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Brian Smith
Brian D. Smith
Partner
Washington +1 202 662 5090 bdsmith@cov.com Download V-card

Brian Smith assists clients with challenging public policy matters that combine legal and political risks and opportunities.

Mr. Smith represents companies and individuals facing high-profile and high-risk congressional investigations and hearings, and other criminal, civil, and internal investigations that present legal, political, and public relations risks. He assists companies and executives responding to formal and informal inquiries from Congress and executive branch agencies for documents, information, and testimony. He has extensive experience preparing CEOs and other senior executives to testify before challenging congressional oversight hearings.

Congressional Investigations

  • Representing a major U.S. sports organization in multiple House and Senate investigations and hearings related to athlete safety.
  • Representing a former senior White House official in congressional investigations.
  • Representing the largest company involved in the drug pricing investigations of the House and Senate, including preparing successive CEOs for oversight hearings. Defended numerous interviews and depositions.
  • Representing a sharing economy technology company in a Senate investigation of a data breach.
  • Representing a market-leading medical device manufacturer in a Senate investigation of the safety of its products.
  • Representing a drug manufacturer in a Senate investigation of its marketing practices.
  • Representing a major consulting firm in an investigation of services provided to the Department of Defense.
  • Representing an energy company executive in a Senate investigation of hurricane recovery efforts.
  • Representing a major insurance company in a House investigation of products offered to federal employees.
  • Representing a major technology company in the high-profile investigation related to the healthcare.gov website.
  • Representing a politically active nonprofit organization in a Senate investigation of its activities.
  • Representing a major media conglomerate in a congressional investigation of a planned spinoff.
  • Representing a leading consumer products manufacturer in a House investigation of recalls of over-the-counter medicines, including multiple hearings.
  • Representing a major financial services company in congressional investigations related to residential foreclosures.
  • Representing a major financial services company in investigations and hearings conducted by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

Foreign Agents Registration Act

  • Representing a former senior White House official in a Department of Justice inquiry regarding the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
  • Representing a consulting firm in a high-profile Department of Justice investigation of FARA compliance, including an internal investigation and retroactive registration.
  • Representing a think tank in an internal review of FARA compliance.
  • Representing numerous companies involved in potential legislative reforms to FARA.  

Aviation

  • Representing a major sports league on drone policy issues before the FAA and Congress.
  • Representing a leading airline on aviation policy issues in Washington.
  • Representing an individual investigated for operating a drone in restricted airspace.
  • Representing a manufacturer of commercial and business aircraft on U.S. government relations, trade policy, and government procurement strategies.
  • Representing a technology company negotiating spectrum coordination with the FAA.
  • Representing a large international airline in a major NTSB investigation of an accident involving multiple fatalities.

International Trade

  • Representing a major aircraft manufacturer in a successful defeat of proposed import duties on its products.
  • Representing a trade association in the successful defeat of proposed import duties on a key market input.
  • Representing executives of a major U.S. company seeking U.S. government support in resolving a significant legal matter in a foreign jurisdiction.
  • Representing an international manufacturer in an assessment of U.S. policy toward Cuba and the trade policy implications of a shift in U.S. policy.
  • Representing major U.S. companies in efforts to prompt U.S. government engagement, on a bilateral basis, with foreign governments and international organizations on behalf of clients’ interests.
  • Representing companies pursuing Commerce Department advocacy in support of the companies’ business opportunities abroad. Successfully achieved Commerce Department advocacy in multiple cases.
  • Representing companies seeking the U.S. government’s assistance in ensuring fair regulatory treatment by foreign governments.

Sovereign Governments

  • Representing a major U.S. ally in a legislative effort to create a professional visas category for its citizens. Secured the inclusion of the provision in comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
  • Representing a major non-NATO ally and a member of the European Union to provide advice, counsel, and support for the governments’ relations with the U.S. Congress, the executive branch, and the media.
  • Representing the Commonwealth of Australia in seeking an amendment to the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, including the enactment of an unprecedented visa category reserved exclusively for professionals from Australia.

Pro Bono

  • Representing a family in the successful enactment of an annual national moment of silence in honor of veterans.
  • For a national organization dedicated to youth justice, prepared legislation implementing major revisions to the federal program targeted at juvenile justice and delinquency prevention.
  • Provided advice on legislation related to the treatment of detainees.
  • Advised a homeless advocacy organization on amendments to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.

Previous Experience

  • The White House, Office of the Counsel to the President (1997-1998)
  • U.S. Department of Labor, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Labor (1996)
  • U.S. Department of Labor, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs (1995)
  • Rep. Alan Wheat (D-Mo.), Assistant Campaign Manager (1994)
  • Legal 500 US, Government Relations (2017)