Understanding Whistleblower Protocols for Companies: A 2014 Perspective
- The Age of the Whistleblower: The torrent of new legislation and regulations providing expansive protections for corporate whistleblowers continues unabated.
- The growing number of federal and state laws which provide whistleblower protections, and make it easier for employees to reap financial rewards,has resulted in a significant increase in both government investigations and lawsuits by employees.
- Update on key whistleblower laws and important legal trends, and address best practices for developing effective compliance and reporting programs to reduce the risk of whistleblower reports to regulators, as well as retaliation litigation.
Foley & Lardner LLP
- Be ready for internal investigations. Have a plan for an investigation that breaks down silos between HR, legal and compliance. Know in advance who is doing what in order to complete the review. Ultimately, a decision may need to be made about disclosing the situation to the SEC or other regulator.
- Consider the need to quickly gather electronic information from the whistleblower and his or her computer. The whistleblower improperly may have gathered confidential company information and provided it to the government.
- Conducting an internal investigations with a whistleblower who is still at the company requires a difficult balancing act. The SEC’s recent enforcement action in the Paradigm Capital case illustrates how hard it can be to investigate a whistleblower’s allegations and, at the same time, allow the whistleblower to continue employment under the status quo.
Alston & Bird
- Overview the expansion of whistleblower claims, including availability of cash bounties and other factors contributing to a rise in external reports, as well as allegations of retaliation
- Discuss initiatives intended to encourage internal reporting and strengthen compliance with the goal of reducing risk a whistleblower reports externally
- Update on evolving issues, including (i) the necessity to ensure that company policies and contracts don’t include nondisclosure terms that may be construed by the SEC or other agencies to deter external whistleblowing, and (ii) the growing number of whistleblowers who are company counsel.
Who Should Attend:
- In-House Counsel (Public & Private)
- General Counsel and Corporate Counsel
- Compliance Officers
- Senior Management
- HR Executives
- Members of boards of directors and audit committees
- And other Related/Interested Professionals
Bryan B. House is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP and a member of the firm’s Securities Enforcement & Litigation and Government Enforcement, Compliance & White Collar Defense Practices. He is the chair of the Milwaukee Litigation Department. Mr. House’s particular focus area is securities litigation, securities enforcement proceedings and whistleblower matters.
Mr. House’s securities litigation experience includes representation of public companies, investment banks and their directors and officers in class action litigation under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, including a recent matter in which the firm’s clients prevailed in a published opinion, Fulton County Employees Ret. Sys. v. MGIC Investment Corp., 675 F.3d 1047 (7th 2010). Mr. House also has represented public companies and their directors and officers in class actions challenging merger transactions and proxy disclosures. He also has represented public and private companies, audit committees, special committees, officers and directors in connection with internal investigations regarding a variety of state and federal securities law matters, as well as litigation brought by whistleblowers.
Mr. House has represented a variety of clients, including public companies, broker-dealers, underwriters, issuers, attorneys, auditors, and officers and directors, in enforcement matters before the SEC, the Department of Justice and self-regulators, including FINRA. These proceedings have included such diverse topics as accounting irregularities, audit failures, insider trading, market timing, options backdating, subprime failures and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Bryan B. House is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP and a member of the firm’s Securities Enforcement & …
Lisa Cassilly concentrates on the representation of management interests with a special emphasis on litigated matters. She has defended against all types of employment claims in administrative proceedings, arbitrations and in trial and appellate courts throughout the country. Lisa has extensive experience conducting internal investigations and audits, handling SOX and other whistleblower claims and prosecuting and defending actions involving claims for breach of restrictive covenants, employee piracy, breach of fiduciary duties and trade secret misappropriation.
Lisa is the immediate past chair of the Labor & Employment Group at Alston & Bird and has been repeatedly recognized as a leading employment lawyer by Best Lawyers and Chambers USA, which reports that, “she is a seasoned business person” and "one of the top performers in her field." Super Lawyers has ranked her as among the Top 50 Female Attorneys in Georgia in seven annual rankings. She regularly appears in Georgia Trend magazine’s Legal Elite listing. Lisa has been a featured guest on CNN, Fox News, Business Report, Forbes and Sky Radio Network. She has been quoted by BusinessWeek, CFO Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Workforce Magazine and the Atlanta Business Chronicle, and regularly provides comment to online and print publications.
Lisa Cassilly concentrates on the representation of management interests with a special emphasis on litigated matters. She has defended against …
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About Foley & Lardner LLP
With approximately 900 attorneys in 20 offices, Foley & Lardner LLP provides award-winning business and legal insight to clients across the country and around the world. Our team-based approach, innovative technology, and focus on value and client service are continually recognized by our clients and the legal industry. Foley has been recognized in a survey* of Fortune 1000 corporate counsel as an elite BTI Client Service 30 for 11 years — one of only seven law firms to hold this distinction for more than 10 years. In addition, Foley received 26 national first-tier rankings on the 2014 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list and was named to the InformationWeek 500 list for seven of the past eight years for technological innovation that enhances business value. Learn more at Foley.com.
*2014 BTI Client Service A-Team survey, The BTI Consulting Group, Wellesley, MA
About Alston & Bird
Alston & Bird is a leading national AmLaw 50 firm. The firm’s core practice areas are intellectual property, complex litigation, corporate and tax, with national industry focuses that include financial services, technology, health care, manufacturing, life sciences and energy. The firm has built a reputation as one of the country’s best employers, appearing on FORTUNE magazine’s ranking of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” 15 consecutive years, an unprecedented accomplishment among law firms in the United States. The firm has offices in Atlanta, Brussels, Charlotte, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Research Triangle, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.