US and Europe working together

US and Europe working together

A three-way alliance of legal firms is helping Europeans call out financial wrongdoing and benefit from US whistleblower laws.

New York-based Meissner & Associates is collaborating with Stuttgart/Berlin-based Naegele and London-based Brahams Dutt Badrick French (BDBF) to create the new transatlantic initiative, the “first of its kind”.

The plan is to help employees, suppliers and “other stakeholders” who identify financial misconduct in European operations bring lawsuits and advance enforcement actions by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Eligible clients could include anyone working with a European or multinational company whose securities trade on US exchanges as well as American companies that do business in Europe.

According to the trio, under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, individuals whose original information assists the SEC in bringing a successful enforcement proceeding are entitled to a bounty payment as high as 30% of any financial penalty of $1 million or more imposed on a company. To date, the SEC has granted more than $110 million in awards to whistleblowers in dozens of cases and has taken in more the $500 million in related fines.

Attorney Stuart Meissner says: “While the SEC’s bounty program has yielded a large harvest of payments in the US, most of those working for regulated companies in other countries have not taken advantage of the mechanism, even though most of the same rules apply for individuals working overseas, who have little or no protection for blowing the whistle.”

Under the new alliance, the Naegle and BDBF firms will advise clients on local legal issues stemming from their role as whistleblowers. Meissner will help clients with filing and pursuing cases with the SEC.