FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Colette G. Matzzie

Phillips & Cohen LLP

Washington, DC, USA


Colette G. Matzzie is a partner with Phillips & Cohen LLP, which has the longest-standing and most successful “qui tam” practice in the nation. Whistleblower cases brought by the firm have helped governments recover more than $11 billion in civil settlements and criminal fines.

Ms. Matzzie was named one of the "500 Leading Lawyers in America" by Lawdragon magazine in each of its annual lists for the past four years for her work representing whistleblowers. Her more recent qui tam cases include settlements with:

  • Verizon Communications – alleged billing fraud. ($96.5 million settlement.)
  • Pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim – alleged “off-label” marketing and kickbacks. ($95 million.)
  • Two major food services companies – Sodexo ($20 million) and Chartwells ($19.4 million) – for allegedly ripping off school food programs.
  • American Systems Corp., Anixter International Inc. and Corning Cable systems – alleged bribes and kickbacks in bidding on a CIA contract. ($3 million.)

An experienced appellate litigator, Ms. Matzzie has played a lead role in litigation of whistleblower cases, arguing cases in federal district court as well as in the federal Court of Appeals. She is a member of Taxpayers Against Fraud’s Amicus Committee, assisting on TAF briefs on False Claims Act issues. She also assists counsel for other whistleblowers with cases in the federal Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Prior to joining Phillips & Cohen, Ms. Matzzie served on the Civil Appellate staff of the U.S. Department of Justice for five years. She was a trial attorney on DOJ’s Tobacco Litigation team and received a special commendation for her work. From 1995 to 1999, Ms. Matzzie was a staff attorney with Public Citizen Litigation Group where she litigated cases concerning public health and safety, access to information, consumer protection, separation of powers and access to the civil justice system.

Ms. Matzzie graduated magna cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1994. After graduating, she clerked for the Honorable Dolores K. Sloviter, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She is the 1995 recipient of the Frederick B. Abramson Public Service Award.

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