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“SEC Redefines Blockbuster With $114M Whistleblower Award”

For Law360, Phillips & Cohen partner Sean McKessy places the SEC’s record-breaking $114 million whistleblower award in the context of recently adopted SEC rule changes.

The bounty came just weeks after the SEC approved changes to its rules for deciding whistleblower award sizes, which represent an undisclosed percentage of enforcement penalties. Last month, the agency cemented its authority to use discretion in deciding those amounts, overruling the objections of Democratic commissioners who feared the change could reduce payouts in blockbuster cases.

The timing of both the rule change and award was not lost on Sean X. McKessy, the architect of the whistleblower program and first chief of the SEC Whistleblower Office, who is now a partner at Phillips & Cohen LLP.

“It almost seems preemptive,” he told Law360 on Thursday. “They knew this huge award was coming, and they wanted to preemptively address this question of how much is too much by finalizing these rules that say, ‘We will decide within the existing guardrails.'”

Read the entire article, ” SEC redefines blockbuster with $114M whistleblower award,” on Law360’s website (subscription required).

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