Spotlight on Law Firm Acting for SEC Whistleblowers

In recent days, a high number of whistleblowers are coming out from all walks of life to make reports of securities violations without fear to the SEC. This is due to the recent Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that was enacted by Congress in 2010. The Act brought along a number of reforms and chief among them was the whistleblower program that offers financial incentives and job protection to individuals who make reports on violations of existing federal securities laws to the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission).



Law Firm Representing Whistleblowers



In a quick response to this new legislation, a law firm, Labaton Sucharow, was the first to establish an exclusive practice to represent the SEC Whistleblowers. The firm built on its market-leading platform on securities litigation by putting in place a top team of financial analysts, forensic accountants and investigators with experience in state and federal law enforcement. This was done with the aim of offering the whistleblowers an unparalleled representation. Jordan A. Thomas is the leader of the practice and he is highly experienced having been a former assistant Chief Litigation Counsel and Director at SEC’s Division of Enforcement. In his stint at SEC, he took a leadership role in developing the Whistleblower program through drafting of the proposed legislation and rules for final implementation.



Program Rules



Under the new whistleblower program, SEC is supposed to pay the eligible whistleblowers a 10 -30% of the total monetary sanctions realized from SEC enforcement actions that are successful. They are also eligible for pay if the sanctions realize amounts exceeding $1 million. There are instances where the whistleblowers get further awards when the threshold is met after sanctions by other law enforcement and regulatory organizations bear fruit. The Act prohibits employers from retaliating against the whistleblowers who make reports to the SEC as enshrined in the rules of the program. Whistleblowers are also given the opportunity to make the reports anonymously when they have a SEC whistleblower attorney representing them.



Contacting the SEC Whistleblower Program



Whistleblowers who may wish to contact the representation team or talk to a SEC whistleblower lawyer for a case evaluation can contact the team in a number of ways/methods. It is possible for them to reach them via email, electronic submissions on the website or telephone. All these initial consultations or case evaluations are usually confidential, free and fall within the attorney-client privilege. Individuals should however, not offer any personal information or those of the securities violators. International whistleblowers can be accorded translation services if required.