Alison C. Barnes

Partner
Photo of Alison C. Barnes
Fax: 202.775.4510

Education:

JD, University of Virginia School of Law, 1997

BA, magna cum laude, Vanderbilt University, 1994

Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions:

District of Columbia

Georgia

Alison is an experienced litigator with a focus on high-stakes trial-level matters. She has handled cases in courts across the United States and recently secured a complete victory for her clients after a lengthy international trial in a $2 billion commercial dispute. Her practice focuses on securities class actions, breach of fiduciary duty cases, complex civil litigation, business torts, and qui tam and False Claims Act proceedings. Alison has been recognized as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation for five consecutive years (Benchmark Litigation 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) and as a Local Litigation Star (Benchmark Litigation 2017). Alison also was selected to be a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only organization limited to the top one-half of one percent of the nation’s attorneys.

Alison’s track record is exceptional. She has prevailed in motion practice, at trial and on appeal and has secured favorable settlements in a multitude of large cases. Alison’s work has included numerous trials, extensive discovery experience (including depositions and expert-related work), and frequent participation in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.

In addition to her trial work, Alison represents clients in government investigations, including matters before the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Those matters have included the representation of individuals and companies in criminal, civil and regulatory contexts. Several have centered around health care products and services.

Before joining Robbins Russell, Alison served as a trial attorney with the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice for five years. During that time, Alison served as lead counsel on numerous civil cases in federal district and appellate courts around the country. In addition, Alison has served as an adjunct professor of Legal Research and Writing at the George Washington University School of Law.

Professional Activities, Publications, and Honors

  • Named as one of Benchmark Litigation’s Top 250 Women in Litigation, 2015 – 2019

  • Named a Benchmark Litigation Local Litigation Star, 2017, 2019

  • Member, Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia

  • Successfully defended the former independent directors of a defunct investment fund in an international dispute where the plaintiff-liquidators alleged that the fund’s directors breached their fiduciary duties during the financial crisis and caused damages in excess of $2 billion. The directors prevailed on all claims after a 6-month trial. The judgment was upheld on appeal.

  • Defending large health care company in securities class action involving alleged losses of $900 million. Developed defense strategy and oversaw discovery, including taking and defending numerous depositions, extensive witness interviews, collaboration with consultants and experts, and attention to legal issues. Favorable settlement in companion derivative proceeding was reached after discovery.

  • Negotiated favorable settlement on behalf of accounting firm-client in business tort case filed in bankruptcy court. Led defense group negotiations at the mediation that led to the settlement.

  • Represented health care company in national DOJ and HHS False Claims Act investigation into alleged overbilling of Medicare program. Reached favorable settlement after advocating on client’s behalf and working extensively to marshal witness and documentary evidence.

  • Obtained early dismissal of False Claims Act case brought by qui tam relator against hospital. Trial judge dismissed the case in its entirety after oral argument on motion to dismiss. That decision was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on appeal.

  • Achieved favorable settlement for mental health care provider in securities fraud class action where plaintiffs sought hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Case settled less than two weeks before trial, after discovery and motions practice.

  • Represented a committee of unsecured creditors in an adversary proceeding in federal bankruptcy court in which we (a team of Robbins Russell attorneys) obtained a $500 million judgment for the committee. Alison worked extensively with experts and presented key expert witness testimony at trial.

  • Tried commercial case between two railroad companies concerning a dispute arising from an RFP from local government railroad authority. Jury found for our client (the plaintiff) on liability.

  • Represented former controller of large corporation in connection with a federal subpoena for potentially privileged documents. Briefed and argued appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

  • Represented dozens of witnesses in a federal criminal investigation involving tax-advantaged transactions. None of the witnesses we represented was charged.

  • Represented medical device company executive in criminal investigation. Work included preparing witness for interview with U.S. Attorney’s Office.

  • Represented private equity fund personnel in connection with grand jury subpoena and interviews with DOJ Criminal Division staff.

