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"It's all in the footnotes: A field guide to SEC whistleblower awards" (Part 1 of 5) by Christopher F. Regan, Matthew E. Newman, and Ian J. Acker (Business Law Today)

Business Law Today

Christopher F. Regan
  • With record-breaking SEC whistleblower awards and the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Digital Realty Trust decision, whistleblowers now have clear incentives to report suspected securities law violations to the SEC.
  • But who qualifies for SEC whistleblower awards? What procedural rights and responsibilities do they have? When does the SEC make exceptions, and how does the SEC calculate and allocate awards?
  • The answers to these questions are found in the more than 350 footnotes in 120 SEC whistleblower orders, where the SEC provides the clearest guidance, applies the facts to the rules, and signals how it will approach novel issues in future cases.

More than seven years since the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower incentive provisions became effective, and more than five years since the first SEC whistleblower program award, only a few courts have put the program under a microscope. In the absence of meaningful case law and in light of the SEC’s practice to heavily redact orders granting and denying awards, how do we know what makes the program really tick? The short answer: it’s all in the footnotes.

In this first-of-a-kind article, we tie together more than 350 footnotes in 120 SEC whistleblower orders so that you can get easy answers to the aforementioned questions. Part One of this five-part series will examine the first question -- Who qualifies for an SEC whistleblower award?

Click here to read Part 1 of the article.

Click here to read the full article.

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