Saul Ewing’s White Collar and Government Enforcement attorneys have been following Meng-Lin Liu v. Siemens, A.G since a district court judge ruled that the Anti-Retaliation Provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act did not apply extraterritorially. The plaintiff appealed to the Second Circuit, and the Securities and Exchange Commission filed an amicus brief on February 20, 2014 to address another issue in the case concerning whether Dodd-Frank and SEC regulations protect whistleblowers even if they report their concerns only to their employers, and not also to the SEC (see http://tinyurl.com/mk9u8po).
The Second Circuit issued its opinion on August 14, 2014, but did not address the SEC amicus issue. Instead, the court focused on the district court’s holding and affirmed: Dodd-Frank whistleblower protection provisions do not apply extraterritorially. (Meng-Lin Liu worked for a Chinese subsidiary of Siemens and reported to Siemens allegedly corrupt activity that took place in China, North Korea, and Hong Kong.) The ruling leaves open the question of whether employees must report concerns directly to the SEC to qualify under Dodd-Frank for protection from retaliation. The full decision can be found here (see http://tinyurl.com/kp5szes).