“I went into the law to try to make a difference in the world. What I love about representing whistleblowers is very similar to what I loved about being an Assistant U.S. Attorney: the ability to have a meaningful role in important conflicts, policy questions, and human endeavors, and to try to bring some reason and compassion – and maybe even some humor – into complex and difficult situations.”
Bob Thomas has been practicing law since 1986 and for the last nineteen years has been representing whistleblowers with his friend, colleague, and co-founder, Suzanne Durrell. Mr. Thomas and Ms. Durrell have been recognized throughout the country as a formidable team. They combine deep technical expertise in the False Claims Act and other whistleblower laws with sound litigation instincts and the seasoned judgment that comes from a combined seventy years of experience in handling complex legal matters in both the civil and criminal arenas. Bob Thomas and Suzanne Durrell were named the 2017 Lawyers of the Year by the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund for their successful “careers devoted to fighting fraud.”
Robert Thomas served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Maryland from 1989 to 1997, focusing primarily on the prosecution of white-collar fraud matters and environmental crimes. He was awarded the EPA Bronze Medal for his contribution to the prosecution of the criminal Clean Water Act case of U.S. v. Wilson and IGC, 133 F.3d 251 (4th Cir. 1997), a case of national importance with respect to the enforcement of the Clean Water Act in federally-protected wetlands.
“Bob was personally committed to me as the client, and to the case, throughout the eight years of our journey. He was an effective leader – transparent, supportive, optimistic, decisive, and acting with unfailing integrity. We had, and have, the highest level of trust and respect for each other.” – Mike Mullen
Starting in 1997 from the private sector, Bob undertook a unique assignment as part of a team of former federal prosecutors to investigate and eradicate mob corruption in labor unions. He served under the “General Executive Board Attorney” Robert D. Luskin to identify appropriate subjects and to bring internal disciplinary charges and trusteeship actions before an Independent Hearing Officer. This work lasted for a decade, with Bob successfully trying dozens of organized crime cases in labor arbitration proceedings.
Beginning in 2003 and continuing to the present, Bob teamed up with Suzanne Durrell, the former Chief of the Civil Division of the Boston U.S. Attorney’s Office, to represent whistleblowers, believing that their prior prosecutorial experiences as civil and criminal law enforcement attorneys gave them a unique window into how to build successful cases. The last sixteen years have borne out this belief, with a long list of successful results for their whistleblower clients.
Mr. Thomas is a 1985 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University. Upon graduation from law school, he served as a judicial law clerk for federal District Judge Walter E. Black, Jr., after which he joined the Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling as an associate. He subsequently joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Maryland in 1989.