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The PREP Act and Liability Protection in the Age of Coronavirus


Speaker(s): Brian E. Finch, John M. Clerici
Recorded on: Apr. 28, 2020
PLI Program #: 299824

Brian Finch is a partner in the law firm’s Public Policy practice and is based in Pillsbury’s Washington, DC office. Named by Washingtonian magazine in 2011 as one of the top 40 federal lobbyists under the age of 40 and by Law360 as one of its “Rising Stars” in Privacy Law in 2014, Brian is a recognized authority on global security matters. He specializes in counseling on regulatory and government affairs issues involving the Department of Homeland Security, Congress, the Department of Defense, and other federal agencies. Brian in particular focuses his practice on assisting clients with matters involving cyber security, national defense and intelligence policies, homeland security concerns, and in general providing proactive advice to mitigate liability in the event of a significant security incident.

Areas of Concentration

Brian is a leading authority on the SAFETY Act, a federal statute that can provide liability protection to companies following a terrorist or cyber attack. He has helped prepare over 100 applications for such protections, including for services and technologies such as security guards and vulnerability assessments to software programs and security screening devices. He also testified twice before the U.S. Congress on matters related to the SAFETY Act, and writes regularly about its practical application for business.

Brian is recognized as a leading legal authority on matters related to cyber security, including the legal and policy challenges associated with the consequences of companies suffering a cyber attack, as well as the steps that can be taken to help mitigate the risk of attack as well as post-event litigation.

Brian also regularly advocates on behalf of companies seeking to ensure that federal agencies have sufficient funding for contract vehicles in which they participate.
Brian has represented a wide variety of clients on security matters, including Major League Baseball, FireEye, Inc,, the American Gas Association, the American Public Power Association, the Edison Electric Institute, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Honeywell International, L-3 Communications, Emgerent BioSolutions, Washington Gas, Brookfield Office Properties, G4S, and McAfee Inc.

Background

Prior to joining Pillsbury, Brian practiced with two Washington, DC law firms and worked as a legal intern with the Office of Chief Counsel of the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Department of Justice.

Professional Activities

Brian is a senior advisor to the Homeland Security and Defense Council, serves the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security’s advisory board, and as an inaugural Senior Fellow at George Washington University’s Homeland Security Policy Institute. Brian is a professorial lecturer in law at The George Washington University Law School, where he co-teaches homeland security law and policy.

Brian regularly speaks and writes on security issues. He has cyber security blog on The Huffington Post, a regular cyber security column on the Fox Business website, and appears regularly on cable news as a security expert. He also has authored or co-authored articles for the Wall Street Journal, Politico, The Hill, National Journal, The Washington Times, and other publications.

Honors & Awards
  • Law360 – Rising Stars, April 2014
  • Washingtonian 40 Lobbyists Under 40, March 2011
Speaking Engagements

Information Security Issues, Practising Law Institute Financial Services IT 2014: Avoidance of Risk Seminar, May 21, 2014

Cybersecurity: Progress and Challenges to Keep Your Co-Op Safe, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Legal Seminar 54, May 20-21, 2014

Cultivating Ethics: Mitigation Vulnerability to Cyber and Data Security Threats in Order to Maintain Client Confidentiality, Virtual LegalTech, May 15, 2014

Insight on Cyber Security Strategies, Cyber Security and Countering Corporate Espionage Symposium, May 1, 2014

Surviving the Cyber Tsunami: Cybersecurity Worries and Opportunities for Security Contractors, 2014

Security Industry Association Education@International Security Conference and Exposition West, April 2, 2014


John Clerici is a founding Principal of Tiber Creek Partners. For over two decades, John has been at the forefront in the creation of the public health preparedness sector, including helping large pharmaceutical and emerging biotechnology companies develop creative approaches to access non-dilutive capital to fund the development of biotechnology for emerging disease and engineered threats. Since 1999, John has assisted over three dozen companies in obtaining nearly $4 billion in funding for research, development and procurement of public health countermeasures to the Federal government, including the majority of the awards made under Project Bioshield, the U.S. Government’s initiative for preparing the Nation against a bioterrorist attack.

In 2005, John played a substantial role in the drafting and passage of the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act), landmark legislation that provides substantial liability protections for makers and distributors of pandemic, epidemic, and bioterrorism countermeasures. John testified as an expert in support of this legislation on four occasions before the United States Senate Appropriations Committee, HELP Committee, and Judiciary Committee.

In 2006, John was instrumental in the passage of legislation creating the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which builds upon and improves Project BioShield. John’s expertise in the area of public health preparedness has been recognized by leading news outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, the Associated Press, the Boston Globe, and The Hill. He has also appeared live on the Fox News Channel as a bioterrorism expert.

Prior to joining the firm, John was a judge advocate with the U.S. Air Force where, among other assignments, he advised the Air Force Research Laboratory on the procurement of technology from research institutions throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. John has appeared as a military law analyst for the Fox News Channel and MSNBC before national audiences.

John earned his Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He did his undergraduate work at the Catholic University of America, graduating summa cum laude.