  • Represented accounting firm in connection with an investigation by the SEC into alleged accounting improprieties at a public company.

About

Alison is an experienced litigator with a focus on high-stakes trial-level matters. She has handled cases in courts across the United States and recently secured a complete victory for her clients after a lengthy international trial in a $2 billion commercial dispute. Her practice focuses on securities class actions, breach of fiduciary duty cases, complex civil litigation, business torts, and qui tam and False Claims Act proceedings. Alison has been recognized as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation for five consecutive years (Benchmark Litigation 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) and as a Local Litigation Star (Benchmark Litigation 2017). Alison also was selected to be a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only organization limited to the top one-half of one percent of the nation’s attorneys.

Alison’s track record is exceptional. She has prevailed in motion practice, at trial and on appeal and has secured favorable settlements in a multitude of large cases. Alison’s work has included numerous trials, extensive discovery experience (including depositions and expert-related work), and frequent participation in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.

In addition to her trial work, Alison represents clients in government investigations, including matters before the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Those matters have included the representation of individuals and companies in criminal, civil and regulatory contexts. Several have centered around health care products and services.

Before joining Robbins Russell, Alison served as a trial attorney with the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice for five years. During that time, Alison served as lead counsel on numerous civil cases in federal district and appellate courts around the country. In addition, Alison has served as an adjunct professor of Legal Research and Writing at the George Washington University School of Law.

Professional Activities, Publications, and Honors

  • Named as one of Benchmark Litigation’s Top 250 Women in Litigation, 2015 – 2019

  • Named a Benchmark Litigation Local Litigation Star, 2017, 2019

  • Member, Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia

Representative Matters
  • Successfully defended the former independent directors of a defunct investment fund in an international dispute where the plaintiff-liquidators alleged that the fund’s directors breached their fiduciary duties during the financial crisis and caused damages in excess of $2 billion. The directors prevailed on all claims after a 6-month trial. The judgment was upheld on appeal.

  • Defending large health care company in securities class action involving alleged losses of $900 million. Developed defense strategy and oversaw discovery, including taking and defending numerous depositions, extensive witness interviews, collaboration with consultants and experts, and attention to legal issues. Favorable settlement in companion derivative proceeding was reached after discovery.

  • Negotiated favorable settlement on behalf of accounting firm-client in business tort case filed in bankruptcy court. Led defense group negotiations at the mediation that led to the settlement.

  • Represented health care company in national DOJ and HHS False Claims Act investigation into alleged overbilling of Medicare program. Reached favorable settlement after advocating on client’s behalf and working extensively to marshal witness and documentary evidence.

  • Obtained early dismissal of False Claims Act case brought by qui tam relator against hospital. Trial judge dismissed the case in its entirety after oral argument on motion to dismiss. That decision was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on appeal.

  • Achieved favorable settlement for mental health care provider in securities fraud class action where plaintiffs sought hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Case settled less than two weeks before trial, after discovery and motions practice.

  • Represented a committee of unsecured creditors in an adversary proceeding in federal bankruptcy court in which we (a team of Robbins Russell attorneys) obtained a $500 million judgment for the committee. Alison worked extensively with experts and presented key expert witness testimony at trial.

  • Tried commercial case between two railroad companies concerning a dispute arising from an RFP from local government railroad authority. Jury found for our client (the plaintiff) on liability.

  • Represented former controller of large corporation in connection with a federal subpoena for potentially privileged documents. Briefed and argued appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

  • Represented dozens of witnesses in a federal criminal investigation involving tax-advantaged transactions. None of the witnesses we represented was charged.

  • Represented medical device company executive in criminal investigation. Work included preparing witness for interview with U.S. Attorney’s Office.

  • Represented private equity fund personnel in connection with grand jury subpoena and interviews with DOJ Criminal Division staff.

  • Represented accounting firm in connection with an investigation by the SEC into alleged accounting improprieties at a public company.