WASHINGTON, DC – Erika A. Kelton, a partner with Phillips & Cohen LLP, has been named “Whistleblower Lawyer of the Year” for 2012 by a national organization of whistleblowers and whistleblower attorneys.
Taxpayers against Fraud (TAF) selected Kelton as “Whistleblower Lawyer of the Year” for her work representing whistleblowers in an “off-label” marketing, “qui tam” case against GlaxoSmithKline, which was a substantial part of Glaxo’s record-setting $3 billion settlement with the government in July.
TAF noted that Kelton has had major pieces of the nation’s two largest healthcare fraud settlements. In addition to the Glaxo case, Kelton represented the whistleblower who exposed Pfizer Inc.’s off-label marketing of the prescription painkiller, Bextra. Pfizer paid $1.8 billion to settle civil and criminal charges resulting from the qui tam case Kelton brought against Pfizer. Kelton’s case was the biggest piece of Pfizer’s $2.3 billion settlement with the government in 2009, which was the largest healthcare fraud settlement at the time.
TAF also recognized Kelton’s work on behalf of whistleblowers to help create and set up the whistleblower reward programs at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Internal Revenue Service.
At the TAF awards ceremony last week, Kelton said representing whistleblowers “is one of the most honorable practices in law, so it means a great deal to me to be given this award.”
She praised her whistleblower clients, Thomas Gerahty and Matthew Burke, for their courage in pursuing a qui tam (whistleblower) case against Glaxo.
“Tom and Matt both went through their personal challenges,” she said. “But at every step of this case, they were always willing, always ready to contribute, and they always had something incredibly helpful to contribute.”
TAF also announced last week the recipients of its “Integrity in Government” award for 2012, also known as the “Honest Abe” award. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York each received the award in recognition of their work fighting fraud and their support of whistleblowers.
For more information about Phillips & Cohen’s record, see P&C’s Successful Whistleblower Cases.