Firm Welcomes Returning Attorney into Compliance & Government Investigations Practice Group Following Twelve Years of Statewide Public Service and National Leadership Roles
Nashville, Tenn. (May 5, 2015) – Bass, Berry & Sims PLC is pleased to announce that former Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr. has joined the firm as a partner in the firm's interdisciplinary Compliance & Government Investigations Practice Group to represent clients nationwide on matters related to healthcare fraud and abuse, including Medicaid fraud, state false claims acts, and nonprofit regulation.
Cooper's twelve years of public service included serving as Legal Counsel to Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen from 2003-2006 and as Attorney General from 2006-2014. While serving as the Attorney General of Tennessee, Cooper served on the negotiating committee for mortgage servicing claims against the nation's five largest banks that resulted in the $5 billion settlement in 2012 by 49 attorneys general and the federal government. Medicaid fraud was a priority during his tenure, and Cooper formed a separate division within the AG's Office devoted solely to pursuing provider Medicaid fraud and recovered some $150 million for the state. He also created the Public Interest Division in the AG's office to consolidate and expand the AG's oversight of nonprofits and charities and, during his tenure, recovered more than $130 million in charitable funds through investigations and litigation.
"It is great to be back at Bass, Berry & Sims, an outstanding law firm with a strong commitment to public service," Cooper said. "I look forward to working again with many good friends and colleagues."
"General Cooper's experience in enforcement and his understanding of the intricacies of working with various state and federal agencies will greatly serve our clients as they face the realities of a complex regulatory landscape," said Wallace W. Dietz, chair of Bass, Berry & Sims' Compliance & Government Investigations Practice Group. "He strongly complements our firm's roster of attorneys with extensive government enforcement backgrounds and adds a new dimension to our investigations team in Tennessee and Washington, D.C., which has handled investigations and litigation in 38 states and more than 40 countries."
Cooper served as chair of the Southern Region of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) from 2012-2013. He is currently involved with the Society of Attorneys General Emeritus (SAGE), an active network of former attorneys general, as well as bar and law school programs working on issues facing state attorneys general. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University Law School, where he teaches campaign finance and election law.
Prior to his career as a public servant, Cooper was a partner at Bass, Berry & Sims, which he joined in 1984, and practiced in the areas of business and regulatory litigation and constitutional law until he joined Governor Bredesen in 2003. "We are thrilled to welcome Bob back to the firm," said Todd Rolapp, managing partner of Bass, Berry & Sims. "He is a tremendously talented lawyer whose deep understanding of state law paired with his extensive network of contacts with attorneys general offices across the country will be an important asset to our clients for whom we handle investigations nationwide."
Cooper earned his law degree from Yale Law School and his undergraduate degree from Princeton University. He began his legal career as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Louis F. Oberdorfer in Washington, D.C.
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