Mark McPherson is an associate in Choate’s Litigation Department. His practice focuses primarily on representation of individuals, corporations, and universities in government and internal investigations.
Mr. McPherson is a graduate of the Boston University School of Law, where he participated in the Criminal Law Clinical Program as a student prosecutor. During law school, he interned at the United States Attorney’s Office in Boston and also for the Honorable Denise J. Casper of the District of Massachusetts.
Prior to joining Choate, Mr. McPherson served as a pilot in the United States Air Force.
Government Enforcement & Compliance: representation of companies, individuals, and universities in government and internal investigations involving healthcare fraud, securities fraud, and other civil and criminal matters.
Foreign Influence Compliance: manage NIH, HHS, and/or DOJ investigations, enforcement inquiries, and Congressional oversight requests into systematic programs of foreign influence at U.S. academic and research institutions.
- Defend the Chief Executive Officer of a public healthcare company in multi-year investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.
- Assist major pharmaceutical companies and health care systems in conducting internal investigations regarding commercial business practices.
- Assist university and teaching hospital clients in addressing “foreign component” and foreign conflict of interest concerns raised by NIH and other federal agencies regarding federally funded research.
- Conduct independent investigation into alleged sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination at a major university.
Professional and Community Involvement
Mr. McPherson is a member of the Boston Bar Association. He participates in the Firm’s legal clinic for the homeless program through the Lawyers Clearinghouse.
Education & Credentials
- Boston University School of Law
- JD, 2017, cum laude
- The University of Oklahoma
- MA, 2014
- Oklahoma State University
- MBA, 2012
- The University of Pittsburgh
- BA, 2006
As research institutions, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies race to develop a vaccine or treatments for COVID-19, international collaborations are plentiful, critical and inspiring. At the same time, U.S. officials are warning American institutions to be increasingly vigilant in protecting their intellectual property and other sensitive data.
International exports of research materials may be subject to strict regulatory requirements based on the country and specific recipient to which they are going, their potential range of uses, and their dollar value. Making the decision tree more complicated is the fact that multiple federal agencies regulate exports.
Research institutions should consider creating/evaluate their existing foreign influence training programs and ensure they address key issues reflected in recent enforcement actions.
Understanding that international collaboration should and must occur, the key is to ensure that those collaborations are transparent – meaning disclosed to, and where necessary, approved by, employers and federal agencies or other organizations who may be supporting the researcher or his/her home institution.
Research institutions are in a unique position to help detect and prevent undue foreign influence targeting scientists and their work. In addition to implementing formal conflict of interest and outside activity reporting policies, institutions should exercise due diligence by making reasonable, proactive inquiries into ex-U.S. activities of faculty/research staff.