July 14, 2022– Lawdragon magazine has named 11 Phillips & Cohen partners to its 2022 list of the “500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers” for their outstanding achievements representing whistleblowers.
Phillips & Cohen partners John Phillips, Mary Louise Cohen, Erika Kelton, Peter Chatfield, Colette Matzzie, Claire Sylvia, Stephen Hasegawa, Jeffrey Dickstein, Sean McKessy, Edward Arens, and Amy Easton are included in Lawdragon’s 2022 list. This is the fourth year in a row ten partners have been honored by Lawdragon and first honor for Edward Arens.
- John Phillips, a co-founder of Phillips & Cohen, is a champion of the modern-day False Claims Act. His drive to reform the law helped make it into the powerful fraud-fighting tool it is today. Mr. Phillips served as the US Ambassador to Italy from 2013 to 2017. He is honored in Lawdragon’s “Hall of Fame.”
- Mary Louise Cohen is a co-founder of Phillips & Cohen and has been dubbed “the Queen of Qui Tam” by Lawdragon for her work representing whistleblowers. Among her noteworthy cases is one against Quest Diagnostics that settled for $302 million – the largest amount paid by a medical lab company for a faulty product. In 2022, she was inducted into Lawdragon’s “Hall of Fame.”
- Erika Kelton has substantial experience representing both FCA, SEC and CFTC whistleblowers. She won two of the largest healthcare fraud settlements ever: $3 billion by GlaxoSmithKline and $2.3 billion by Pfizer. She also represented an international whistleblower who received one of the largest awards under the SEC whistleblower program, more than $32 million. In 2022, Kelton had another record-setting year, including a combined reward of over $40 million, likely the largest SEC whistleblower awards made to international whistleblowers so far.
- Peter Chatfield‘s successful whistleblower cases include a qui tam case against HCA, one of the nation’s largest healthcare providers, which was the basis for a majority share of HCA’s $881 million settlement with the government. A case he brought against Adventist Health System on behalf of three whistleblowers that were the first to file settled for $118.7 million. Chatfield recently represented a whistleblower who helped the SEC stop a $550 million Ponzi scheme in Maryland – the largest ever in the state. Chatfield also represented the first whistleblower to report and help prosecute the fraud for off-label marketing practices of man-made opioids. In that case, Cephalon Inc. paid a total of $425 million to settle four qui tam lawsuits and a criminal charge.
- Colette Matzzie has represented whistleblowers in a number of significant qui tam lawsuits involving both recoveries for federal and state governments and protection of patients and consumers. That includes a groundbreaking case against electronic health records vendor eClinicalWorks, which settled for $155 million and was featured on the CBS show, Whistleblower. This past April, Matzzie won a settlement against Physician Partners of America who agreed to pay $24.5 million to the federal government and Florida to settle four whistleblower lawsuits for Medicaid billing fraud and kickbacks to doctors.
- Claire Sylvia is a nationally recognized authority in False Claims Act qui tam matters. Her book, The False Claims Act: Fraud Against The Government (West 2016 & Supplements), has been an important reference for judges and attorneys since it was first published in 2004. Among her recent successes is a first-of-its-kind federal and state False Claims Act case involving cybersecurity issues, which Cisco Systems paid $8.6 million to resolve. In 2021, Sylvia along with her partner Colette Matzzie represented the whistleblower in a qui tam case brought against military contractor AAR Corp, securing an $11 million settlement and a $2.16 million award for their client.
- Stephen Hasegawa’s successes include a case against Office Depot, which settled for $68.5 million, where more than 1,000 California cities, counties, school districts and other government entities were allegedly overcharged for office supplies. In 2020, Hasegawa secured a $22.8 million settlement from Linde GmbH and its North American subsidiary for allegations the multinational company evaded US customs duties on materials it bought and imported to build chemical and natural gas plants.
- Jeffrey Dickstein, a former Assistant US Attorney, brings more than 30 years of healthcare litigation experience to his work for whistleblowers in Medicare and Medicaid fraud cases. His successful cases include the $50 million settlement of a qui tam lawsuit against Wheeling Hospital in 2020 and a New Orleans university paying $12 million to settle its liability in a qui tam case that alleged certain institutions defrauded the Federal Emergency Management Agency by submitting fraudulent information to obtain disaster relief funds.
- Sean X. McKessy is the founding former Chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower. He now represents whistleblowers and is considered one of the top authorities on corporate and securities whistleblower law, often contributing sharp insight to news media coverage. In March 2022, McKessy won a $1.25 million award for his client from the SEC for information and assistance that led to a significant enforcement action involving a high-profile participant in the financial industry.
- Edward Arens has had success representing whistleblowers in a number of large-scale cases. In July 2021, Arens won $37.5 million for the federal government and the state of California to settle a whistleblower lawsuit that alleged the hospital chain Prime Healthcare and its founder paid kickbacks to a cardiologist, buying his practice and surgical center for more than they were worth.
- Amy Easton, a former DOJ senior trial counsel, Easton’s successes include representing a whistleblower against a West Virginia hospital for violating the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute, yielding a $50 million settlement. In another win, Easton secured a $12 million settlement from a New Orleans university for allegedly defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Agency for submitting fraudulent information to obtain disaster relief funds.
Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers” list celebrates lawyers who excel in representing plaintiffs in securities, antitrust and whistleblower claims, and complex financial litigation and data privacy invasions. Lawdragon employs a combination of editorial research, law firm submissions, and a nomination system to select attorneys for its rankings.
ABOUT PHILLIPS & COHEN
Phillips & Cohen is the most successful law firm representing whistleblowers, with recoveries from our cases totaling over $12.8 billion. We have been recognized for our work by numerous national awards. Our attorneys and cases have been in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and other news media. Three of our cases were featured in the CBS series, “Whistleblower.”