Aaron Brecher

Senior Associate

Seattle

Aaron Brecher is a member of Orrick's White Collar, Investigations, Securities Litigation, and Compliance teams. An experienced trial lawyer, he's passionate about helping individuals and companies through some of their most difficult and sensitive challenges: government investigations and enforcement actions. 

Aaron has defended criminal and civil enforcement actions by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Washington Attorney General's Office, and other state and federal agencies. He has also represented defendants in False Claims Act litigation initiated by private parties, as well as a broad range of other civil litigation. And he has conducted internal investigations on matters ranging from data breaches to harassment to suspected environmental testing fraud. 

To keep up with the latest white collar developments, Aaron co-founded and contributes to Target Letter, a blog focused on white collar crime and other government enforcement issues. He is also a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist through ACAMS.

  • Before joining Orrick, Aaron was an associate at Lane Powell PC in Seattle. He clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California before entering private practice.

  • Government Investigations & Prosecutions:

    • Represented subject of a high-profile federal criminal and civil investigation related to alleged improper billing by a prominent neurosurgery group. The government declined to bring charges.
    • Represented the target of a federal criminal and civil Anti-Kickback Statute investigation connected to the marketing of prescription opioids. The government declined to bring charges.
    • Represented the subject of a criminal Lacey Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation related to the importation of rare timber. The government declined to bring charges.
    • Represented defendant in a high-profile trial on federal conspiracy and wire-fraud charges, including briefing and arguing evidentiary motions and jury instructions and examining the defense's expert witness.
    • Represented defendant in a federal Lacey Act and tax-fraud prosecution in which court agreed to impose a sentence with no prison time.
    • Represented defendant at sentencing in high-profile federal wire-fraud prosecution in which court imposed sentence of less than half the length recommended by the government and by the minimum applicable sentencing guidelines.
    • Represented defendant in Washington Department of Financial Institutions enforcement action, leading to consent order with no fines imposed.
    • Represented public university in civil False Claims Act investigation related to federal research grant program.
    • Provided pro bono representation to indigent criminal defendant charged with federal arms-export offenses. Court imposed a sentence 75% lower than government's recommendation.

     Other Trial and Litigation Experience

    • Represented six auto dealerships in class action trial in Washington state court, leading to favorable settlement.
    • Second-chaired commercial arbitration in dispute over patent-licensing fees.
    • Lead counsel in pro bono federal bench trial representing domestic abuse survivor in international custody dispute under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
    • Lead counsel in pro bono federal bench trial representing Washington state prisoner seeking religious dietary accommodation.
    • Represented civil litigants in securities and antitrust class actions, employment disputes, commercial cases, and claims against the federal government.

    Appeals

    • Successfully defended Ninth Circuit appeal of trial court win in civil False Claims Act litigation brought by relator.
    • Successfully defended appeal of trial court win on breach of contract claims related to commercial photography service in New York Appellate Division, First Department
    • Won remand in Ninth Circuit as appointed pro bono counsel in appeal of Washington prisoner seeking religious dietary accommodation. Later represented plaintiff in re-trial.
    • Won post-trial reversal in a published Ninth Circuit opinion in pro bono appeal on behalf of domestic abuse survivor in international custody dispute.

    Other Pro Bono Experience

    Aaron maintains an active pro bono practice. Beyond the pro bono experience listed above, his representative matters include presenting a successful clemency petition to the Washington Clemency and Pardons Board and the Governor, securing the release after 21 years of a Washington prisoner who had been serving life without parole.