Irish Legal 100


BRIAN T. Kelly is a partner in the Boston office of Nixon Peabody LLP. He defends corporations and executives in federal and state investigations of all sorts including healthcare fraud cases, False Claims Act allegations, SEC inquiries, internal corporate investigations, insider trading charges, white-collar criminal defense, and NCAA compliance matters.

Kelly has tried numerous federal cases including, most notably, the James “Whitey” Bulgercasetoasuccessfulconclusion.Healsorecently defended a parent in a month-long federal trial arising from the Varsity Blues investigation.

With more than 25 years of experience in government investigations and white-collar defense, Kelly is a nationally recognized former federal prosecutor and high-profile trial attorney with years of experience in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in both Boston and San Diego.

As a federal prosecutor, he handled some of the most sensitive and complex government trials and investigations including RICO, healthcare fraud and abuse, public corruption, bank fraud, money laundering, mail and wire fraud, labor racketeering, union corruption, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations. He also achieved successful results in running major federal investigations in well-known, high-profile cases involving official misconduct, embezzlement, obstruction of justice, perjury, extortion, and homicide.

Kelly has advised DraftKings, a fantasy sports business, with respect to responding to various regulatory inquiries and assisting in various litigation matters across the country. He obtained summary judgment for an investment banker in Rhode Island Federal Court against the SEC’s allegations of securities fraud; at issue was a $75 million bond offering by the state of Rhode Island to finance a pre-revenue video game company, 38 Studios LLC, which was owned by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.

“The federal government is more aggressive today than ever before, and this trend will continue as a growing number of white-collar crime and corporate misconduct investigations are being pursued by the Department of Justice and the SEC,” Kelly maintains.

Kelly has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America every year since 2020. Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business included him in 2022. Kelly was the recipient of the 2004 Exceptional Service Award, the Department of Justice’s highest award, from the U.S. attorney general.

Kelly earned a BA from Dartmouth College, and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania.

Married with three children, Kelly’s grandfather was a native of Co. Tipperary. His grandmother was from Co. Kilkenny. He is a member of the Irish American Partnership.





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