enronFifteen years ago this month, the once high-flying energy company Enron completed its massive collapse when it filed a petition for bankruptcy protection. In his interesting December 2, 2016 post on the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (here), Michael Peregrine of the McDermott, Will & Emery law firm takes a retrospective look at Enron’s downfall and suggests a number of different ways that those events have continuing relevance. As I discuss further below, there are, in addition to the considerations Peregrine notes, a number of other continuing legacies of Enron.
Continue Reading Enron’s Legacies, a Decade and a Half Later

SEC logoThe SEC has long made it clear that it intends to protect whistleblowers and to suppress activities it believes will have the effect of discouraging whistleblower activity. The agency recently launched enforcement actions against companies that had incorporated various waivers in employee severance agreements that discouraged employees from reporting possible securities law violations to the SEC. The agency’s actions shows that the agency is prepared to actively target corporate actions the agency believe may suppress the whistleblowing process.
Continue Reading The SEC Wants You to Know that It Intends to Protect Whistleblowers’ Rights

supct2014Since their 2002 enactment, the whistleblower protections in Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act have been presumed to apply only to employees of publicly traded companies. After all, the provisions are entitled “Protection for Employees of Publicly Traded Companies Who Provide Evidence of Fraud.” However, in its March 4, 2014 holding in Lawson v. FMR,

Whistleblower reports to the SEC continued to rise during the latest fiscal year, according to the agency’s annual Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program report to Congress. According to the November 15, 2013 report, a copy of which can be found here, there were 3,238 whistleblower reports to the SEC during the 2013 fiscal year, brining the

On October 30, 2013, the SEC announced  another whistleblower bounty award under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. Although the size of this latest award ($150,000) is relatively modest compared to the recent $14 million award (about which refer here), the most recent award does suggest that awards under the whistleblower program are gaining momentum.

Whistleblower information may be one of the SEC’s “most effective weapons in its new enforcement arsenal,” but the agency’s whistleblower program “faces challenges on many fronts,” according to an April 23, 2013 New York Times Dealbook article entitled “Hazy Future for Thriving S.E.C. Whistle-Blower Effort” (here). As evidence of the whistleblower program’s promise

With the implementation of potentially rich whistleblower bounties under the Dodd-Frank Act, there have been concerns that the incentives will  not only lead to increased numbers of reports and increased enforcement activity, but that the regulatory action will in turn generate follow-on civil litigation. A securities class action lawsuit filed this past week against Bank

On May 25, 2011, the SEC adopted the final rules implementing the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. The SEC declined to propose a rule that would have required whistleblowers to report first through internal corporate compliance programs. However, the SEC adopted changes that are intended to “incentivize whistleblowers to utilize their companies’ internal