HomeLeading U.S. Whistleblower Attorney to Speak at U.K. Banking Investigators Forum

Leading U.S. Whistleblower Attorney to Speak at U.K. Banking Investigators Forum

Geoff Schweller

On May 26, the United Kingdom’s Association of Corporate Investigators (ACi) is hosting a Banking Investigators Forum. The in-person, invite-only event features a full day of programming specifically designed for banking investigators. Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto founding partner Stephen M. Kohn will speak at the event on the role of whistleblowing in effective banking compliance.

Whistleblowing is one of the seven main topics to be covered at the forum. Kohn will be featured in a “fireside chat” with Steve Young, the CEO of ACi. Kohn has represented whistleblowers for decades, including two highly notable banking whistleblowers. He represented Bradley Birkenfeld, the former UBS banker whose whistleblowing ended Swiss banking as it existed and netted himself a $104 million IRS whistleblower award. Kohn also currently represents Howard Wilkinson, the Danske Bank whistleblower who exposed a $234 billion money laundering scheme.

“Stephen has a unique insight into what motivates bank employees to blow the whistle and will give his thoughts on the banks’ internal whistleblowing investigations,” states the ACi Banking Investigators Forum’s agenda.

Kohn will also highlight the ways U.S. whistleblower laws can be leveraged to expose banking misconduct occurring in the U.K. and elsewhere. Unlike the U.K., the U.S. offers strong anti-retaliation protections and monetary awards to corporate whistleblowers. Individuals do not need to be located in the U.S. to qualify for protections and awards under U.S. whistleblower programs such as the SEC’s and CFTC’s. Given the transnational scope of finance, banking violations occurring in the U.K. are often under the jurisdiction of U.S. authorities.

Kohn will also speak on the role of U.S. whistleblower laws in curbing fraud and corruption in the U.K. at a free public event on May 25. The event, “Realising the Potential of Whistleblowers”, is cosponsored by the U.S.’s National Whistleblower Center and the U.K.’s 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square and WhistleblowersUK. It will feature a conversation between Kohn and Georgina Halford-Hall, the CEO of WhistleblowersUK.

“U.S. whistleblower laws can be applied to frauds committed in the U.K.,” said Kohn, who is also the Chairman of the Board of the National Whistleblower Center. “I’m looking forward to working with attorneys and NGOs in the U.K. interested in using these highly effective laws to fight corruption.”

Since the U.S. established the SEC and CFTC whistleblower programs in 2010, whistleblowers from the U.K. have made disclosures to U.S. authorities in increasingly high numbers. From 2011 to 2021, the SEC received 5,044 whistleblower tips from foreign nationals, and 699 were from the U.K., more than from any other country.

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