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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 has nearly 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.

A partner at Phillips & Cohen, he also represents whistleblowers in claims filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the IRS whistleblower programs.

Mr. Chatfield 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.
  • 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.
  • Quorum Health Group, a hospital management company. The qui tam case settled for $85.7 million.
  • 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 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.

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.

  • “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
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