Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto won the largest whistleblower reward in history.
Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto partners wrote the preeminent books on whistleblower law.
Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto has led the effort to write laws and rules to reward whistleblowers.
“Among the most experienced and skilled attorneys practicing in the specialty of whistleblower litigation" (Hobby v. Georgia Power)
Whistleblowers play an integral role in keeping our country’s institutions honest, ethical and safe. They need a place to go for aggressive, competent representation.
Whistleblowers perform a vital public service by having the courage to report fraud and misconduct. They assume great risk and need aggressive and highly skilled attorneys to ensure that their careers are protected and that they are fully eligible to obtain all the benefits to which they are entitled under law, including monetary rewards. Their cases can be grueling, the stakes are high and the opposition is never less than formidable.
At Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, we’ve earned our reputation as the premier advocate for whistleblowers by winning such decisions for nearly 30 years. The laws at play are complex, but the reasons for our success are not. In case after case, we’ve provided our clients with the legal expertise and grit to beat even the toughest foes in court. At Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, we realize that standing up for the public interest often demands personal courage. We also know that whatever your job, you don’t leave behind your rights and duties as a citizen when you step in the workplace door.
After three years of aggressively representing UBS bank whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld under the Internal Revenue Service’s whistleblower rewards law, the IRS awarded Birkenfeld $104 million dollars. The award was the largest award ever paid to an individual whistleblower in the twenty-five year history of U.S. whistleblower award laws.
Mr. Birkenfeld was the original source of the information that led to the groundbreaking legal settlement against Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, for its illegal off-shore tax business. His documentation resulted in a $780 million dollar fine against UBS bank in Switzerland, billions of dollars in recoveries from U.S. citizens who held illegal offshore accounts at UBS, and changes in tax treaties between the United States and Switzerland that forced Switzerland to turn over the names of Americans who held illegal secret accounts with UBS bank.
The partners at Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto have written the leading books on whistleblower law, and have led the development of the practice area of whistleblower law. Beginning in 1985 with the first legal treatise on whistleblowing, and continuing through 2013, we have published eight groundbreaking books covering the full range of whistleblower law.
The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself is the first consumer guide to whistleblowing. It covers nearly all federal and state laws, and contains the twenty one rules for whistleblowers. It is the most comprehensive and widely-read guidebook for whistleblowers as well as other attorneys. The third and most recent edition was published in March of 2013.
Our attorneys have played a leading role in shaping the federal laws that protect and reward whistleblowers. The partners at Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto worked pro bono with Congress to ensure that strong whistleblower protection provisions were included in major reform legislation including the Dodd-Frank Act, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act, the federal stimulus laws, and the Civil Rights Tax Relief Act. We are often called upon to testify in Congress to defend whistleblowers and advocate for effective legislation.
We provided pro bono legal services to submit significant comments to reshape the draft rule proposal to the Securities Exchange Commission for the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. Many of our comments were adopted by the SEC resulting in program rules much more favorable for whistleblowers than originally proposed. The proposal adopted by the Commission establishes the right of corporate compliance officials and directors to obtain rewards, permits employees under certain circumstances to obtain awards by contacting the SEC directly, and ensures that employees who “participated” in a fraud, but did not “plan and initiate” the fraud could obtain rewards.
KKC has advocated changes to the Internal Revenue Service whistleblower award program to oppose proposed rules that would restrict the ability of whistleblowers to obtain awards from the IRS Whistleblower Office. KKC’s comments and advocacy to improve the IRS Whistleblower program seek to restore the IRS whistleblower award law as it was intended by Congress so that whistleblowers are encouraged to report major tax frauds and illegal off-shore tax shelters exceeding $2 million.
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Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP 3233 P Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20007 Phone: 202-342-6980 / Fax: 202-342-6984 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org