January 19, 2022Announcement

Michael Best Launches Regulatory Defense, Compliance & White Collar Practice with Addition of Former DOJ & DEA Official and Former Drug Czar

Michael Best announced today that Uttam Dhillon and James (Jim) Carroll have joined the law firm as partners in Washington D.C. to launch a Regulatory Defense, Compliance & White Collar practice group focused on government regulation, congressional and internal investigations, white collar criminal defense, regulatory compliance and risk management, and congressional oversight. Complementary to the practice group, the team also has a Consulting group which provides government affairs, regulatory advice, marketing strategy, and public relations consulting services across various areas, including pharma and healthcare.

Dhillon and Carroll have more than three decades of combined experience in the Federal Government, serving at the White House, Department of Justice, Department of Treasury, Department of Homeland Security, and Congress. Additionally, they are experienced in leading and evaluating corporate compliance programs. Dhillon will lead the Regulatory Defense, Compliance & White Collar practice group as chair, and Dhillon and Carroll will also represent clients through the Consulting group.

“I am thrilled to welcome these two talented and seasoned professionals as partners in our firm,” said David Crass, Managing Partner of the Washington D.C. office. “Uttam brings a proven record of success working on high profile cases and serving in key roles within the federal government. Jim’s experience counseling Fortune 100 clients have made him a trusted voice for strategic business and policy counseling. Their collective experience has deepened the firm’s expertise to assist our clients in navigating government and compliance.”

The two partners possess broad leadership experience working with C-Suite executives, Boards of Directors, and corporate compliance directors. Previously, both Dhillon and Carroll were unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to lead drug policy offices at the White House and Department of Homeland Security.

Since February 2021, Dhillon and Carroll have been principals at DC Consulting LLC, a strategy and management consulting firm focusing on healthcare, pharmaceuticals, drug policy, prevention of illicit drug use, law enforcement, homeland security, and building healthy communities. The firm has also acquired DC Consulting LLC.

In 2020, Dhillon was named the 15th Director of INTERPOL Washington, serving as the official U.S. representative to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the world’s largest police organization. From 2018 to 2020, he served as Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), spearheading the DEA’s national and global enforcement, intelligence, and administrative activities while managing an annual budget of $3.2 billion and a workforce of more than 15,000. Dhillon has held other high-profile positions, including Deputy White House Counsel, Deputy Assistant to the President, Director of the Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security, and an Associate Deputy Attorney General. In addition, he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, where he prosecuted major narcotics cases from 1990 to 1997. In this position, he worked with federal and local law enforcement agencies directing complex investigations of violent gangs and major narcotics trafficking organizations as a member of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, and argued multiple appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Dhillon also has significant congressional experience as Chief Oversight Counsel for the United States House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, Chief Counsel and Deputy Staff Director for the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, and Senior Investigative Counsel for the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.

“Michael Best’s sterling reputation speaks for itself, and I am honored to join the team to launch this new Regulatory Defense, Compliance & White Collar practice group,” said Dhillon. “Being at the firm will bring tremendous opportunities and upside to my clients.”

From January 2018 to January 2021, Carroll served as the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a position also known as the Nation’s “Drug Czar.” He oversaw an annual budget of $35 billion, successfully coordinating and monitoring the activities of 16 Federal Government agency budgets and funding. Under his leadership, the United States saw its first annual decrease in overdose deaths for the first time in 30 years. Prior to ONDCP, Carroll served as White House Deputy Chief of Staff and General Counsel for the Office of Management and Budget. He previously served as Washington Counsel, Global Director of Compliance for Ford Motor Company. During the Bush Administration, he served as Special Assistant and Associate Counsel to the President, Deputy General Counsel and Acting General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Treasury, and as an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Michael Best’s presence in Washington D.C. and across the country continues to grow, and it’s an exciting opportunity to join its ranks,” added Carroll. “I look forward to using my background and experience both in and outside of government to help clients navigate the complexities and challenges in this increasingly crowded issue space.”

Dhillon earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University – Sacramento, his Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of California – San Diego, and his J.D. from the University of California – Berkeley. Carroll earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia and his J. D. from George Mason University.

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