Brian Colao, Director, Dykema DSO Industry GroupBrian Colao
Director, Dykema Dental Service Organizations Industry Group

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Brian Colao is the Director of Dykema’s Dental Service Organizations Industry Group. He is widely regarded as one of the foremost authorities in the United States on DSO formation, DSO business structures, DSO related mergers and acquisitions, and regulatory compliance for DSOs including the corporate practice of dentistry, illegal fee splitting, advertising regulations, laboratory regulations, patient finance regulations, billing regulations, HIPAA regulations, credentialing, permit and licensure regulations, marketing regulations, and labor law regulations affecting dental practices.


Brian specializes in the representation of DSOs nationwide in the following areas:

  • Creating regulatory compliant business models and conducting ongoing compliance on a broad range of issues applicable to the industry
  • Defending DSOs in all manner of litigation and regulatory actions including State Dental Board Investigations and Complaints, State Attorney General Investigations and Complaints, Federal Investigations and Complaints, and private legal proceedings involving affiliated doctors
  • Assisting Private Equity Investors in buying, selling, or investing in Dental Service Organizations


In recent years Brian has successfully resolved on behalf of his clients several significant civil and criminal Medicaid fraud investigations and state dental board actions alleging the corporate practice of dentistry, fee splitting and related violations, and he is the “go to” person in the industry for all manner of regulatory issues. Brian has also handled as lead regulatory counsel some of the most significant transactions in the industry on behalf of buyers, sellers, lenders, or potential investors. In recent years Brian has handled at least ten significant dental transactions representing in excess of $2.5 billion of total value. Brian also assists lenders in conducting due diligence prior to extending credit to Dental Service Organizations.


Brian currently has clients in 46 states and has appeared before 37 separate state dental boards. Brian got his start in this industry approximately 15 years ago when he represented a group of 90 orthodontists in litigation with OrthAlliance, Inc. and Orthodontic Centers of America and handled cases of first impression involving the corporate practice of dentistry and fee splitting in 18 states that resulted in legal opinions that defined and established the law in this area.


Significant Decisions

  • In re OrthAlliance, Inc. Contract Litigation, 350 F. Supp. 2d 1354 (J.P.M.L. 2004). Represented approximately 65 different clients before the judicial panel on multidistrict litigation and successfully prevented the consolidation and transfer of numerous cases to the forum of the opponent’s selection.
  • Robert C. Penny et al. v. OrthAlliance, Inc., 255 F. Supp. 2d 579 (N.D. Tex. March 27, 2003) (No. CIV.A.3 :01-CV-1 1569-N). In a case of first impression, obtained summary judgment on behalf of a group of Texas orthodontists on the grounds that 20 year service agreements between orthodontists and a practice management company violated the prohibition on the corporate practice of dentistry contained in the Texas Dental Practices Act. In the years that followed, this case was widely cited, adopted and followed by numerous other Federal Courts in Washington, Florida, Illinois, Colorado, California, Texas and other states.


Awards & Recognition

  • Named as a 2019 DSO Influencer by Group Dentistry Now
  • Named as a Texas Rising Star by Law & Politics, 2004-2006
  • Manchester Healthcare’s Who’s Who Among Healthcare Professionals, 2004


Beyond DSO

In addition to his work with the health care and dental industry, Brian has a nationwide practice that focuses on all facets of complex commercial litigation, including contractual disputes, franchise disputes, issues of corporate governance, breach of fiduciary duty, theft of trade secrets, unfair competition, covenants not to compete, patent, trademark and copyright infringement, fraud and deceptive trade practices, disparagement, lender liability and other business claims.


Throughout the past several years, Brian has served as lead trial counsel in many significant commercial disputes pending in more than 25 different federal districts in over 20 states. He has appeared as lead counsel in numerous state court cases pending in at least 10 states and three Canadian provinces. He has also represented clients in domestic and international arbitration proceedings pending in New York, London, Zurich, Costa Rica, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Orlando, New Orleans, Miami and Jacksonville. Over the course of his career, Brian has tried in excess of 50 cases to judgment including jury trials, bench trials, and domestic and international arbitration proceedings.


To read Brian’s full Dykema bio, click here.