During its 22nd Annual Conference, Taxpayers Against Fraud bestowed the Lawyers of the Year award to Greene LLP, a Boston-based firm, for their efforts in United States ex rel. Bawduniak v. Biogen Idec, Inc. which resulted in the largest recovery in a non-intervened False Claims Act case in history, as well the largest relator share award in history of the False Claims Act.
The award recognizes a member of Taxpayers Against Fraud who achieved outstanding results, overcome especially challenging circumstances, and/or brought change to an industry thought their incredible efforts in the last year.
Below are photos from the award ceremony and more information about the accomplishments of Greene LLP:
Greene LLP’s Accomplishments in the Biogen Case
Tom Greene and his team at Greene LLP fought a ten-year battle against pharmaceutical giant Biogen, and secured the largest recovery ever in a declined False Claims Act qui tam case. As reflected by the 29.6% relators’ share award by the government, Tom and his colleagues – Michael Tabb, Ryan P. Morrison, Tucker D. Greene, Simon Fischer, Eugenie Reich, and Kiel Green, along with their client, Michael Bawduniak – performed extraordinary work on behalf of the taxpayers. This case exposed an alleged kickback scheme and caused the defendant to write a check for nearly a $1 billion under the FCA.
Beyond dollars and cents, this is a case worth spotlighting, particularly during a time in which our opponents are attacking the FCA and questioning the benefit of declined qui tam actions. In this case, Tom, his firm, and his client pushed forward without the government to pursue kickback claims against Biogen for nearly a decade.
The relator alleged that Biogen paid hundreds of its customers to provide consulting advice on topics it either could not use, or for which Biogen had all the information it required. Additionally, Biogen also allegedly paid hundreds of healthcare professionals to speak when there was no demand for presentations on Biogen’s products and Biogen knew that its prospective speakers would likely never meet their minimum speaking requirements, and that Biogen knowingly compensated its speakers and consultants a rate significantly exceeding the fair market value for their services.
When the government declined to share any documentary evidence or interview notes with the relator post-declination, Tom and his team launched a Herculean discovery effort from scratch. Tom noted that “over the years, as we learned more and more and gained feedback from nationally renowned experts, we were confident that a jury would agree: the only reasonable explanation for this kind of activity by Biogen was its belief that the prescribers it paid would be more likely to prescribe their drugs.”
Tom and his firm litigated the case alone, reviewing millions of documents, conducting dozens of depositions, and preparing the case for trial. In the ensuring years, Tom led this exceptional legal team through 100+ motions, including multiple motions to dismiss.
The court docket of nearly 700 entries provides a masterclass on how to proceed in a declined False Claims Act qui tam action. Ultimately, Biogen decided not to go to trial against Tom and his team, and decided to settle the action hours from opening arguments. The team’s efforts resulted in terrific case law for future qui tams, hundreds of millions of dollars returned to the government, and the world put on notice that we can and will successfully proceed – with or without the government. TAF is honored to recognize Tom and his team at Greene LLP with the Lawyer of the Year award.
Award Nomination Process
The Lawyers of the Year Award and others are nominated by the general membership of TAF before the organization’s annual conference.
Once submitted, the TAF Conference & Member Education Committee deliberate and vote on award recipients.