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Labaton Sucharow Significantly Expands SEC Whistleblower Practice: Three Former SEC and DOJ Officials Join Market-Leading Team

  • May 23, 2017

Substantial Investment Reflects Long-Term Confidence in the SEC Program

NEW YORK (May 23, 2017) – Labaton Sucharow LLP announced today that Timothy L. Warren and Robert G. Wilson, former officials in the Enforcement Division of the SEC and Steven J. Durham, former Chief of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington D.C., have joined the Firm’s Whistleblower Representation Practice. With the addition of these partners, the practice boasts more bench strength in federal securities enforcement than any other SEC whistleblower practice in the world.

“Our belief in the extraordinary potential of this revolutionary program led us to establish the first national whistleblower practice exclusively dedicated to SEC whistleblowers,” said Jordan A. Thomas, Chair of Labaton Sucharow’s Whistleblower Practice, who served as a principal architect of the SEC Whistleblower Program during his tenure at the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “The program is no longer a promising start-up, but a time-tested law enforcement tool that is having a significant impact on investor protection and the integrity of the financial markets. By recruiting three former SEC and DOJ leaders, we are making a substantial investment that reflects our long-term confidence in the program and our commitment to being the leading SEC whistleblower practice in the world.”

The SEC Whistleblower Program has broad international reach and offers eligible whistleblowers robust employment protections, the ability to report anonymously and the opportunity to earn substantial monetary awards—regardless of citizenship. To pay awards, Congress has established a replenishing Investor Protection Fund, which has a current balance in excess of $350 million. Since the program’s inception in 2011, the agency has awarded approximately $154 million to 44 whistleblowers.

“As a former SEC insider, I have seen first-hand the revolutionary impact whistleblowers have on the national enforcement program. Often, they know where the bodies are buried and have the evidence to prove it,” said Warren. “In this new role, I look forward to continuing to police the financial markets and protect courageous whistleblowers.”

A recognized leader in the field, the Firm’s whistleblower submissions have led to over $1 billion in recoveries for the Commission, including a $307 million action against JP Morgan and a $415 million action against Merrill Lynch, the largest SEC enforcement action in 2016. In addition to multimillion dollar whistleblower awards, the groundbreaking practice represented the first officer of a public company to win an award, the first SEC whistleblower to receive criminal immunity, and the first SEC whistleblower to receive an award because of retaliation.

“After many years prosecuting major fraud and securities cases with the help of cooperating witnesses and whistleblowers, I know the incredible value whistleblowers bring to law enforcement and the challenges they face while navigating this tricky terrain,” said Durham. “For me, this is a rare opportunity to wear the white hat in private practice and continue to fight the good fight, as I did for more than two decades at the Department of Justice.”

“Whistleblowers are absolutely critical to the new SEC enforcement model. They provide the Commission with early and invaluable assistance in identifying the scope, participants, victims, and ill-gotten gains associated with fraudulent schemes,” said Wilson. “Now, my job is to ensure that our whistleblower clients are successful and don’t regret blowing the whistle.”

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