June 6, 2023–Lawdragon magazine has named 11 Phillips & Cohen partners to its 2023 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 2023 list. This is the fifth year in a row ten partners have been honored by Lawdragon and the second honor for Edward Arens.
- John Phillips, a co-founder of Phillips & Cohen, is the 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 Lawdragonfor her work representing whistleblowers. Among her noteworthy cases is one against Quest Diagnostics which 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. 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. In 2023, Lawdragon magazine named Kelton a legal “legend.”
- 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. He 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. In 2023, Chatfield’s case against Labcorp settled for $2.1 million for alleged violations of the False Claims Act.
- Colette Matzzie has represented whistleblowers in a number of significant qui tam lawsuits involving recoveries for federal and state governments, protecting patients and consumers alike. That includes a groundbreaking case against electronic health records vendor eClinicalWorks, which settled for $155 million. In 2022, Matzzie secured a $45 million settlement against Modernizing Medicine for False Claims Act and kickback allegations.
- 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 since it was first published in 2004. Among her 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 2023, Sylvia represented the whistleblower in a case against UPMC, a teaching hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, that alleged improper billing for concurrent surgeries and that settled for $8.5 million.
- Stephen Hasegawa has had significant False Claims Act wins, including 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 millionsettlement from Linde GmbH and its North American subsidiary for allegations the 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 millionsettlement of a qui tam lawsuit against Wheeling Hospital in 2020. In 2023, he helped secure a $17 million settlement from a Tennessee eye surgery center for Anti-Kickback and False Claims Act allegations and a $8.5 million settlement in a whistleblower in a case against UPMC, a teaching hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, that alleged improper billing for concurrent surgeries.
- 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 November 2022, McKessy won a $20 million award for his client from the SEC for information and assistance that led to a significant enforcement action.
- Edward Arens has had success representing whistleblowers in a number of large-scale cases. In 2021, Arens won a $37.5 million settlement for the federal government and the state of California for a whistleblower lawsuit that alleged the hospital chain Prime Healthcare and its founder paid kickbacks to a cardiologist. In another huge win, Arens secured a $68.5 million settlement against Office Depot for allegedly overcharging California’s cities and schools for office supplies.
- 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 In another win, in 2023, Easton helped secure a $17 million settlement from a Tennessee eye surgery center for Anti-Kickback and False Claims Act allegations and $8.5 million settlement in a whistleblower in a case against UPMC, a teaching hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, that alleged improper billing for concurrent surgeries.
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.