Partner, Best & Flanagan
Best & Flanagan partner Jonathan Wilson specializes in white-collar criminal defense and business litigation, helping mortgage companies, health care providers and food and beverage companies in matters ranging from lease agreements to antitrust and RICO allegations.
Seeing both sides of a criminal complaint through the eyes of the law is something that’s long driven Wilson. He holds undergraduate degrees in sociology, political science and criminal justice and for a while pondered working on the enforcement side. As a senior in college, he did an internship in Washington with a federal prosecutor’s office.
“I thought I wanted to be an FBI agent,” he said. “But I wanted to see what lawyering was like, so I took the LSAT.”
Wilson, 36, combined his interests with a stint as a special assistant city attorney for the City of Minneapolis before joining Dorsey & Whitney. When he moved to Best & Flanagan, that firm was known mostly for its renowned civil litigation practice. He was able to bring a strong criminal background to that arena, offering him a variety of clients and matters to sink his teeth into.
“I like doing work for all sorts of businesses and individuals,” Wilson said.
One area of his practice that Wilson has seen grow in prominence is handling cases involving the federal False Claims Act, which goes after companies that are alleged to have defrauded the government. Wilson said False Claims Act cases can offer a different set of challenges and rewards.
“Often on the civil side, especially during the recession, when I would get calls from would-be plaintiffs, there was a cost-benefit analysis they would have to do – do I want to get embroiled in litigation?” he said. “With False Claims Act cases, plaintiffs’ counsel who take those cases are doing them on contingency with the expectation that if government prosecutes it, there will be a settlement.”