How to choose the best whistleblower lawyer

When seeking a whistleblower lawyer to help represent and file for rewards, you’ll want an experienced lawyer who has been in the trenches defending whistleblowers and writing the rules that help protect and reward them.

Most lawyers have general accolades, which can be misleading, as most of these achievements are easy to get and given out by independent promoters. It’s important to do your research and evaluate whistleblower lawyers based on numerous qualitative factors, including:

  • The type cases the lawyer or firm has won on behalf of their clients, including whether their whistleblower cases are more government or corporate related;
  • How involved the lawyer or firm is in pro bono efforts, including their involvement in public advocacy, petitions, rulemaking, and congressional hearings;
  • Whistleblower reward amounts, and the year in which those amounts were issued to whistleblowers – and check to see if the lawyer is still active after winning a big reward.
  • Publications written by attorneys, such as books and articles. You can review these to get an understanding of how they think, and their approach to whistleblower law.

Not all whistleblower lawyers are the same – some only represent clients for the rewards and have zero interest in pro bono efforts, such as understanding and advancing whistleblower protection laws. Whistleblowing is complex, so it’s critical to have a lawyer or firm who has a strong grasp on how whistleblower protection and reward laws work.

In the U.S., 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 their case, the attorney will generally obtain a fee of between 30-40%. Some laws provide for the defendant to pay statutory attorney’s fees when the whistleblower wins their case.

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