A pair of events being held in the United Kingdom will focus on whistleblowing in the country. In particular, the events will feature a leading whistleblower attorney’s insights into how U.K. whistleblowers can leverage the United States’ effective whistleblower laws to expose fraud and corruption occurring in the U.K.
On May 25, a combination in-person and virtual event will highlight whistleblower developments in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The event is entitled “Realising the Potential of Whistleblowers” and 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 leading whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto and Georgina Halford-Hall, the CEO of WhistleblowersUK. Alexandra Sidossis of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square will moderate the conversation which is scheduled for 2 pm BST or 9 am EST. The event is free and open to the public.
On May 26, Kohn will also be featured in conversation at the ACi Banking Investigators Forum. The in-person event features a wide range of programming specifically for the banking investigators community. Kohn will be featured in a “Fireside Chat” with the event organizer, in which he will cover the efficacy of U.S. whistleblower programs in rooting out banking fraud and corruption. He will also touch upon the motivations of bank employees who blow the whistle as well as on banks’ internal whistleblowing investigations. The event is open to banking professionals only.
“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.”
Over the past decade, whistleblowers from the U.K. have flocked to U.S. whistleblower programs in high numbers. From 2011 through the 2021 fiscal year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) received 5,044 whistleblower tips from individuals located outside the U.S. 699 of these tips came from the U.K., more than from any other country.
Whistleblower advocates suggest that these statistics are indicative of the U.K.’s failure to properly protect and incentivize corporate whistleblowers. The SEC’s U.K. counterpart, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has explicitly decided to not offer monetary awards to whistleblowers. Furthermore, the U.K.’s primary whistleblower protection law, the Public Interest Disclosure Act of 1998 (PIDA), is, according to whistleblower advocates, an outdated law which does not properly protect whistleblowers.
Given the shortcomings of the U.K.’s whistleblower system, whistleblower advocates say that it should not be surprising that so many U.K. whistleblowers make their disclosures to the SEC, which offers monetary awards and promises of anonymity.
Register for the events: