Peter Wilson Chatfield

With more than two decades of experience representing whistleblowers, Mr. Chatfield has achieved significant results for his clients, particularly in healthcare fraud cases. His work was included in National Law Journal's recognition of Phillips & Cohen as “Elite Trial Lawyers.”

Peter W. Chatfield, a partner at Phillips & Cohen, has more than two decades of experience working with whistleblowers on a wide variety of qui tam cases against defense contractors, healthcare providers, FEMA contractors and other government contractors that engage in fraud.

He also represents whistleblowers in claims filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the IRS whistleblower programs.

A number of Mr. Chatfield’s whistleblower cases have resulted in significant outcomes, including those against:

  • HCA, one of the nation’s largest healthcare providers. Phillips & Cohen represented two whistleblowers in qui tam lawsuits that alleged HCA routinely engaged in Medicare cost-report fraud. The cases were the basis for the bulk of an $881 million settlement HCA paid.
  • 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.
  • The ringleaders of an ongoing Ponzi scheme that collected $394 million from unknowing investors and was on the verge of collecting $260 million more.
  • Several blood testing labs, a former lab CEO and two healthcare marketing consultants in a qui tam case where government funds recovered could total more than $168 million. Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Singulex, Berkeley Heartlab, and Quest Diagnostics agreed to pay a combined total of $54.5 million to settle kickback allegations. In addition, a district court ordered a $114 million judgment against the two co-owners of a marketing firm and a former CEO of HDL following a jury trial on Medicare billing fraud and kickback charges.
  • Adventist Health Systems, which paid $118.7 million to the federal government and four states to settle alleged Stark violations. It was the largest healthcare fraud settlement ever made involving physician referrals to hospitals.
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. The pharma company paid $95 million to settle “off-label” marketing charges.
  • Community Health Systems, which agreed to pay a settlement of $75 million for allegations that it donated funds to New Mexico counties in order to boost federal payments.
  • 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 Ira
  • 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
The people playing by the rules get shut out … and it’s costing the taxpayers a huge amount.

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 named one of the “500 Leading Lawyers in America” by Lawdragon magazine for his work representing whistleblowers.

Martindale-Hubbell awarded him its highest possible peer review rating, “AV Preeminent attorney” and included Mr. Chatfield in its highly selective roster of “Top Rated Lawyers.”  Mr. Chatfield also was listed among the top whistleblower lawyers in Washington, D.C., by Washingtonian magazine in its most recent rankings and included in Super Lawyers’ list of “exceptional attorneys” for Washington, DC.

Mr. Chatfield graduated 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.

  • “Physicians Misjudge a Terminal Patient’s Life Span: Is It Fraud?,” Medscape, September 30, 2020.
  • “Broward paid fine for breaching 2015 fraud settlement with feds,” Politico, July 18, 2019.
  • “Supreme Court gives whistleblowers more time to bring false claims suits,” Modern Healthcare, May 13, 2019.
  • “Providers hope for Stark overhaul to boost value-based payment,” Modern Healthcare, March 9, 2019.
  • “New Justice Dept. policies, new AG may mute False Claims Act whistleblowers,” Modern Healthcare, February 16, 2019.
  • “DOJ Moves to Dismiss 11 FCA Suits With Same Relators Alleging Nurse Educators Are Kickbacks,” HCCA’s Report on Medicare Compliance, December 24, 2018.
  • “South Carolina becomes a leader in federal health care fraud cases, with millions at stake,” The Post and Courier, August 20, 2018.
  • “Complaint details fraud allegations against Kalispell Regional healthcare,” Flathead Beacon, July 3, 2018.
  • “Suit: CFO feared jail time over kickbacks. He’s now Shawnee Mission Health interim CEO,” The Kansas City Star, May 9, 2018.
  • “Ex-Lab Execs Found Liable For $17M Medicare Fraud,” Law360, February 1, 2018.
  • “Health Diagnostic Lab Ex-CEO, BlueWave Healthcare Owners Found Liable of Medicare Fraud,” 360Dx, February 1, 2018.
  • “Jury finds HDL’s Mallory liable for at least $16.6 million in federal lawsuit,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, February 1, 2018.
  • “Consulate Health Care Absolved in $348M Medicare Fraud Case,” Bloomberg BNA, January 12, 2018.
  • “3 Whistleblower Suits Net over $60 Million in Medicare Fraud,” HealthPayer Intelligence, June 12, 2017.
  • “Quest To Pay $6M To End Blood Test FCA Suit,” Law360, April 28, 2017.
  • “Hilton Head doctor’s whistleblower lawsuit helps lead to $48.5 million settlement,” The Island Packet, April 14, 2017.
  • “Surgical monitoring firms receiving scrutiny for doctor deals,” Austin American Statesman, November 29, 2015.
  • “Park Ridge whistleblowers cause $115M settlement,” The Citizen Times (Asheville, North Carolina), September 22, 2015.
  • “Adventist Health System to pay $118 mln to settle fraud claims,” Reuters, September 21, 2015.
  • “Adventist Health System to pay $118.7 million settlement over Stark, False Claims allegations,” Modern Healthcare, September 21, 2015.
  • “Two Testing Labs to Pay $48.5 Million to Settle False Claims Charge,” Corporate Crime Reporter, April 9, 2015.
  • “Community Health Systems to pay $75 million in Medicaid fraud whistleblower case,” Healthcare Finance, February 2, 2015.
  • “Governments Recover $11 Million in Fraud Settlement,” Government Technology, November 13, 2013.
  • “CA Technologies to Pay $11 Million to Settle False Claims Act Charge,” Corporate Crime Reporter, November 12, 2013.
  • “SAIC to pay $11.75M to settle whistle-blower lawsuit,” UPI, June 13, 2013.
  • “SAIC to Pay $11.75 Million to Settle False Claims Act Charge,” Corporate Crime Reporter, June 13, 2013.
  • “True Health To Buy HDL Pending Court Approval,” The Dark Report.
  • “Floyd Landis whistleblower suit targets more than Lance Armstrong,” The Washington Post, January 17, 2013.
  • “The lurking risks of hospital-employed physicians: Stark, Anti-Kickback and False Claims Act compliance” – Healthcare Finance
  • Public Disclosure and the FCA First-to-File Rule – HCCA Healthcare Enforcement Compliance Institute – 2016
  • 2009-2010 FCA Amendments: Five Years Later – Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund Conference – 2015
  • Developments in False Claims Act Liability – ABA False Claims Act National Institute – 2014
  • Is “Government Knowledge” Still Relevant to Scienter? – Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund Conference – 2013
  • “500 Leading Lawyers in America” – Lawdragon, 2019 – 2024
  • “Best Lawyers in America” – Best Lawyers, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
  • “Top Lawyers” – Washingtonian magazine, 2014-2016, 2018, 2020, 2022
  • “500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers” – Lawdragon, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Super Lawyers, 2019, 2021
  • Top Rated Lawyers – Martindale Hubbell, 2017
  • Rated “AV Preeminent” – Martindale-Hubbell

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