Five Phillips & Cohen whistleblower attorneys named to Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Lawyers in America” for 2024

Washington, DC, January 22, 2024— Lawdragon has named five Phillips & Cohen partners –Peter Wilson ChatfieldStephen HasegawaErika KeltonColette Matzzie, and Sean McKessy —to its 2024 “500 Leading Lawyers in America” list.

Whistleblower attorneys Chatfield, Hasegawa, Kelton, Matzzie, and McKessy have had significant success representing whistleblowers, winning large settlements, and securing significant rewards for their whistleblower clients.

  • Mr. Chatfield has three decades of experience representing whistleblowers, including 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. Chatfield helped secure a $425 million settlement against Cephalon, Inc. for its off-label marketing of Fentanyl-based pain medications.  In 2023, Chatfield secured $2.1 million settlement with Laboratory Corporation of America (Labcorp) to resolve allegations the company violated the federal False Claims Act.
  • Mr. Hasegawa represents whistleblowers in qui tam cases involving numerous industries, including healthcare, defense, aerospace, financial service, and government procurement.  He secured a $75 million settlement against a subsidiary of Community Health Systems and three CHS hospitals. The qui tam lawsuit alleged the hospitals engaged in a scheme to improperly increase federal payments intended for indigent patient care. Hasegawa has experience in customs fraud cases, including a $22.8 million settlement with Linde GmbH in 2020 and a $300,000 settlement with KAP7 International in 2023.
  • Ms. Kelton is an internationally recognized whistleblower lawyer with more than three decades of experience representing whistleblowers.  Her cases have recovered billions, including securing 15 Dodd-Frank awards for her clients through the SEC and the CFTC whistleblower programs — more than any other lawyer. She won a record-setting settlement from GlaxoSmithKline for $3 billion, which was featured on the BBC’s show Portfolio.  In 2022, she secured a $40 million reward from the SEC for her whistleblower clients and in 2023, she secured a $1.9 million reward from the agency for her clients.
  • Ms. Matzzie’s whistleblower cases against healthcare companies and government contractors under the False Claims Act have secured hundreds of millions of dollars back to the United States Treasury. Her most recent work includes obtaining government intervention against five electronic health record companies, including a record-setting settlement against eClinicalWorks, alleging that it had falsely represented its compliance with federal requirements designed to ensure patient safety, and paid kickbacks in violation of federal law. That case settled for $155 million and was featured on the CBS series “Whistleblower.” In 2023, Matzzie secured a $31 million settlement with NextGen Healthcare to settle federal False Claims Act allegations.
  • Mr. McKessy represents clients under the SEC, CFTC, and other regulatory whistleblower programs. In 2022, McKessy secured a client a $20 million award from the SEC and helped secure a client a $9 million award in 2023. Prior to joining P&C, he served as the first Chief of the SEC Office of the Whistleblower and was the principal architect of the SEC whistleblower program. The SEC recovered more than $500 million in sanctions as a result of whistleblowers’ information and assistance during his tenure at the agency.

Phillips and Cohen’s attorneys represent whistleblowers under the False Claims Act (FCA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) whistleblower programs.

This is the 16th year in a row that Lawdragon has recognized Phillips & Cohen partners in its annual list of the “500 Leading Lawyers in America” for their successes representing whistleblowers.


Phillips & Cohen is the most successful law firm representing whistleblowers, with recoveries from our cases totaling over $13 billion. Phillips & Cohen’s roster includes former federal prosecutors, the first head of the SEC Office of the Whistleblower, the former director of the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office, a former deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the author of a leading treatise on the False Claims Act and attorneys with decades of experience representing whistleblowers. Contact us.


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