Frank Amanat and Bruce Bernstein join DiCello Levitt Gutzler
NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, DC — National litigation law firm, DiCello Levitt Gutzler LLC, today announced a major expansion of its Securities & Financial Fraud and Health Care & Pharmaceutical Fraud practices. Along with this expansion will come the launch of a Washington, DC office. Frank Amanat and Bruce Bernstein, former senior attorneys with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), are anchoring the expansion and will add decades of financial and health care and pharmaceutical fraud litigation experience to DiCello Levitt.
“In our relatively short existence, DiCello Levitt has developed a reputation for aggressive, fearless advocacy, and for pursuing the very best legal talent available to represent our clients’ interests,” said Adam Levitt, DiCello Levitt’s co-founding partner. “So, it’s only natural that we would tap Frank and Bruce for this important growth initiative.”
Amanat joins DiCello Levitt in New York, after spending more than 20 years at the DOJ as an Assistant United States Attorney and then as Senior Counsel at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, as well as stints at the DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy and the Office of Immigration Litigation.
Bernstein, who will head the firm’s new Washington, DC office, comes to DiCello Levitt from the DOJ’s Civil Fraud Section, where, as a Trial Attorney, he investigated, litigated, and resolved complex qui tam actions under the False Claims Act.
“Frank and Bruce are among the finest financial and health care and pharmaceutical fraud litigators in the country, and we couldn’t be more excited to have them on our team,” added co-founding partner, Mark DiCello.
“Frank and Bruce are ideal complements to our continued strategic growth in multiple practice areas, particularly in our whistleblower/qui tam and complex business litigation practices,” noted Greg Gutzler, managing partner of the firm’s New York office. “Frank and Bruce are leaders in every respect and will be critical contributors to our team.”
Gutzler added: “Opening a DC office was a top priority because so many aspects of our booming whistleblower and false claims practice are directly connected to the U.S. Department of Justice and the other federal agencies with whom we regularly work on these cases. The vast experience and professional relationships that Bruce and Frank bring to the firm from the Government will allow our new DC office, and our commercial litigation practice as a whole, to continue providing an elite level of client service.”
Amanat is a highly decorated litigator with nearly 30 years of experience in a broad range of complex legal matters on behalf of both public and private sector clients. At DiCello Levitt, Amanat will specialize in representing victims of fraudulent and illegal conduct, as well as whistleblowers, governmental entities, and other plaintiffs, in a wide range of high-impact litigation, including class actions and multidistrict litigation. His practice focuses on financial and securities fraud, health care and pharmaceutical fraud, civil rights and consumer protection, mass torts, and environmental litigation, as well as other complex commercial litigation.
A veteran of 19 trials and arbitrations and dozens of appeals, Amanat has led some of the nation’s largest and most consequential civil litigation and has amassed a remarkable track record of delivering successful outcomes to his clients. While at the DOJ, Amanat handled more than 400 cases, both affirmative and defensive, on behalf of more than 70 federal agencies. From 2013 to 2018, he served as lead counsel for the U.S. Government in the successful investigation and prosecution of Barclays Bank and two of its former executives for fraud in connection with the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities. The resulting $2 billion settlement remains the DOJ’s largest single recovery in a civil penalty action filed under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA).
For his work at the Office of Legal Policy developing regulations implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act, in 2012, Amanat was awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, the second-highest award conferred by the DOJ. This month, he will receive the EOUSA Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney (Civil) for his work on financial fraud and public policy cases, as well as several immigration policy class actions. In 2018, Amanat received the Henry L. Stimson Medal, an award given annually by the New York City Bar Association to honor outstanding Assistant U.S. Attorneys for their integrity, fairness, courage, and superior commitment to the public good.
Amanat earned his B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, and his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School. He has served as an adjunct professor at New York University Law School.
“After having spent much of my career serving the American people at the Department of Justice, I wanted to work at a firm where I could still make a difference in the world—where I could continue to hold bad actors accountable for their fraudulent and illegal conduct,” Amanat said. “With its extraordinary track record of delivering results in high-profile, high-impact litigation, DiCello Levitt proved to be the perfect professional home for me. I share the firm’s exceptional commitment to justice, excellence, and client service, and look forward to building a robust practice serving individual and institutional plaintiffs and whistleblowers in a wide range of complex litigation.”
Bernstein has successfully handled a wide range of commercial litigation, at both the trial and appellate levels, including suits against large banks, mortgage lenders and other financial institutions; automobile manufacturers and other transportation companies; pharmaceutical manufacturers, insurers, and healthcare systems; and other large corporations and their senior management.
At the DOJ, Bernstein oversaw the litigation of a large securities fraud-type action in Germany against a multinational automobile manufacturer, to recover losses incurred by the Federal Thrift Savings Plan, one of the world’s largest defined contribution plans.
Previously, in private practice, Bernstein successfully litigated several of the largest securities fraud actions ever filed. He was a pivotal member of the team that secured significant decisions from the Third Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court in the Merck & Co., Inc. securities class action regarding the company’s alleged misrepresentations about the cardiovascular safety of its painkiller drug Vioxx. That action was ultimately resolved for more than $1 billion – the then-largest securities recovery ever achieved on behalf of investors against a pharmaceutical company.
Bernstein has served as an adjunct professor at The George Washington University Law School. Separately, he has authored and co-authored several articles on key developments in securities law.
Bernstein earned his B.S. from the University of Vermont and his J.D. from The George Washington University Law School.
“I am thrilled to join a growing law firm with a history of attracting talented, proven lawyers dedicated to seeking justice for wronged businesses and individuals,” Bernstein noted. “DiCello Levitt’s track record of litigating high-level actions involving a diverse array of claims is an ideal fit for my blended experience litigating complex matters on behalf of the United States and private parties.”
About DiCello Levitt Gutzler
DiCello Levitt combines excellence in commercial litigation, class action litigation, mass tort litigation, catastrophic injury litigation, medical malpractice litigation, and civil rights litigation. Practicing nationwide—and internationally—from offices in Chicago, Cleveland, New York, St. Louis, and Washington, DC, we are an aggressive, attentive, and creative complex litigation firm whose work speaks for itself—billions of dollars in recoveries in some of the highest-profile matters in U.S. history. Revered by clients and respected by defense counsel, our team gets results.