WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 28, 2013 -- Mary Louise Cohen, a founding partner of Phillips & Cohen LLP, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from a nonprofit whistleblower organization for her work on whistleblower cases.
Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund presented Cohen with the award Oct. 24 at its annual conference in Washington, DC.
"The true heroes in our world are our clients," Cohen said in accepting the award.
She discussed the challenges in keeping the False Claims Act "qui tam" provisions the strong anti-fraud weapon they are today, including "congressional efforts spurred by the fraud lobby to gut the Act."
TAFEF said that "Mary Louise Cohen was an early pioneer of False Claims Act litigation, bringing some of the first and largest (False Claims Act) cases ever won or settled."
"The success of those early False Claims Act cases by Mary Louise and (her law partner) John Phillips completely changed the way the government tackles fraud and helped make the False Claims Act the powerful law it is today," TAFEF said.
TAFEF noted some of Cohen's recent successful qui tam cases, including one against Quest Diagnostics that settled for $302 million. It is the largest settlement ever paid by a medical lab company for a faulty product and was one of the largest recoveries involving a medical device at that time.
Cohen's work on social justice issues also was applauded.
"Mary Louise Cohen is more than a crackshot lawyer, of course," said TAFEF. "She is also a terrific human being who has 'paid it forward' every step of the way, both within the law and outside it."
She helped start the Batonga Foundation, which educates girls in Africa and advocates for more secondary education. And she started the Aslan Project, a public charity that aims to increase capacity in developing countries to treat and cure children with cancer.
Cohen helped build Phillips & Cohen LLP into the most successful law firm in the nation representing whistleblowers and one of the few that focuses on only whistleblower cases.
For more information about Phillips & Cohen's record, see P&C's Successful Whistleblower Cases.