Brian W. Shaffer is a commercial litigator and trial lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience handling high-profile and complex business disputes of all types. Brian is the leader of the firm’s litigation practice in Philadelphia. His clients include leading companies in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, technology, investment/financial services, medical device, energy, defense/aerospace, and construction industries. Brian handles class actions and other multi-party proceedings across the United States, and clients frequently turn to Brian to handle their most important legal problems.
Brian has tried to verdict jury, bench, and arbitration cases involving breach of contract, fraud, civil conspiracy, Lanham Act, product liability, and other claims in a number of different jurisdictions, and handled post-trial proceedings and appeals in state and federal courts around the country. He has a strong track record of success in these matters, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. On the plaintiff side, Brian has secured seven- and eight-figure verdicts and other important relief; on the defense side, he has successfully defeated and resolved nationwide class actions and other “bet the company” litigation through vigorous defense efforts and creative approaches to settlement.
Brian has an active and wide-ranging practice, including consumer protection claims brought by state Attorneys General and private plaintiffs, and litigation of cutting-edge matters involving complex healthcare arrangements and pharmaceutical development, promotion, and distribution. He also handles large construction disputes, RICO and Lanham Act claims, and contractual disputes of all kinds. Brian is a member of the firm’s COVID-19 Task Force, and has recently assisted clients in a number of industries with respect to issues related to the pandemic.
Courts regularly cite significant decisions Brian has earned for his clients. In one case where Brian served as lead counsel for a major pharmaceutical company in litigation involving the 340B drug discount program, his client earned a unanimous US Supreme Court decision. In another, he secured the dismissal of a nationwide RICO class action. Several years ago, he prevailed in the Third Circuit – after winning at trial – in a precedential ruling addressing the proper test for trademark ownership in a Lanham Act dispute between a manufacturer and its distributor.
Brian is an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School where he teaches a class on contracts and negotiations. As part of his active pro bono practice, Brian represents persecuted individuals seeking asylum in the United States.
Eight-figure settlement on behalf of biopharmaceutical company involving dispute with Clinical Research Organization (CRO) related to multi-center Phase 3 clinical trial.
Seven-figure bench trial and appellate victory, including award of attorneys’ fees, on behalf of reflective insulation manufacturer against former US exclusive distributor for breach of contract, willful trademark infringement and fraud. Covertech Fabricating, Inc. v. TVM Building Products, Inc. 2015 WL 4878505 (W.D. Pa. Aug. 4, 2015); 2015 WL 6743948 (W.D. Pa. Nov. 4, 2015), aff’d in relevant part, 855 F.3d 163 (3d Cir. 2017).
Arbitration of post-closing dispute involving deferred payments owed under asset purchase agreement involving mining and quarry operations; client awarded equitable relief.
Eight-figure jury verdict on behalf of pre-engineered building manufacturer against product supplier for fraud and breach of contract. Lester Building Systems v. Louisiana-Pacific Corp., 2004 WL 2919989 (Minn. App. Feb. 17, 2004); Sandpiper Village Condominium Ass’n v. Louisiana-Pacific Corp., 428 F.3d 831 (9th Cir. 2005).
Representation of a leading global health service company in high-profile complex lawsuit against pharmacy benefits manager (PBM).
Representation of an international manufacturing company in a dispute involving theft of trade secrets by a former employee.
Representation of multiple life sciences companies in disputes with co-promotion and development partners.
Arbitration of post-closing dispute on behalf of specialty chemical company regarding disputed earn-out payments; complete defense victory for client.
Representation of a leading global health services company in nationwide class action challenging pharmaceutical benefits practices under ERISA and RICO.
Representation of global mobile terminal manufacturer in multiple state-wide class actions alleging product defect, breach of warranty and violations of state unfair trade practice laws.
Representation of energy provider in breach of contract action claiming improper transition of power supply to commercial facility; complaint dismissed.
Representation of one of the world's leading specialty biopharmaceuticals companies in high-profile breach of contract claim filed by a generic drug manufacturer.
Representations of leading global health service company and large national employer in nationwide class actions challenging use of mail order pharmacy to deliver specialty drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS under the Affordable Care Act, ERISA, and other laws.
