Michael A. SullivanPartner
Michael A. Sullivan is a former federal prosecutor who has more than thirty years of experience in sophisticated civil and criminal litigation. He represents whistleblowers in qui tam litigation under the False Claims Act, in the SEC Whistleblower and CFTC Whistleblower Programs, and in the IRS Whistleblower Program. He also advises clients inside and outside the United States on compliance with U.S. laws, and he serves as General Counsel to the Volkswagen AG Monitorship.
Mr. Sullivan has worked with the False Claims Act since the late 1980s and has both defended and prosecuted cases under the False Claims Act. Mr. Sullivan helped draft Georgia’s two False Claims Act statutes, the 2007 “State False Medicaid Claims Act,” and the 2012 “Georgia Taxpayer Protection False Claims Act.” Since the December 2006 beginning of the new IRS Whistleblower Program, Mr. Sullivan has also represented IRS whistleblowers in submissions totaling billions of dollars. He has also worked with the IRS Whistleblower Office staff in presenting programs on best practices in pursuing IRS Whistleblower claims.
In 2009 and again in 2010, Mr. Sullivan was contacted and consulted by staff members of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee to discuss how the whistleblower provisions of the new "Dodd-Frank" law should be written, and how the new SEC and CFTC Whistleblower Programs should operate. In 2011, he met with the SEC and CFTC Chairmen and senior staff to recommend changes to the proposed rules for SEC and CFTC Whistleblower claims. Since then, he has also represented clients in the SEC Whistleblower and CFTC Whistleblower Programs.
Mr. Sullivan represented Relators in two of the most significant health care fraud qui tam recoveries in recent years: (1) the $465 million settlement by Mylan, Inc. in 2017 for erroneously classifying its patented, brand name drug EpiPen as a generic drug to avoid its obligation to pay higher Medicaid rebates; and (2) the groundbreaking case that authorized use of statistical sampling to prove elements of FCA liability and damages, United States ex rel. Glenda Martin v. Life Care Centers of America, Inc. (E.D. TN), which in 2016 produced the largest health care fraud settlement in history against a skilled nursing facility chain. He also created and chairs the annual “Whistleblower Law Symposium,” a national program to educate lawyers on developments in the False Claims Act, the SEC Whistleblower and CFTC Whistleblower Programs, and the IRS Whistleblower Program.
Mr. Sullivan also currently serves on the Senior Leadership Team of the Volkswagen AG Monitorship, as counsel to Larry D. Thompson in Mr. Thompson’s role as the Independent Compliance Monitor and Auditor of Volkswagen AG, and as counsel to the VW Monitor Team. Mr. Sullivan’s responsibilities include coordinating with counsel across the globe to advise on legal requirements of countries in Europe, Asia, North America, and South America.
Over his career, Mr. Sullivan also has represented large businesses and individuals in complex cases, many involving fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty. In 2014, Mr. Sullivan served as lead counsel to a major international corporation and won an eight-figure jury verdict against defendants who had defrauded the company and breached their fiduciary duties to it.
His trial experience over three decades also has included other complex civil cases, serious personal injury and death cases, and white collar criminal cases. From 1995-98, Mr. Sullivan served under Larry D. Thompson as a federal prosecutor in the Independent Counsel investigation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which included the prosecution of former Secretary of the Interior James Watt. His experience also includes representing clients in white collar criminal investigations and prosecutions, including financial fraud and tax investigations.
Mr. Sullivan has also conducted internal investigations for organizations, and has advised organizations on compliance issues.
Mr. Sullivan has long held the highest rating (AV) for legal ability and ethical standards from Martindale-Hubbell, and has been selected as a “Super Lawyer” each year from 2006 to present.
Mr. Sullivan is a 1984 graduate of Vanderbilt Law School, where he was Senior Articles Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review and was selected to Order of the Coif. He clerked for U.S. District Judge Marvin H. Shoob in Atlanta from 1984-86. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina.
He has been a speaker abroad and across the United States at programs on whistleblower laws and compliance issues. He is also active in various legal and community organizations.
J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School, 1984
Senior Articles Editor, Vanderbilt Law Review.
Order of the Coif.
A.B., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Various Federal Courts