Cleveland Lawrence III


Cleveland Lawrence III is Of Counsel at M&S. He is an expert on False Claims Act, whistleblower, fraud, and compliance issues, and has been a thought leader in the qui tam community for more than a decade. From 2008 to 2016, Cleveland led the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (TAFEF) and its sister organization, Taxpayers Against Fraud – first as Director of Legal Education and later as Co-Executive Director. In those capacities, he regularly met with whistleblowers, federal and state government officials, private attorneys, and the public to combat fraud against federal and state funds. He also served as editor in-chief of TAFEF’s law journal, the False Claims Act & Qui Tam Quarterly Review, and managed annual national seminars on the IRS, SEC, and CFTC whistleblower programs. After leaving TAFEF, Cleveland returned to private practice and spent two years as the Whistleblower Director for the Sanford Heisler Sharp law firm.

Throughout his distinguished career, Cleveland has worked with the highest levels of all three branches of Government to shape whistleblower law and policy. He has partnered with high-ranking officials from the U.S. Department of Justice to coordinate the nation’s largest annual False Claims Act conference. In addition to arguing before federal district and circuit courts on behalf of his own whistleblower clients, Cleveland has authored and filed numerous amicus curiae briefs on behalf of TAFEF in federal and state courts across the country – including the United States Supreme Court. He has also testified before Congress and state legislatures regarding FCA and whistleblower-related legislation; prepared draft legislation; and authored multiple comment letters to federal agencies implementing Dodd-Frank and other whistleblower reward programs.


Cleveland is a respected voice on fraud and whistleblower issues and frequently speaks at conferences and other educational events; to compliance officers; to law students; and to the media. He received a B.A. from Georgetown University and he graduated, with honors, from The George Washington University Law School, where he was a member of the Public Contracts Law Journal.