Jennifer Chunias is a partner in Goodwin’s Complex Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice, and a leader of the firm’s Technology Investigations and M&A Post Closing Disputes Sector groups. Ms. Chunias has over 20 years of experience handling government and internal investigations, shareholder demands, and litigation; complex commercial disputes, and whistleblower litigation. Her clients include public and private healthcare, life sciences, and technology companies and their boards, officers, and directors; private equity and venture capital firms and their directors; and prominent colleges and universities.
Ms. Chunias has conducted dozens of internal corporate investigations for companies, universities, boards of directors, and special board committees into allegations of securities fraud, revenue recognition treatment and other financial accounting improprieties, workplace misconduct, and cybersecurity and data privacy incidents, as well as alleged FCPA, and FCA violations. She advises clients on a wide variety of whistleblower issues, and handles alleged retaliation and other employment litigation arising out of these matters. Ms. Chunias regularly represents clients before state and federal regulators, including the DOJ and SEC, and handles all aspects of self-reporting decisions, government investigations and remediation that may ensue as a result of internal investigation findings.
Ms. Chunias also handles a variety of commercial litigation, and shareholder, founder, partnership, restrictive covenant, and appraisal disputes, litigation, and governance matters, including, in particular, in the Delaware courts. She frequently represents her investment firm clients in a variety of post-closing matters, including arbitrations and litigation arising out of escrow and indemnification disputes, restrictive covenant violations, and working capital disputes.
Ms. Chunias' recent representative matters have included:
- Represent a cloud-based location technology platform company in a putative class action alleging data privacy violations in federal court in Massachusetts
- Represent an online literature retailer in a putative class action alleging violations of the Michigan data privacy statute, pending in Michigan federal district court
- On behalf of Globoforce, Inc., d/b/a Workhuman, won dismissal with prejudice of alleged whistleblower retaliation and unfair and deceptive business practices claims brought by a former executive in federal district court in Florida
- Represent publicly-traded technology company in connection with forensic investigation and SEC investigation relating to high-profile Solar Winds data security incident
- Represented MIT in alleged retaliation litigation brought in federal court in Massachusetts under various state and federal statutes by a former MIT research scientist and obtained dismissal with prejudice
- Trial counsel for independent directors of Granite Point Mortgage Trust, Inc., a public commercial mortgage REIT, in a confidential, binding arbitration relating to the termination of Granite Point’s external manager and internalization of its management function
- On behalf of a specialty pharmacy provider, obtained dismissal of federal court action in Florida alleging False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Act violations and whistleblower retaliation relating to claims for reimbursement for compounded ophthalmic products
- Conducted high-profile internal investigation on behalf of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology into its donations from and interactions with Jeffrey Epstein, and relevant development protocols. A link to the Goodwin Report can be found here.
- Represented the seller of Telequality Communications LLC, a large rural health care telecommunications provider, in post-closing litigation in Delaware Superior Court alleging breaches of representations and warranties, breaches of contract, and fraud in connection with the sale of the company and ensuing Federal Communications Commission investigation
- Conducted an expedited internal investigation on behalf of the Board of Directors of a not-for-profit corporation and government contractor into allegations of senior management misconduct and inappropriate “tone at the top,” including in relation to ongoing federal defense contracts with the U.S. Navy and FCA considerations
- Retained by the Board of Directors of a publicly-traded global telecommunications company to conduct an expedited internal investigation into a whistle-blower allegation concerning certain year-end accounting procedures and improper “tone at the top” on the part of senior members of the company’s finance team
- Represented a global technology company in relation to civil False Claims Act qui tam litigation and criminal investigations by the U.S. Attorney's Office and the U.S. Department of Justice, National Security Division relating to contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense, and allegations of contract and immigration fraud, and ITAR violations relating to the engineering work of back office employees in Russia
- Won a significant victory in federal court in Boston on behalf of the President & Fellows of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School; Ms. Chunias was one of the partners leading the team that obtained the complete dismissal of a lawsuit brought by two prominent research scientists over an ongoing institutional investigation into alleged research misconduct under federally funded research grants. This dismissal was affirmed by the First Circuit Court of Appeals
- Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a public engineering software company on complicated cybersecurity concerns. Multiple issues intersected, including access to company emails without authorization, potential theft and export of technology into China, and allegations of bribes paid to circumvent technology controls designed to prevent the supply of software to prohibited foreign state-owned enterprises
- Represented a prominent international private equity firm in post-closing litigation in Delaware Chancery Court in its capacity as shareholder representative of the former shareholders of Microban International, Ltd. against W.M. Barry & Company, Inc.
