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“High court ruling threatens to mute internal whistle-blower efforts”

Phillips & Cohen partner Sean McKessy was quoted in a Financial Times’ Ignites article about the possible chilling effect of a recent US Supreme Court decision on potential whistleblowers:

The high court ruled last month in Digital Realty Trust v. Somers that employees who report issues to the SEC are protected from retaliation under the Dodd-Frank Act, but workers do not get those protections if they bring their concerns only to managers.

“I think asset managers are stuck,” says Sean McKessy, partner at Phillips & Cohen who served as head of the agency’s whistle-blower program between early 2011 and July of 2016. “They clearly want employees to report internally, but I don’t know how they get around the fact that the law of the land is your employees do that at their own peril.”

The decision also will “put gas on the fire” of the SEC’s already fast-growing whistle-blower program, says McKessy.

Read the full article on Ignites’ website (subscription required).

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