Resident in the Firm’s Washington, D.C. office, Britt Whitesell Biles is a trial lawyer and strategic advisor who has guided Fortune 500 companies, an American President, Cabinet officials, and other high-profile individuals through some of their most pressing legal matters.

Ms. Biles’s clients benefit from her keen perspective, developed through nearly two decades of practicing high-end litigation for private clients and serving at the highest levels of the federal government.  As a trial lawyer at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Biles successfully investigated and prosecuted securities fraud cases on behalf of the government, including some of the most significant and high-profile cases brought by the Commission in the last decade.  She advised the President on legal policy and Congressional investigations and oversight, including constitutional issues involving executive power and privilege.  Ms. Biles was appointed General Counsel of the Cabinet agency that spearheaded the federal government’s economic response to COVID-19, the U.S. Small Business Administration.  She was that Agency’s Chief Legal Officer and third-highest-ranking official at the height of the pandemic, responsible for managing the Agency’s immense and unprecedented legal needs, in addition to performing a crisis management role.  An experienced commercial litigator and regulatory defense lawyer in private practice, Ms. Biles has handled matters ranging from high-value commercial arbitrations, mass-action product liability cases, and high-risk internal investigations to environmental class actions, Congressional hearings, and enforcement actions by federal agencies and state attorneys general.   

Public and private companies in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, financial services, defense, communications, government contracting, technology, manufacturing, gaming, real estate, and entertainment industries, as well as high-profile individuals, turn to Ms. Biles to help them solve their legal problems.  She represents them in high-stakes investigations (government and internal) and bet-the-company litigation (state and federal court and alternative dispute resolution), in addition to providing regulatory advice and compliance counseling.  

A frequent speaker at national and international conferences, Ms. Biles has provided legal commentary to various media outlets and was interviewed by ABC News about her work.  She also has served as a lecturing fellow at Duke University School of Law, teaching a course on e-discovery.

Ms. Biles began her law career as a federal appellate clerk for the Honorable Julia Smith Gibbons on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, after graduating magna cum laude from Duke University School of Law and being elected to the Order of the Coif.

Representative Experience

Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

Prior to joining Womble Bond Dickinson, Britt was involved in the following selected matters:

Public SBA Matters

  • Prepared the SBA Administrator and Associate Administrators to testify before Congressional committees.
  • Prepared SBA senior officials to brief Congressional members and staff. 
  • Advised the SBA in connection with inquiries and requests by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. 
  • Advised the SBA in connection with inquiries and requests by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
  • Advised the SBA in connection with inquiries and requests by the House Financial Services Committee. 
  • Advised the SBA in connection with inquiries and requests by the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE). 
  • Led the SBA’s response to audits and investigations by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
  • Led the SBA’s response to audits and investigations by the Office of Inspector General (OIG).

Public SEC Matters 

  • Trial and investigative counsel in a ground-breaking case in federal district court in which Chinese nationals were charged with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws by trading on the basis of material nonpublic information that was stolen when two New York law firms were hacked.  
  • Trial counsel in an administrative trial against a registered broker-dealer for violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws in connection with an $80-million-variable-annuity scheme.      
  • Trial and investigative counsel in a settled action, charging one of the world’s largest asset managers and its chief compliance officer with violations of the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 and the Investment Company Act of 1940. 
  • Trial and investigative counsel in a settled action, charging a multinational food and beverage company with violations of the internal controls and books-and-records provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  
  • Trial and investigative counsel in a settled action, charging a group of activist investors with violations of Sections 13(d)(1), 13(d)(2), and 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Exchange Act Rules 13d-1, 13d-2(a), 16a-2, and 16a-3.  
  • Trial counsel in federal district court litigation to enforce a permanent injunction and impose sanctions on a public company chief financial officer for violating a lifetime bar on appearing or practicing before the Commission.   
  • Trial and investigative counsel in federal district court litigation against the chief executive officer of a publicly traded company for violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws by making fraudulent disclosures and engaging in manipulative trading.   
  • Trial and investigative counsel in an action involving violations of the auditor independence provisions of the federal securities laws by an international public accounting firm.