Representation of a contract manufacturer of orthopedic implants in "bet the company" claims of fraud, breach of contract, and warranty allegations arising after reports of failures led to a worldwide recall of the company’s implants.
Representation of a medical device company in a multimillion dollar commercial dispute involving material breaches of complex licensing and distribution agreements.
Representation of a Fortune 100 company in a complex series of indemnity claims and lawsuits arising from the construction of a $1 billion natural gas–fired, combined-cycle electric generating facility. In the Matter of Colorado Energy Management LLC, et al. v. Lea Power Partners, 114 A.D.3d 561 (N.Y. App. Div. 2014).
Representation of leading global health service company in arbitration involving issues of whether a prominent hospital system was properly paid for claims processed based on the terms of the parties’ contract.
Civil Fraud/Consumer Protection/False Claims Act
Representation of a major pharmaceutical company in class action litigation involving the US government’s 340B drug discount program, including allegations of fraud and breach of government contract. Astra USA, Inc. v. Santa Clara County, California, 563 U.S. 110 (2011).
Representation of a leading multinational pharmaceutical manufacturer in False Claims Act and fraud litigation brought by more than a dozen plaintiffs, state attorneys general, pension funds, and private insurers. Ironworkers Local Union 68, et al. v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP, et al., 634 F.3d 1352 (11th Cir. 2011); PEBTF v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP, 2009 WL 2231686 (M.D. Fla. 2009).
Representation of leading global health service company in connection with two separate administrative complaints filed by patient advocacy organizations with the US Department of Health & Human Services Office of Civil Rights alleging insurance plans offered by the company violated 42 USC § 18116 (Section 1557) and other provisions of PPACA prohibiting discriminatory health insurance practices on the basis of disability or health status.
Government Programs and Construction Projects Litigation
Representation of a management and operating agent of the US Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Agency in complex, multiparty contract disputes before the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals.
Representation of an owner and prime contractor in a large, multiparty dispute involving the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Cumberland Fossil Plant in Cumberland, Tennessee.
Representation of a contractor in a large, multiparty dispute involving a federal project in Canaan, Pennsylvania.
Representation of a US construction management company in claims and disputes arising from a state prison project.
Representation of a major subcontractor in disputes arising from the construction of Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
Representation of a major subcontractor in claims arising from construction of Citizen's Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia.
Products Liability/Mass Torts
Representation of leading international medical imaging company in state court personal injury proceedings nationwide alleging personal injuries from MRI gadolinium-based contrast agents; successful opposition to MDL petition; successful Daubert challenge to plaintiffs’ general causation expert, Davis v. McKesson Corporation, 2019 WL 3532179 (D. Ariz. Aug. 2, 2019); leading to summary judgment, Davis v. McKesson Corporation, 2019 WL 5535376 (D. Ariz. Oct. 25, 2019); and the dismissal of nearly all cases against client nationwide.
National coordinating counsel representing Fortune 100 food service, facilities and uniform services provider in product liability and tort cases across the US.
Representation of a specialty chemical company with respect to claims alleging personal injuries resulting from welding, cutting tools, fluids, cleaners, and other industrial solvents.
Representation of multiple defendants with respect to asbestos-related personal injury cases around the United States.
Representation of a medical device company in personal injury lawsuits involving allegations of ventilator malfunction, product defects, and failure to warn across the United States.
Representation of a national chemical company in class action litigation involving personal injuries and medical monitoring claims related to alleged chemical exposures.
Representation of multinational companies with respect to workplace "mass actions" alleging exposure to harmful products.
Georgetown University Law Center, 1996, J.D., Magna Cum Laude
University of Pennsylvania, 1993, B.A., Cum Laude
US Supreme Court
US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
US District Court for the District of New Jersey
Awards and Affiliations
Recognized, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, Philadelphia, The Best Lawyers in America (2014–2020)
Named, Modern Healthcare’s “Largest Healthcare Firm” (2016–2019)
Named 2014 Pennsylvania Product Liability Department of the Year by The Legal Intelligencer
Member, American Bar Association, Litigation Section
Member, Order of the Coif
University of Pennsylvania Law School, Adjunct Professor