relief and recovery work.

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