$104 MILLION REWARD
Our Whistleblower Attorneys Won The Largest Whistleblower Reward in World History
While at UBS, Bradley Birkenfeld was the first international banker to blow the whistle on illegal off-shore accounts held in Switzerland by U.S. Citizens.
About Our Firm
Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto’s successes made us the most respected whistleblower attorneys in the world.
Our whistleblower attorneys have fought the toughest international cases and have won the largest reward in history.
Stephen Kohn’s Latest Book
Know Your Rights! Read The New Whistleblower’s Handbook
It is absolutely essential for whistleblowers to know their rights. The New Whistleblower’s Handbook is the first-ever guide to whistleblowing, by the nation’s leading whistleblower attorneys. The Handbook is an easy to read step-by-step guide to the essential tools for successfully blowing the whistle, qualifying for financial rewards, and protecting yourself.
Your Whistleblower Rights
Whistleblower retaliation or “adverse action” against brave individuals who speak out to protect the public interest is prohibited. Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto fights for whistleblowers who suffer retaliation for reporting fraud, waste, misconduct and violations of laws.
The Whistleblower and Qui Tam Blog
The Whistleblower and Qui Tam Blog is an editorially independent news and information source, sponsored as a pro bono public service project by the whistleblower attorneys Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP. The blog highlights important news, legal developments and policy issues critical to whistleblowers and their advocates, both in the United States and throughout Europe, Asia, Africa Australia and South America.
We fought the toughest cases, received the largest rewards, and held the biggest fraudsters accountable on behalf of our clients.
“The only lawyer on my side was Steve Kohn. He was as smart as they come and feisty as a pit bull. Steve was convinced the government owed me a fat reward, and he was going to get it, or die trying.”
Latest Press & Media
Our thinking and expertise is often sought by the media. View the latest press and media featuring commentary from our partners and firm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Blowing the whistle is serious business. Your job, reputation, and career may be on the line. Your first priority should be to find a whistleblower lawyer. Not all whistleblower disclosures are lawful or protected. You need to know how to blow the whistle and protect yourself. Moreover, many whistleblower laws permit you to obtain a financial reward. It is essential that when you blow the whistle, you understand your rights.
The three founding partners of our firm have exclusively represented whistleblowers since 1984 (Stephen Kohn), 1985 (Michael Kohn) and 1988 (David Colapinto). Our managing partner, Mary Jane Wilmoth, joined the firm in 1993. The firm’s record on winning whistleblower cases is second to none. We obtained the largest award ever given to an individual whistleblower, won numerous reward and retaliation cases, and have worked with Congress and executive agencies in drafting the laws and rules governing whistleblowers. Our partners have written the most books published on whistleblower laws. In 1988 the firm’s partners helped to found the National Whistleblower Center, and they are highly committed to advocating pro bono for whistleblowers. They successfully established many of the whistleblower laws, regulation, and legal precedents that now benefit all whistleblowers.
In the United States, many whistleblower lawyers work for a “contingency” fee. If the whistleblower loses his or her case, the whistleblower does not have to pay the attorney any money. But if the whistleblower wins the case, their attorney will generally obtain a contingency fee of between 30-40%.
Additionally, many whistleblower laws have “statutory fee” provisions. Under these provisions, if the whistleblower wins, the company must pay all “reasonable” attorney fees incurred on behalf of the client.
Finally, although many whistleblowers have a “contingency fee” arrangement, many firms will charge a whistleblower an hourly fee. There are many reasons that firms charge such a rate. Having to pay an attorney a fee is not a good reason to reject retaining legal representation.
It is Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto’s general practice to represent whistleblowers on a contingency fee basis.
Outside of the United States, most attorneys charge their clients fees. However, the United States has a different pay-model based on a contingency fee (see above). Thus, international whistleblowers who retain attorneys in the United States often do not have to pay any up-front attorney fees.
Under the virtually universally followed general rule, if a whistleblower loses their case, he/she does not have to pay the attorney fees incurred by opposing counsel. This general rule is especially true in whistleblower cases litigated within the U.S. Department of Labor. In these cases, there are strict rules preventing companies from ever obtaining any fees or costs from whistleblowers who lose their cases. There are even limits on the number of sanctions given if a whistleblower files a frivolous lawsuit, in bad faith.
In federal court, whistleblowers do not have to pay fees to a corporation if they lose their case. However, if a lawsuit is frivolous and pursued in bad faith, the whistleblower may be liable for sanctions. A losing party in federal court is often liable to pay court costs, which are very small when compared with attorney fees.
It is nearly impossible for a whistleblower who files under the SEC and IRS reward laws to be liable for attorney fees from his or her employer. This situation is especially true if they maintain their confidentiality.
The whistleblower lawyers of the law firm of Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto all have over 30 years’ experience representing whistleblowers. If KKC agrees to represent you, one of our founding partners will manage your case. This hands-on approach by KKC partners makes it very difficult for the law firm to represent all of the whistleblowers who contact our firm. A founding partner does review every intake form received through the contact us form on our website.
It is often difficult to find a whistleblower lawyer and obtain qualified counsel. Many whistleblowers still proceed pro se (i.e., represent themselves), often because they cannot afford or locate an attorney.
We strongly recommend that whistleblowers seeking representation carefully read The New Whistleblower’s Handbook. This book sets forth the essential elements of all modern whistleblower laws. You must understand how these laws work, so you are in the best position to “sell” your case to a prospective attorney.