- Represented a global private equity firm that has raised over $18 billion of capital in connection with an arbitration involving claims of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. Ms. Chunias was a member of the Goodwin team that ultimately obtained a $170 million award and defeated over $100 million in counterclaims
- Represented the principals of The Pyramid Companies, a multi-billion dollar commercial real estate firm in connection with a breach of fiduciary duty suit brought by a minority partner seeking to dissolve and liquidate one of The Pyramid Companies’ asset-holding general partnerships valued at over $200 million
- Represented the Audit Committee of a U.S. publicly-traded global manufacturer of scientific and diagnostic instruments in an internal investigation and multi-year government investigations by the SEC, DOJ and Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption, into alleged bribery and corruption violations at several of the Company's China subsidiaries
Areas of Practice
In 2016, Ms. Chunias was appointed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to the State Ballot Law Commission.
Ms. Chunias has served on the Board of the Women's Bar Foundation, on the BBA's Individual Rights Responsibilities Section Steering Committee, and as a pro bono Bar Advocate, handling dozens of court appointments in the Criminal Division of the Boston Municipal Court.
Prior to joining Goodwin in 2005, Ms. Chunias was a lecturer at Harvard Law School. Before that, she was an associate in the Litigation Practice group at Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, LLP in Boston. Prior to and during law school, she was a public health researcher and spent a decade working with survivors of sexual assault.
Prior to joining Goodwin in 2005, Ms. Chunias was a lecturer at Harvard Law School. Before that, she was an associate in the Litigation Practice Group at Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, LLP in Boston. Prior to and during law school, she was a public health researcher and spent a decade working with survivors of sexual assault.
Northeastern University School of Law
The University of Vermont
- U.S. District Court of Connecticut
- U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Recognition & Awards
Ms. Chunias has been recognized by Chambers USA for her work in Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations in 2023. She was also recognized by Best Lawyers in America in 2023 for her work in Privacy and Data Security Law.
Ms. Chunias is recommended by The Legal 500 U.S. for her corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense as well as her venture capital and emerging companies practices, and is listed in Global Investigations Review 100, a guide to the world’s leading firms for corporate investigations. In 2009, Ms. Chunias was selected by the Boston Business Journal as one of the top 40 business leaders in Massachusetts under the age of 40 and honored at a “Women of Justice” event by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, the Women's Bar Association and the Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers. She also was selected as an “Up and Coming Lawyer” for 2005 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer “Rising Star” in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Ms. Chunias was appointed Climenko Thayer Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School in 2004, and has taught as an adjunct professor at Northeastern University School of Law. She is also a frequent panelist on such topics as conducting effective internal investigations, handling whistleblowers, public company compliance concerns, and rising enforcement risks associated with global business models and international research and development activities.
She has authored several book chapters, articles and other publications related to conducting effective internal investigations, handling whistleblowers, FCPA compliance and best practices, risks to government contractors under the FCA, and insider trading and securities fraud.
