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A Milestone for Constantine Cannon’s Whistleblower Practice

Posted  February 24, 2020

Whistleblower practices have extremely long gestation periods.  When we started Constantine Cannon’s whistleblower practice eight years ago, we knew that strong whistleblower cases often take many years to come to fruition.  A burst of successful matters that recently have been acknowledged in the press marks the completion of our whistleblower practice’s startup phase.

Constantine Cannon Whistleblower Group Awarded 2019 Government Contracts Practice Group of the Year by Law360Last month, the widely read legal publication Law360 recognized Constantine Cannon as one of the Government Contracts Practice Groups of the Year for 2019.  We are honored to be the only whistleblower firm to have received that award.

Law360’s recognition reflects the dramatic expansion of the size and success of our whistleblower practice since its inception.  As Law360 notes, our firm “now has two dozen whistleblower attorneys spread across offices on both coasts, making it the largest such practice in the U.S.  It’s also the only one with an international presence, with a U.K. office as well.”  The article correctly concludes that this worldwide presence “gives Constantine Cannon the resources and expertise to take on important cases that other plaintiffs firms may not be able to.”  The scope and quality of our practice allows our firm to take on any case that has merit.

None of us were able to foresee such a vertiginous rise, which resulted from an enormous amount of hard work by an incredibly talented legal group.

In many ways, 2019 could rightfully be considered “The Year of the Whistleblower.”  Fraudulent misconduct received an unprecedented level of scrutiny in the media and, in many cases, by regulators as well. Whistleblowers rattled industries and politics with shattering revelations.  The world, including the legal community, took notice.

The Law360 article discusses a few of our more noteworthy cases of the past year, representing the breadth of our work.  From our first-of-its-kind cybersecurity matter against Cisco, to our record-shattering bid-rigging case against the largest oil companies in Korea, to our successful international customs fraud settlement against Pure Collection, we have expanded the types of fraud that can be exposed by well-placed whistleblowers.

In addition to these publicly disclosed cases, we have several others that will shortly be announced involving hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements that return badly needed funds to government agencies.  We look forward to announcing those settlements in the coming months.

The Law360 article also gives a nod to some of our public service-oriented cases.  These are cases that, while they are unlikely to result in substantial financial rewards, address matters of widespread public concern.

They include our representation of Tyler Shultz, the whistleblower who brought down the blood-testing scam at Theranos; Ed Pierson, the whistleblower who warned Boeing several months before the first of two tragic crashes against continuing to deliver 737 MAX aircraft produced under chaotic factory conditions; and Simon Edelman, a government-employed photographer who alleged collusion between Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and his longtime campaign contributor, coal magnate Robert Murray, to fashion rules designed to favor Murray’s coal power plants.

These are just the tip of our whistleblower portfolio.  We represent many dozens of whistleblowers whose cases are under seal and will never appear in the media.  Every day, we are introduced to new revelations of fraud and the whistleblowers who step forward to expose them.

Moreover, unlike many whistleblower firms, we also have the capacity and the willingness to litigate cases when appropriate, including massive and highly complex matters where hundreds of millions or billions of dollars are at stake.

These include ongoing litigation of perhaps the largest whistleblower case in history against United Healthcare, where the government’s complaint alleges single damages in the billions of dollars; litigation against a major pharmaceutical company for engaging in clinical trial fraud before the FDA; and multi-state litigation against several telecommunications giants for overcharging their public sector customers for telephone service.  All of these high-visibility cases are complex, resource-intensive, and expose the defendants to very large damage awards.

Finally, we are especially proud of our firm’s non-hierarchical structure, which improves our casework and has enabled our quick rise to success.  Distinctions among partners, associates, and staff carry far less importance than at most other firms.  Creative ideas come from all quarters, all members of our group contribute to the development of new matters, and all share in our financial success.  A premium is placed on non-competitive collaboration, assuring that clients get the best that our firm has to offer.

Now that we have completed the “start-up” phase of our practice, we look forward to further development of our work, including the extension of whistleblower protections and rewards into new industries and new countries.  We are well-positioned to advocate for such change and serve future whistleblower clients who will benefit from it.

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