Ten Phillips & Cohen whistleblower attorneys selected for “Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers” list

NEW YORK CITY, Aug. 18, 2021 – Lawdragon magazine has named 10 Phillips & Cohen partners to its 2021 list of the “500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers” for their outstanding record of achievements in representing whistleblowers.

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

  • 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.
  • Erika Kelton has an enormous record of success in representing whistleblowers in cases that have yielded unprecedented sums, 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, 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 settled for $118.7 million.
  • Colette Matzzie has represented whistleblowers in a number of significant qui tam lawsuits, with a number of them focused on electronic health record vendors. That includes a 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 matters. Her book, The False Claims Act: Fraud Against The Government (West 2016), has been an important reference for judges and attorneys since it was first published in 2004. Among her legal wins is a first-of-its-kind qui tam case alleging cybersecurity issues, which Cisco Systems paid $8.6 million to settle.
  • Stephen Hasegawa was a lead attorney in a qui tam 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. He also brought a whistleblower case that resulted in one of the largest settlements so far for alleged avoidance of customs duties.
  • 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.
  • Jeffrey Dickstein, a former Assistant US Attorney, and Amy Easton, a former DOJ senior trial counsel, together represented whistleblowers in two significant cases. One alleged a West Virginia hospital violated the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute, yielding a $50 million settlement. The second case alleged fraud involving Federal Emergency Management Agency funds with settlements so far totaling $12 million.

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 to its rankings.


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.”

Let us help you.
Get a free, confidential case review