Ms. Chunias' recent publications include:
- Co-Author, "Conducting Internal Investigations: An In-House Counsel’s Guide," Privacy & Cybersecurity Law Report, Vol.7 No.6, July/August 2021
- "2020 Year in Review: Foreign Corrupt Practices Act" February 2021
- Co-Author, “Corporate Whistleblower Developments and Best Practices,” Corporate Counsel, November 2018
- Co-Author, “Second Circuit Limits Reach of FCPA,” Goodwin Client Alert, August 2018
- Co-Author, “A Guide To Corporate Internal Investigations,” MCLE, March 2017
- Co-Author, “Update: Another SEC Enforcement Action on Whistleblower Waivers and Releases,” Goodwin Client Alert, August 2016
- Co-Author, “SEC Enforcement Expands Scope of Prohibited Provisions in Employment-Related Agreements,” Goodwin Client Alert, August 2016
- “Qui Tam Suits and the Civil False Claims Act,” Chapter 16, Massachusetts Business Torts, MCLE Press, 2016
- Co-Author, “SEC Applies Whistleblower Protections to Confidentiality Arrangements,” Goodwin Client Alert, April 2015
- “Conducting Effective Internal Investigations: A Corporate Counsel's Guide,” MCLE, January 2015
- “Sound the Alarm: Whistleblower Trends and the Pitfalls of Retaliation Claims,” MCLE, January 2015
- Author, “The SEC’s Whistleblower Program: 2013 Results and What to Expect in 2014,” Goodwin Client Alert, April 2014
- “SEC Forecasts an Increase in Whistleblower Cases and Awards,” The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, July 2013
- Co-Author, “Beware SEC’s Increased Whistleblower Focus,” Law360, June 2013
- Co-Author, “DOJ and SEC Release Detailed Guidance on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” Goodwin Client Alert, November 2012
- Co-Author, “Oracle to Pay $2 Million to Settle FCPA Charges Related to Subsidiary’s Use of Side Funds in India,” Goodwin Client Alert, August 2012
- Co-Author, “Rule 502: A Way to Limit Privilege Waiver in Government Investigations,” Business Crimes Bulletin, September 2009
Ms. Chunias’ recent speaking engagements include:
- Panelist, “What It Takes to Comply with the FCPA’s Internal Controls Provision: Expanding Interpretation and Strict Liability Risks for the Life Sciences Industry,” American Conference Institute, 16th Advanced Forum on FCPA & Anti-Corruption for the Life Sciences Industry, Boston, July 21, 2022
- Panelist, "2020 Year in Review: Foreign Corrupt Practices Act," Webinar, February 8, 2021
- Panelist, "Internal Investigations + Compliance: Hot Topics in Higher Education," Webinar, October 15, 2020
- “Conducting High Profile Internal Investigations in the COVID-19 Era,” Directors Roundtable Webinar, August 25, 2020
- Panelist, “How to Conduct an Internal Investigation,” MCLE, Webcast, June 2, 2020
- “Hot Topics in High Profile Investigations,” Directors Roundtable, Boston, May 9, 2019
- “Key Issues Facing Boards of Directors: New SEC Enforcement Initiatives and Corporate Governance Risks,” Directors Roundtable, Boston, April 5, 2018
- Panelist, “How to Conduct Efficient, Effective Internal Corporate Investigations,” MCLE, Boston, April 13, 2017
- “Directors Roundtable: Key Issues Facing Boards of Directors,” Directors Roundtable, Boston, March 29, 2017
- “FCPA Investigations: Best Practices and Trends,” EY Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services, Boston, March 23, 2017
- Panelist, “Views of In-House Counsel: Best Practices for Managing Internal Investigations," American Conference Institute, 3rd Annual Executive Forum on False Claims & Qui Tam Enforcement,” New York, January 21, 2016
- Panelist, “Whistleblowers: What Companies Are Doing Now,” Webinar, September 2015
- Panelist, “How to Conduct & Respond to Internal Corporate Investigations,” Boston, February 2015
- Panelist, “The Global Anticorruption Regulatory Landscape,” Massachusetts Export Control Center Export Regulatory Compliance Update Conference, Boston, June 2014
- Panelist, “ABA Section of Litigation Annual Conference,” ABA, Scottsdale, April 2014
- Panelist, “China – Issues in Corruption,” Harvard Asia Business Conference, Cambridge, March 2014
- “SEC Forecasts an Increase in Whistleblower Cases and Awards,” The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, October 2013
- Panelist, “New Business Integrity Challenge - Protecting Assets in a Digitalized, Global Environment,” KPMG's Audit Committee Roundtable Series, Boston, December 2012
- “Resolving Civil Health Care Fraud and Qui Tam Actions,” Boston Bar Association Health Care Fraud Program, Boston, April 2009