Private Representations

  • Counsel to an A-list Hollywood actor in a breach of contract and professional liability suit against his former entertainment lawyer.  Through motions practice, obtained a critical legal ruling on an issue of first impression in California law, ultimately leading to a favorable settlement for the actor.  The legal ruling was reported on by The Wall Street Journal because the decision was expected to change how entertainment lawyers and actors conducted business.  
  • Counsel to a global engineering firm in connection with SEC and DOJ investigations.
  • Counsel to a high-profile individual in connection with a confidential white collar investigation. 
  • Counsel to a private college in connection with allegations of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct; led internal investigation into college’s response to the allegations.  
  • Counsel to a financial services company in connection with a Congressional investigation and hearing, an SEC investigation, and enforcement actions by the FTC and the Minnesota Attorney General.  
  • Counsel to a credit card company in connection with enforcement actions by the New York Attorney General, the FTC, and the FDIC, as well as a private securities class action.    
  • Trial counsel to a financial services company in connection with a commercial arbitration arising from a series of government investigations and enforcement actions.  Favorable settlement reached on eve of arbitration.  
  • Trial counsel to pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors in hundreds of product liability cases.  After a series of trials, a favorable global settlement was reached.
  • Trial counsel to paint manufacturers in a product liability case that attracted national media attention.  Obtained a complete defense verdict after a six-week trial.  

Professional and Civic Engagements

  • American Bar Association, Member 
  • Federal Bar Association, Member
  • Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia, Sustaining Member
  • Association of Securities and Exchange Commission Alumni, Inc., Member 
  • Women in Housing and Finance, Member 
  • Duke University School of Law, Class of 2005 Reunion Committee
  • The Washington Ballet, Board of Directors, Member of Governance and Development Committees
  • Capital Speakers Club, Member, Chapter Treasurer, 2016-2018 
  • National Child Research Center, Member of Tuition Assistance Auction, 2015-2018
  • Securities and Exchange Commission’s Digital Currency Working Group, Member, 2015-2017 
  • Intown Playgroup, Board of Directors, Treasurer, 2014-2017

Thought Leadership

  • Speaker, "Inside the Hunt for Alleged COVID Loan Fraudsters," ABC News Nightline, January 2024
  • Panelist, “Whistleblower Update – The Impact on Corporations and SEC Enforcement,” Securities Enforcement Forum West, May 2023
  • Co-Author, “DOJ Signals Expanded Use of Independent Monitors for Corporate Criminal Enforcement,” Corporate Compliance Insights, June 2022
  • Co-Presenter, "Enforcement Trends & Outlook Under the Biden Administration," The Federalist Society, April 2022
  • Co-Presenter, "DOJ’s Corporate Criminal Enforcement," Association of Corporate Counsel, April 2022 
  • Co-Author, "Reassessing the Overexpansion of RICO in White Collar Cases," The White Collar Crime Committee Newsletter, ABA Criminal Justice Section, Winter/Spring 2022
  • Featured Speaker, “The Fate of ALJs and Other Critical Issues Presented in Lucia v. SEC,” Securities Docket
  • Author, “5 Pressing Issues Facing The SEC in 2018,” Law360, January 2018 
  • Panelist, SEC, Division of Enforcement, Cyber-Enforcement, Hacking-to-Trade, and the Hong Case 
  • Panelist, Duke University School of Law, Women Law Students Association, Women in the Law, Alumnae in Private Practice  

Honors and Awards

  • SBA, Administrator’s Award for Outstanding Achievement, 2020
  • Selected to the Washington, D.C. Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2019, 2018, 2014
  • SEC, Chairman’s Award for Excellence, 2017
  • SEC, Division of Enforcement Director’s Award, 2016, 2015
  • Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, Outstanding Achievement Award, 2010

Profile insights