Ten Phillips & Cohen whistleblower attorneys recognized in elite 2020 Lawdragon list

Lawdragon magazine has named 10 Phillips & Cohen attorneys to its 2020 list of the “500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers” for their work representing whistleblowers.

Phillips & Cohen partners John Phillips, Mary Louise Cohen, Erika Kelton, Peter Chatfield, Colette Matzzie, Claire Sylvia, Stephen Hasegawa, Sean McKessy, Jeffrey Dickstein, Amy Easton are included in Lawdragon’s list. This is the second year in a row they have been honored by the recognition.

lawdragon 2020 honors phillips cohen attorneys

  • John Phillips, a co-founder of Phillips & Cohen, was a key architect of the modern-day False Claims Act, making it a powerful fraud-fighting tool. Mr. Phillips served as the US Ambassador to Italy from 2013 to 2017.
  • Mary Louise Cohen, the other co-founder of Phillips & Cohen, has earned praise as “the Queen of Qui Tam” for her work representing whistleblowers. Her noteworthy cases include one against Quest Diagnostics, that settled for $302 million – the largest amount paid by a medical lab company for a faulty product.
  • Erika Kelton has represented whistleblowers in record-setting cases, including 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.
  • Peter Chatfield‘s successful whistleblower cases include a qui tam case against HCA, the nation’s largest healthcare provider, which settled for $881 million, and a case against Adventist Health System, which settled for $118.7 million. An episode of the CBS program, Whistleblower, told the story of his whistleblower client and their case against pharma giant Cephalon that alleged off-label marketing of a fentanyl product and other prescription drugs.
  • Colette Matzzie has represented whistleblowers in a number of significant qui tam lawsuits, including the groundbreaking case against electronic health records vendor eClinicalWorks, which settled for $155 million and was featured on the CBS show, Whistleblower.
  • Claire Sylvia is a nationally recognized authority in qui tam discourse. Her book, The False Claims Act: Fraud Against The Government (West 2016), has been an important reference for judges and attorneys since its initial publication in 2004. She represented the whistleblower in a first-of-its-kind qui tam case alleging cybersecurity issues, which Cisco settled for $8.6 million.
  • Stephen Hasegawa was a lead attorney in a whistleblower case against Freedom Health, which settled for $32.5 million and was the largest settlement so far of a False Claims Act case against a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Sean McKessy is the former Chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower and now represents whistleblowers in securities fraud cases. He is considered one of the top authorities on corporate and securities whistleblower law.
  • Jeffrey Dickstein, a former Assistant US Attorney in Miami, Florida, represented, along with partner Amy Easton, whistleblowers in two significant cases: one alleged a hospital violated the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute ($50 million settlement); another alleged fraud involving Federal Emergency Management Agency funds ($12 million settlement).
  • Amy Easton, a former federal prosecutor, worked with Dickstein to secure settlements in separate qui tam cases against Wheeling Hospital ($50 million) and Xavier University of Louisiana ($12 million).

Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers” list highlights lawyers who specialize in representing plaintiffs in securities and other business litigation, antitrust and whistleblower claims. It uses a combination of editorial research, law firm submissions and online nominations to select attorneys to its rankings.

Lawdragon named Phillips to its “Hall of Fame” list last year. Five Phillips & Cohen partners were named to Lawdragon’s annual “500 Leading Lawyers in America” list earlier last year for their work representing whistleblowers: Mary Louise Cohen, Erika Kelton, Peter Chatfield, Colette Matzzie and Stephen Hasegawa.

Additional honors given to Phillips & Cohen attorneys in 2020 include Claire Sylvia’s recognition in Super Lawyers’ list of top attorneys practicing in Northern California. Best Lawyers named Erika Kelton, Mary Louise Cohen and Peter Chatfield to its 2021 Best Lawyers in America list.


Phillips & Cohen has represented whistleblowers for over 30 years and is the nation’s most successful law firm in that field, with more than $12.3 billion in civil settlements and criminal fines collected as a result of their whistleblower cases. Phillips & Cohen represents whistleblowers in qui tam lawsuits as well as cases brought under the whistleblower programs of the SEC, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Internal Revenue Service.  www.phillipsandcohen.com

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