The eighth session was an interesting discussion about whether international whistleblowing laws go far enough to protect and encourage the principled executive, and how they can best manage the potential legal, regulatory and reputational risks of blowing the whistle on wrongdoing in corporate and public life. Some of the key takeaways from the session included:
- In the UK/NI, if you do not overcome the strict hurdles embedded into the whistleblowing regime, you do not have any protection. Regulators can be slow to act/fail to guarantee anonymity.
- Costs/delays to bring a whistleblowing claim in the UK/NI should not be underestimated. Advisers should consider taking on one pro bono case a year.
- Advisers should help senior executive clients carefully consider the positives and negatives of making a protected disclosure/bringing a whistleblowing claim, noting the potentially significant financial and reputational implications of doing so versus a whistleblower’s moral imperative to do the right thing.
- The US is leading the way, with an array of sector-specific protections; a wide range of remedies; a broad anti-retaliation system; and bounty programme, which can result in damages of over $100 million.
- Employers should consider the potential reinstatement of whistleblowers.
- Recommended reads: “Catch and Kill” (Ronan Farrow) and “Crisis of Conscience” (Tom Mueller)
Thank you again to our expert panel of speakers for a superb session:
David Lowe, Managing Partner, Rudy Exelrod Zieff & Lowe (California, USA)
Paul Daniels, Partner, Keystone Law (UK)
Dr Chris Day, Emergency Medicine Doctor and Founder, 54000Doctors.org (UK)
Rosemary Connolly, Principal, Rosemary Connolly Solicitors (Northern Ireland)
Pia Sanchez, Senior Consultant, CM Murray LLP (UK) (Chair)
The second International Forum of Senior Executives and Founders (IFSEA) Conference on Risk, Reward and Reputation Management Issues for Senior Executives & Founders was held virtually from Tuesday, 2 February – Tuesday, 16 March 2021. This unique specialist conference ran as a series of virtual international expert panels and two networking events per week, bringing together over 65 leading global experts from 13 countries around the world to discuss issues commonly faced by international Senior Executives and Founders, particularly during these times of global crisis, disruption and opportunity.
View other sessions from the IFSEA 2021 Virtual Conference here.
Find out more about the International Forum of Senior Executive Advisers and become a member here.