Winston & Strawn attorneys Robb Adkins and Benjamin Kimberley authored the article “What 2014’s Government Enforcement Says For 2015,” published December 17, 2014, in the Daily Journal. The article outlines key developments in white collar criminal enforcement in 2014 and explains what these developments tell us about government enforcement and risk exposure in 2015.
Messrs. Adkins and Kimberley review developments regarding whistleblower protections, including Lawson v. FMR LLC, which extended whistleblower anti-retaliation protections of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to employee whistleblowers of private companies that contract with public companies. They also review Liu v. Siemens AG, which found that the anti-retaliation provisions of Dodd-Frank do not "regulate the relationships between foreign employers and their foreign employees working outside the United States." In addition, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it will seek to increase the monetary limit for whistleblower awards under the 1989 Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), which would likely increase whistleblower activity and FIRREA enforcement in the future.
In the anti-corruption arena, the past year saw continued activity surrounding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), particularly concerning the elusive definition of "instrumentalities" of "foreign officials," and the proliferation of certifications of corporate anti-corruption programs, reflecting a desire among companies for definable standards and expectations in this area. The article also discussed the change in leadership at the DOJ, with its three highest-ranking members announcing their departures, and the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s announcement that it is considering changes to the guidelines for calculating punishments for many white collar crimes.