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Peter Wilson Chatfield

Washington, DC

E-mail MePeter Wilson Chatfield

Partner since 1994
Washington, District of Columbia

Peter W. Chatfield has nearly two decades of experience working with whistleblowers on a wide variety of qui tam cases against defense contractors, healthcare providers and other government contractors.

He has played a leading role in a number of significant whistleblower cases, including qui tam lawsuits against:

  • HCA, the nation's largest healthcare provider. Phillips & Cohen represented two whistleblowers in qui tam cases that alleged Medicare cost-report fraud, which HCA paid the government a total of $881 million to settle.
  • Cephalon Inc., which paid a total of $425 million to settle four qui tam lawsuits - including one brought by Phillips & Cohen - and a criminal charge involving its off-label marketing practices.
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. The pharma company paid $95 million to settle "off-label" marketing charges.
  • Quorum Health Group, a hospital management company. The qui tam case settled for $85.7 million 
  • Louis Berger Group, which paid $69.3 million to settle whistleblower allegations that it had billed the government for fraudulent overhead charges that affected USAID's war-zone contractor work in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • C.R. Bard Inc., a medical device manufacturer. Bard paid $48.2 million to settle the whistleblower case, which alleged the company offered kickbacks to boost its sales.
  • Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) for alleged billing fraud under a government contract to train first responders in terrorism situations. SAIC paid $11.75 million to settle the case.
  • CA Technologies, formerly known as Computer Associates and CA Inc., paid $11 million to settle allegations about a sales and billing scheme involving software maintenance renewal contracts for its government customers.

Mr. Chatfield played a key role in a groundbreaking court battle that boosted a client's whistleblower award to 24 percent of the settlement. It was the largest share of a qui tam settlement that a court has awarded to a whistleblower in a False Claims Act case the government has joined.

He has been a leader among the qui tam bar in supporting whistleblowers and their attorneys in precedent-setting court cases, as well as in evaluating potential case theories and advising qui tam attorneys on False Claims Act procedures and strategies.

In addition, Mr. Chatfield served as a representative of the whistleblowers' legal bar in negotiations with the Department of Justice on policies and standard agreements that affect qui tam cases. He played an advisory role in the development and drafting of the 2009 and 2010 amendments to the False Claims Act to correct misinterpretations and improper application of the current statute that reduced its effectiveness. He is a regular speaker at conferences on whistleblowers, fraud against the government and qui tam lawsuits.

Mr. Chatfield has been awarded Martindale Hubbell's highest possible peer review rating, AV Preeminent attorney, and is listed among the top whistleblower lawyers in Washington, D.C., by Washingtonian magazine. He was recently named to "Who's Who in America" for 2014.

Mr. Chatfield graduated in 1986 from Yale Law School, where he was a Coker fellow and senior editor of the Yale Law Journal. He then served as a law clerk to the Honorable Alvin B. Rubin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

From 1987 to 1994, Mr. Chatfield was associated with Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C. His practice there centered on complex civil and commercial matters, including business torts and fraud, medical malpractice defense, civil RICO, products liability, and labor and employment matters.

Mr. Chatfield is admitted to the bar in Washington, DC and Maryland.

Areas of Practice

  • Whistleblower/Qui Tam
  • Government Agencies & Programs
  • Government Contracts
  • Health & Health Care Law
  • Whistleblower -- Employee
  • Tax Law
  • Securities Law

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia, 1989
  • Maryland, 1988
  • U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, 1992
  • U.S. District Court District of Maryland, 1989
  • U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, 1991


  • Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut
    • J.D. - 1986
    • Honors: Coker Fellow
    • Law Journal: Yale Law Journal, Senior Editor
  • Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut
    • B.A., Bachelor of Arts - 1983
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa

Published Works

Honors and Awards

  • "Who’s Who in America", 2014
  • Washington’s Best Lawyers, 2013

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • The District of Columbia Bar, Member
  • Maryland State Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Hon. Alvin B. Rubin, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, Law Clerk
  • Williams & Connolly, Washington, D.C., Associate, 1987 - 1994