Sanford Heisler Sharp Adds Brent Hannafan, Criminal Chief Of The U.S. Attorney’s Office For The Middle District Of Tennessee

Joins National Office of National Civil Rights Firm

Becomes Firm’s Trial Practice Co-Chair

June 21, 2023, Nashville – Sanford Heisler Sharp today announced the addition of Brent Hannafan, as a partner and Co-Chair of the firm’s Trial Practice. Hannafan will be resident in the firm’s Nashville office.

“Brent is an outstanding addition to the firm and our Nashville presence,” said David Sandford, co-founder and Chairman of Sanford Heisler Sharp. “His extensive trial experience is well-aligned with our focus on representing individuals and classes in employment discrimination, public interest, and complex civil litigation. A battle-tested, trial-ready attorney, Brent will be an immediate asset to our clients and litigation teams across the country.”

Hannafan joins Sanford Heisler Sharp after 17 years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Tennessee (MDTN), where he had served as Criminal Chief from 2017 to 2023. In that role, he managed and oversaw all federal criminal investigations and prosecutions in the District, including health care fraud matters; violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute; bank, wire, mail, investment, and tax frauds; public corruption; murder-for-hire; drug trafficking; firearms, money laundering; RICO, VICAR, and civil rights violations; terrorism, child exploitation, and immigration offenses.  As Criminal Chief, he participated in trial preparation, strategic planning, and advising trial teams for more than 50 trials.

Prior to serving as Criminal Chief, Hannafan served as Deputy Chief of the MDTN’s Narcotics Unit for two years.  He worked as an AUSA in the MDTN’s White Collar Crime and Narcotics Units for more than a decade. His experience in these roles included trying more than 20 criminal jury trials to verdict and receiving a DOJ Director’s Award in 2017.

“Brent is among the most experienced and successful trial attorneys in Tennessee,” said Sanford Heisler Sharp Co-Vice Chair Kevin Sharp, a former Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Tennessee. “He has prosecuted and won virtually every type of federal case during his tenure in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, leveraging both his outstanding knowledge of the law and his considerable legal skills to achieve justice in very complex and contentious criminal proceedings. I am delighted to welcome him as a colleague.”

Hannafan is looking forward to returning to private practice, which he views as similar to and consistent with his experiences in the government. “I will be continuing to safeguard communities by representing victims of criminal and civil injustices,” he said. “I spent my entire career as a prosecutor investigating cases, meeting with witnesses, looking at evidence, deciding what charges to bring, and moving those cases forward. The only difference now is that I will be doing it in private practice for one of the country’s leading civil rights law firms.”

Hannafan will immediately dive into several significant matters underway at Sanford Heisler Sharp, including representing dozens of cities and counties across the nation in claims against opioid manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies, and pharmacy benefit managers, as well as participating in ongoing class litigation on behalf of current and former 401(k) plan participants in claims of fiduciary breach against UnitedHealth Group in Snyder v. UnitedHealth Group, Inc. et al. He will also join the teams representing the Baltimore Mayor and City Council in claims against Polymer 80 for manufacturing, selling, and advertising easy-to-assemble, un-traceable ghost gun kits and parts and a high-profile matter involving discrimination claims of a bank’s senior executive.

In addition to being a successful trial attorney, Hannafan was an instructor at the Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center’s Basic Trial Advocacy Course from 2010 to 2023.  He also teaches Trial Advocacy as an Adjunct Professor at Belmont University College of Law in Nashville.

Before becoming an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Hannafan was a litigation associate at two international law firms in New York and Chicago after receiving his law degree from Washington University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Vanderbilt University.

About Sanford Heisler Sharp

Sanford Heisler Sharp is a public interest and civil rights law firm with offices in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Baltimore, Nashville, and San Diego. The firm focuses on employment discrimination, Title IX, wage and hour, whistleblower and qui tam, criminal/sexual violence, financial services, and Asian American litigation and finance matters. Our lawyers have recovered over $1 billion for our clients through many verdicts and settlements.

In 2022, The National Law Journal named Sanford Heisler Sharp Civil Rights Firm of the Year, and it recognized the firm in 2021 as both the Employment Rights Firm of the Year and the Human Rights Firm of the Year. Law360 recognized the firm as Employment Practice Group of the Year in 2021, 2019, 2018, and 2016. Benchmark Litigation recognized the firm as the Labor & Employment Firm of the Year in 2021 and 2020.

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If you have potential legal claims and are seeking counsel, please call 646-768-7070 or email [email protected]. Attorneys at Sanford Heisler Sharp would like to have the opportunity to help you.

For more information, contact Jamie Moss, newsPRos, at 201-788-0142 or [email protected].