Preston Pugh is a Partner in Pugh, Jones & Johnson's Litigation Practice Group. His expertise includes regulatory compliance, commercial litigation, internal investigations, and labor and employment litigation. Prior to joining Pugh, Jones & Johnson, he was GE Healthcare's Senior Counsel for Investigations and Litigation, where he was responsible for domestic and international compliance investigations and commercial litigation; and before that, he was a partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal (now Dentons), where he worked on ethics matters and internal investigations for a large global aerospace company. His governmental experience includes service as a former Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois, and as Appellate Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. Mr. Pugh has been selected as a Leading Lawyer by the Leading Lawyers Network since 2012.
Mr. Pugh is recognized for his work in employment and regulatory compliance investigations, whistleblower litigation and appeals. He currently serves in New York as the first Independent Private Sector Inspector General (“IPSIG”) appointed by the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor to oversee the eradication of the influence of white collar crime in the New York and New Jersey piers. He has also conducted investigations in numerous parts of the world, including Western Europe, China, South Korea, Brazil and other parts of South America. Domestically, he has successfully tried several federal cases and argued numerous federal appeals, and has served as counsel to federal and state government agencies, individuals and multinational corporations. His broad experience covers RICO, the federal and Illinois False Claims Act, the Illinois Ethics Act, the Illinois Whistleblower Protection Act, healthcare fraud and abuse laws, the FCPA, and antikickback violations. Mr. Pugh also works with a large municipality on MWBE compliance issues.
Mr. Pugh is well-regarded in the labor and employment bar. In 2010, he was appointed by a federal court in Chicago as a monitor in connection with a five-year consent decree that settled one of the EEOC's most contentious cases in recent years in the Midwest. As a member of the Northern District of Illinois' Trial Bar, he has defended several employers at trial in employment discrimination cases and in restrictive covenant hearings. As a partner in private practice, he was part of a team that defended a Fortune 150 company in a seminal pattern and practice case, at the time the OFCCP's largest case of its kind. As Appellate Counsel at the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C., he successfully briefed and argued cases in most of the federal courts of appeals. He has also served as Chair of the Labor and Employment Section of the Chicago Bar Association.
As a former Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago, Mr. Pugh led investigations of False Claims Act violations, including qui tam cases, and tried a number of civil cases. For his work there, he received several Civil Division commendations. In 2004, he was recognized as one of Illinois' "Top 40 Under 40 Attorneys to Watch." The Leading Lawyers Network has selected Mr. Pugh as a Leading Lawyer in 2011 and 2012.
Mr. Pugh has been a member of the national faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy for many years. He has also taught appellate advocacy as an adjunct law professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He is a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and is a board member of Lawyers Lend a Hand, Kartemquin Films, Leadership Fellows Association (and former LGC graduate). He is a past member of the State of Illinois Character and Fitness Committee, Just the Beginning Foundation, and the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. In 2013, Mr. Pugh was selected to be a member on the American Bar Association's Task Force on Corporate Monitors.
His additional specific matters include: • Representation of a defendant transportation company in a qui tam case based on healthcare fraud allegations of a multi-year reverse false claim. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed the case based on F.R.Civ.P. 9(b) and Iqbal motion filed by defendants. • Representation of a commuter rail line in a Title VI class action and allegations of discriminatory funding in the transportation industry. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed the case based in large part on theory that the transportation services were not similarly situated. • Conducted internal investigation on behalf of New England biotech company into allegations by a former employee made to company’s CEO detailing false information provided to European clinical regulators. • Representation of a former CEO of a large Florida medical imaging clinic in inquiry by government regarding potential Stark, False Claims Act and kickback violations. • Representation of City of Chicago, plaintiff’s former employer, at trial based on alleged FMLA retaliation and interference. • Representation of an educational institution of higher learning and its President in state claims based on alleged violation of Illinois Whistleblower Act and Illinois Ethics Act. • Conducted FCPA investigations in Shanghai, China; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Freiburg, Germany; and Seoul, South Korea. Managed investigations in Sydney, Australia; Tokyo, Japan; Buc, France; and other countries.
Prior Work History GE Healthcare - Waukesha, Wisconsin - Senior Counsel - 2006-2009 Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal - Chicago, Illinois - Partner - 2005-2006 Littler Mendelson, P.C. - Chicago, Illinois - Shareholder, Employment Litigation - (Associate 2003-2004) - 2003-2005 Jenner & Block LLP - Chicago, Illinois - Associate, Commercial Litigation - 2002-2003 United States Attorney’s Office - Chicago, Illinois - Assistant U.S. Attorney - 1999-2002 National Labor Relations Board - Washington, DC - Attorney, Appellate Court Branch - 1997-1999
Memberships American Bar Association Illinois Association of Healthcare Attorneys Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth American Bar Association's Task Force on Corporate Monitor