John S. West


Department Chair - Business Litigation
Executive Committee Member

Business Phone: 804.697.1269
Business Fax: 804.698.5138


John West’s practice focuses on representing individuals and corporations across the country in all phases of regulatory, civil and criminal litigation. He has extensive experience in the defense of DOJ investigations, SEC enforcement actions, federal and state grand jury proceedings, and internal investigations. He has handled matters involving government contracting fraud, embezzlement, environmental crimes, healthcare fraud, securities fraud, tax and bank fraud, insider trading, money laundering, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and the False Claims Act. He also represents manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers in alcoholic beverage licensing and enforcement matters.

Rankings and Recognition

  • AV Rating® by Martindale-Hubbell.
  • Named Best Lawyers in America - Lawyer of the Year,  Corporate Compliance Law, 2019
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in Corporate Compliance Law (2013-2019); Government Relations Practice (2013-2019); Criminal Defense: White Collar (2010-2019).
  • Recognized by Super Lawyers - Corporate Counsel Edition for Criminal Defense: White Collar (2009); Selected by Law & Politics as a Virginia Super Lawyer in Criminal Defense: White Collar (2006-2013, 2016).
  • Listed as a "Local Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation for the State of Virginia (2009-2018).
  • Named to Virginia Business magazine’s Legal Elite in Criminal Law (2011-2012, 2014-2016, 2018).

Notable Related Experience:

  • Anti-trust: Represented Irish transportation company in global freight price-fixing conspiracy investigation conducted by DOJ Anti-trust Division. Investigation included securing documents in Ireland and interviewing multiple witnesses overseas.
  • Economic Espionage/Trade Secret: Represented international manufacturer based in England in connection with investigation of allegations of economic espionage arising from alleged theft of trade secrets.
  • Embezzlement: Conducted internal investigation on behalf of international export company in connection with embezzlement by an employee of more than $1 million. Represented company in connection with prosecution of employee and co-conspirators.
  • Environmental Crimes: Represented various ship owners and individuals against allegations of illegal dumping and other environmental crimes.
  • FDIC Investigations: Represented officers and inside directors of a financial institution taken over by the FDIC against claims of financial mismanagement and breach of fiduciary duties.
  • Forgery: Represented manager of nuclear criticality division of international nuclear design and manufacturing company in fraud investigation by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and U.S. Department of Transportation.
  • Health Care Fraud: Represented national medical supply company under investigation for multi-million dollar Medicare fraud as a result of a qui tam action initiated by former employees. The case was resolved by reaching a settlement with Department of Justice and the relators.
  • Healthcare Fraud: Represented national health care provider under investigation in the Western District of Virginia by the Department of Justice for Medicaid/Medicare fraud. Matters resolved without any criminal sanctions.
  • Internal Corporate Fraud: Conducted internal investigation of $1.5 million fraud committed by high-ranking company official. Investigation resulted in conviction of official by federal authorities in Pennsylvania. Obtained significant recovery from insurance company under fidelity bond.
  • Internal Corporate Fraud: Conducted internal investigation in Latin America for Audit Committee of U.S. based public company regarding misappropriation of corporate assets by senior officials.
  • Insider Trading: Represented energy company in connection with FINRA investigation of alleged insider trading.
  • Money Laundering: Represented owner of multi-million dollar manufacturing company investigated for interstate transportation of stolen property and money laundering. The case was resolved through a plea agreement.
  • Mortgage Fraud: Conducted internal investigation for national mortgage lender under investigation by DOJ and SIGTARP for alleged fraud.
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower: Conducted internal investigation of whistle-blower claims made by employee of large public company.
  • Securities Fraud: Represented financial institutions and individuals in multiple investigations by SEC and federal grand juries for alleged securities law violations and insider trading violations.
  • Securities Violations: Conducted internal investigation for French pharmaceutical company concerning potential securities law violations. Investigation involved securing data in foreign countries consistent with EU privacy laws.
  • Tax Fraud: Represented wholesaler in connection with federal prosecution of multiple defendants for multi-million dollar state tax avoidance scheme.
  • Tax Fraud: Represented manufacturer in connection with criminal prosecution of tax avoidance scheme.

Publications, Presentations and Speaking Engagements:



  • University of Virginia, J.D., 1992
  • Furman University, B.A., 1987
    Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia