Photograph of Keith J. Harrison

Keith J. Harrison


Keith J. Harrison is a partner and co-chair of Crowell & Moring’s Litigation Group and a member of the Management Board in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. A former New York City prosecutor and seasoned trial litigator, Keith has tried dozens of cases in eight states and the District of Columbia, and argued 14 cases as an appellate advocate in both state and federal courts. He has also successfully obtained numerous Temporary Restraining Orders for clients seeking emergency action by a court. Keith maintains a diverse trial, arbitration, and investigations practice, focused representing companies in highly-regulated industries, including health care, pharmaceutical, defense contracting, and aviation.

Keith currently devotes a considerable portion of his practice to identifying and developing affirmative recovery opportunities for health plans. Like the federal government, health plans are often the victims of health care fraud. Using his decades of experience in defending fraud and abuse, pharmaceutical pricing, and False Claims Act cases, Keith litigates, on a contingency basis, cases seeking to recover significant funds wrongfully obtained from health plans. Keith litigates False Claims Act (FCA), antitrust, anti-kickback, fraud and abuse, breach of contract, Lanham Act, and other complex cases. He also represents clients in grand jury investigations and other proceedings before the DOJ. In addition, Keith has extensive experience representing clients in Congressional investigations and hearings.

This year, Keith was selected to receive the Washington Business Journal’s Minority Business Leader Award. The award recognizes the region’s top 25 minority business owners and leaders and for their “entrepreneurial drive, creativity, and success.” Keith has been repeatedly selected as a Washington, D.C. "Super Lawyer" in the field of civil litigation by Super Lawyers, from 2007 through 2020. Keith is also the co-chair of the firm's Public Service Practice Group and a member of the firm's Diversity Council. Prior to joining Crowell, Keith was a founding partner of King Pagano and Harrison, a 30 lawyer litigation boutique that merged with Crowell in 2006.  For over a decade, Keith has been a faculty member of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and was one of the founders of Crowell's in-house Trial Excellence Academy, two institutions teaching lawyers the art of trial advocacy.

Notable Current Matters

  • Represents as lead trial counsel two major health plans in arbitrations seeking to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in prescription drugs reimbursement overpayments.
  • Represents a major generic pharmaceutical company in investigations of alleged price-fixing antitrust violations.
  • Represents United Airlines as lead trial and appellate counsel in United States ex rel. Grant v. United Airlines Inc., 912 F.3d 190, 198 (4th Cir. 2018), a qui tam whistleblower lawsuit alleging False Claims Act violations involving a $1.4 billion Air Force contract for the maintenance of C-17 aircraft engines where the Fourth Circuit dismissed the FCA allegations.  This case is the current leading Fourth Circuit precedent regarding the pleading presentment of a false claim under the FCA.
  • Represents as lead trial counsel a drug manufacturer in United States ex rel.Cao v. West Ward Pharmaceuticals, 3:13-cv-03962 (D.N. J.)a qui tam whistleblower lawsuit alleging False Claims Act violations involving allegations of fraudulent pharmaceutical testing methods.

Other Notable Matters

False Claims Act/Whistleblower

  • Successfully represented a brand pharmaceutical company in a False Claims Act case alleging off-label marketing and FCA violations.
  • Successfully represented as lead trial counsel a major defense contractor in a FCA case brought by DOJ alleging false claims under an Army contract for trucks
  • Successfully represented as lead trial counsel a major telecommunications company in multiple state FCA claims based on alleged underpayment of taxes used to support 911 emergency services
  • Successfully represented government defense contractor against allegations of fraudulent overcharging on aircraft armament firing systems.
  • Successfully represented, during a three-week jury trial, a government contractor accused of criminal false claims and money laundering related to the shipment of U.S. military equipment to Egypt under the Camp David Peace Accords and Foreign Military Sales program. 
  • Successfully represented as lead trial counsel a major university in a whistleblower lawsuit that settled on the eve of trial.
  • Successfully represented a lead trial and appellate counsel a major hospital in a whistleblower case obtaining dismissal that was upheld on appeal in the leading case interpreting the District of Columbia’s public policy exception to at-will employment, Kassem v. Washington Hospital Center, 513 F.3d 251 (D.C. Cir. 2008).

Affirmative Health Care Recovery

  • Lead trial counsel for the plaintiff in Celera Genomics v. Wyeth, Inc., a breach of contract and fraud jury trial concerning Celera's historic decoding of the human genome and the licensing of its genetic database, which settled successfully after Keith's opening statement on behalf of Celera.
  • Developed a strategy for recovering Federal government underpayments to health plans participating in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Eventually, over $350 million dollars in FEHBP underpayments were recovered for various health plans, including Kaiser Foundation Health Plans, United Health, HealthNet, NYLCare Health Plan and others.


  • Lead national trial counsel for one of the world's largest generic drug manufacturers in the nationwide Average Wholesale Price litigation. During this time, Keith has coordinated the defense of more than 15 separate lawsuits pending in state and federal courts around the country, including a qui tam action under the Federal False Claims Act and numerous civil enforcement actions brought by state attorney general's alleging violations of a variety of state statutes, including state false claims acts.
  • Represented Sun/Caraco when the FDA used U.S. Marshalls to seize over $24 million of allegedly adulterated drug products based on cGMP violations. The regulatory enforcement litigation with DOJ in Detroit Michigan was quickly resolved by negotiating a consent decree
  • Lead trial counsel in MorphoSys v. Cambridge Antibody Technology,  where Keith successfully tried a three-week biotech patent infringement jury trial regarding phage display antibody library technology, the technology that eventually led to the blockbuster biologic drug HUMIRA®.


  • Represented as lead trial counsel a major U.S. airline in a multi-million dollar FAA regulatory dispute with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
  • Represented airlines in disputes involving allegations of discrimination when airlines remove passengers identified as being security risks by the TSA.
  • Successfully resolved FAA enforcement proceedings against various airlines.
  • Obtained a TRO enjoining the sale of a commercial jet airliner in federal court.


  • Represented a major U.S. railroad company in antitrust litigation alleging price-fixing of fuel surcharges.
  • Represented AT&T in antitrust litigation bought by several phone companies alleging monopolization of essential facilities and refusal to deal in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act.
  • Won an arbitration victory against a world-renowned physician who claimed that a major hospital system was violating Section 1 of the Sherman Act in its relationships with physicians.

Congressional Investigations

  • Successfully represented a pharmaceutical company in a Congressional investigation into the rising prices of certain generic drugs.
  • Represented Cotecna Inspection, S.A. and certain individual employees during the House, Senate and United Nations Volker Commission investigation into the U.N. Oil for Food Program and whether Cotecna's hiring of the U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan's son, Kojo Annan, was an illegal kickback.
  • Represented a key witness testifying before the Cole Inquiry, a Royal Commission that investigated the Australian Wheat Board Oil-for-Wheat scandal (also known just as the AWB scandal) involving the payment of kickbacks to the regime of Saddam Hussein in contravention of the United Nations Oil-for-Food Humanitarian Program. The AWB was the biggest single source of kickbacks made to the Iraqi government and the scandal was the biggest bribery scheme in Australian history.
  • Represented the Executive Director of a trade association in an investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations into waste, fraud and abuse in the Federal E-rate Program and DOJ investigation into violations of the antitrust laws.

Corporate Compliance and Internal Investigations

  • Keith has decades of experience in conducting confidential investigations that have ranged from Major League Baseball's investigation of Pete Rose to the United Nations Iraq Oil for Food Program.
  • Currently conducting internal investigations of potential FCA violations for companies in the pharmaceutical, and aviation industries.
  • Conducted internal investigations regarding missing funds from a major armored car company.
  • Conducted internal investigations regarding allegations of sexual harassment against a corporate CEO.
  • Conducted an internal investigation of a Department Chairman of a major hospital system for fraud related to medical accreditation activities.

Administrative and Regulatory

  • Recently represented the world's largest water treatment company in obtaining a temporary restraining order (TRO) and then a permanent injunction against the EPA and DOJ that prevented the federal government from enforcing a stop-sale order and allowed a multi-million dollar water treatment technology back on the market.
  • Represented as lead trial counsel a Singaporean Trading Company in successfully suing the FBI over $24M in frozen assets for improperly identifying the company as having been sanctioned for illegal business transactions with North Korea. The FBI agreed to send a clarifying letter to financial institutions explaining that the client was not a prohibited party; and that its original letter was not a direction to the banks to block or reject the client’s financial transactions. Wee Tiong Holding PTE. LTD v. FBI, 1:17-cv-01526 (D.D.C.)

Pro Bono and Community Service

As co-chair of Crowell & Moring's Public Service Practice, Keith oversees the firm's pro bono program. Keith is also currently the Chairman of the Board of BEST Kids, Inc. a nonprofit organization that recruits, trains and supports mentors for D.C.'s foster care youth. He has also been a volunteer youth soccer, basketball, and softball coach. Keith has recently handled significant pro bono matters, including:

  • Lead trial counsel in NAACP v. Alabama, 2:16-cv-00731 (M.D. AL), seeking to apply Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1964 to the dilution of African-American votes in state-wide elections for the Alabama Supreme Court, Court of Civil Appeals and Court of Criminal Appeals.
  • Lead trial counsel in Crosley Green v. Secretary, Department of Corrections seeking to the obtain the release and overturn the conviction of an innocent man who was on Florida's Death Row for 20 years, and has been wrongfully imprisoned for 28 years. This case was featured on a CBS 48 Hours episode entitled, “Crosley Green’s Last Chance for Freedom.”
  • Obtained U.S. asylum for a Christian Pastor and his family from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who was repeatedly tortured in response to his preaching for social justice and respect for democratic constitutional values.
  • The City Council for the District of Columbia retained Keith to investigate allegations that the D.C. Police Department was failing to investigate and mishandling sexual assault cases. The firm's investigation led to police reforms and new legislation entitled, "Sexual Assault Victims' Rights Act of 2013."


  • College of William & Mary, B.A. (1981)
  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D. (1984)


Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, New York

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with offices in the United States, Europe, MENA, and Asia that represents clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and transactional and corporate matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation and government-facing matters, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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