Barrett R. Howell


Barrett Howell defends companies, executives, and healthcare professionals against government investigations. For over two decades Barrett has guided clients to favorable outcomes in criminal and civil fraud investigations, criminal prosecutions, and enforcement actions. Barrett is a strategic problem solver who works proactively on behalf of his clients to avoid indictment, lawsuits, and enforcement actions.

Barrett also conducts internal investigations to help clients identify potential internal control and compliance enhancements and advises boards and executive management teams on potential self-reporting issues.

Barrett’s practice focuses on defending healthcare fraud, including alleged false and fraudulent claims submitted to Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies; securities, accounting, and financial transactions fraud; and bribery, kickbacks, and corruption. Barrett brings particularly detailed knowledge of the healthcare industry to his practice. When defending clients in that field and others, Barrett’s clients benefit from his strategically proactive approach that often avoids indictment altogether and minimizes financial disruption. Barrett has guided clients to favorable outcomes in investigations, prosecutions, and enforcement actions involving alleged False Claims Act violations, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, Anti-Kickback Statute violations, inducement payments, insider trading, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering.

Barrett has represented clients before a wide variety of federal and state agencies, including the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General (“HHS-OIG”), the Department of Defense (“DOD”), the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), the Secret Service, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), and multiple offices of state attorneys general.

Barrett is a frequent speaker on government investigations, ethical compliance issues, and DOJ healthcare enforcement initiatives.

Barrett is fluent in French.


  •  Defended specialty practice pain physician in nationwide criminal investigation of a pharmaceutical manufacturer’s efforts to promote their fentanyl-based opioid. Through a proactive and aggressive defense, convinced the DOJ to transition the physician from a designated target to a designated witness within five months.
  • Defended multibillion-dollar multi-national conglomerate in sprawling SEC investigation into alleged fraudulent misrepresentations in securities offerings and violations of the Investment Advisors Act by an affiliate.
  • Defended co-owner of a high-complexity molecular laboratory that was raided by the federal government as part of Operation Double Helix; successfully avoided indictment through a multi-year investigation that resulted in indictments of two other co-owners and a marketer as a result of an alleged $107 million fraudulent laboratory testing scheme.
  • Represented multiple clients in criminal and civil forfeiture actions that resulted in successful recovery of improperly seized funds.
  • Defended a physician-owned medical practice in criminal investigation alleging healthcare fraud, tax fraud, and wire and mail fraud.
  • Defended a doctor-owned dental practice in qui tam federal False Claims Act whistleblower lawsuit and parallel federal criminal and civil investigations.
  • Represented a publicly traded real estate investment fund in SEC investigation and parallel DOJ criminal investigation.
  • Represented multiple individuals and companies in SEC accounting, disclosure, asset valuation, and insider trading investigations.
  • Defended numerous companies and individuals in federal and state whistleblower lawsuits and resulting civil and criminal investigations conducted by HHS-OIG, the FBI, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, and state Medicaid officials.
  • Represented healthcare providers and durable medical equipment / pharma interests in Anti-Kickback Act, Stark Act, and False Claims Act investigations and cases.
  • Conducted internal investigation for a national bank’s audit committee into whistleblower allegations involving related-party transactions.
  • Defended a Fortune 500 computer hardware company in qui tam False Claims Act lawsuit and parallel government investigation.
  • Defended a large-scale energy and lighting systems management company in SEC investigation involving revenue recognition and related accounting issues.  


  • 2022–2024, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, listed in Chambers USA
  • 2024, Commercial Litigation, listed in Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.)
  • 2022, 2020, 2018, 2017, 2014, Best Lawyers in Dallas, listed in D Magazine
  • 2020, 2017, Recommended Attorney, listed in The Legal 500 United States
  • 2014–2020, listed in Super Lawyers
  • 2011–2014, “Rising Stars, Texas,” listed in Super Lawyers


Professional Activities

Barrett co-founded the University of Texas School of Law Government Enforcement Institute—the premier in-house counsel forum for protecting companies and executives in government investigations. Barrett is a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcuin School in Dallas, TX.



  • Texas


  • Emory University, BA
  • Emory University, BBA
  • Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law, JD