DLA Piper office in Miami, Florida (photo: J Albert Diaz) J. Albert Diaz

Akerman partner Christopher Oprison, who was at one time a special assistant and associate White House counsel during the George W. Bush administration, has jumped to DLA Piper in Miami, the fifth major lateral hire to DLA Piper’s Miami office in the past year.

Oprison will focus his practice on the health care industry and represent clients on matters involving fraud, government and internal investigations, complex civil litigation and white collar defense. His experience includes Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) and money laundering cases, and issues arising under the False Claims Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He decided to join DLA Piper, he said, because he believes the firm will help him expand those practices.

“It was a tremendous opportunity with an incredible international platform to grow my practice,” Oprison said. “It was exactly the kind of platform I was looking for at this stage in my career.”

Oprison has advised clients on legal, legislative and policy issues, including matters involving Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement issues. He has represented large U.S. health care systems, airlines, oil and gas companies, insurers, wound care product manufacturers, national accounting firms, elected officials and lobbyists in a variety of criminal, civil and government enforcement matters.

He also served as a special assistant and associate counsel to President George W. Bush from 2006 to 2008, after which he returned to his previous firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Washington, D.C. In 2014 he moved to Akerman, and worked out of both the Washington, D.C., and Miami offices. He also was a judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps for two years, beginning in 1999, where he prosecuted serious crimes under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“Chris has an impressive background that will strengthen our trial bench at a national level to go along with the impressive hires we’ve recently made in Miami in the health care litigation and regulatory space,” said Joshua Kaye, managing partner of DLA Piper’s Miami office. “Chris also has a strong reputation in South Florida and nationally in the health care and life science sectors.”

Among Oprison’s high-profile cases are the retrial of Marine Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins for the killing of an unarmed civilian Iraqi, and a case involving a nudist resort’s unauthorized use of photos taken of models at the resort.

The addition of Oprison marks the fifth prominent Miami hire by DLA Piper in the past year. The other recent hires are George Karavetsos,Ryan O’Quinn, Omari Sealy and Geneve DuBois. The firm has also added partners to its litigation practice in other cities, including David Sager in New Jersey, John Rah, Raphael Larson and Louis Ramos in Washington, D.C., and Thiru Vignarajah in Baltimore.

Monika Gonzalez Mesa writes about the business of law from Florida. Contact her at mgmesa@alm.com. On Twitter: @MonikaMesa1