Labaton Sucharow, a leading plaintiffs-side securities litigation firm, has bulked up its U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission whistleblower practice, adding three new partners in Washington, D.C., and Chicago.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Labaton announced the arrival of former federal prosecutor Steven Durham and former SEC enforcement officials Timothy Warren and Robert Wilson. With the hires, Labaton will also open offices in Chicago—where Warren is based—and in D.C., where both Durham and Wilson will reside.
The chairman of Labaton’s SEC whistleblower practice, Jordan Thomas, said the addition of the three new partners will make his group one of the strongest in the nation. Thomas, who is based in New York, started Labaton’s SEC whistleblower practice in 2011 after spending time in the SEC’s enforcement division, where he helped lead the development of the agency’s whistleblower program.
“Our belief in the extraordinary potential of this revolutionary program led us to establish the first national whistleblower practice exclusively dedicated to SEC whistleblowers,” Thomas said. “By recruiting three former SEC and DOJ leaders, we are making a substantial investment that reflects our long-term confidence in the program and our commitment to being the leading SEC whistleblower practice in the world.”
Labaton’s whistleblower practice aims to guide people through the SEC’s program, which offers financial incentives to whistleblowers who voluntarily present original information to the SEC. If that information leads to a successful SEC enforcement action with more than $1 million in monetary sanctions, the whistleblower can receive between 10 percent and 30 percent of the SEC’s recovery.
The partner hires come at a time when the SEC’s whistleblower program—created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act—is in full swing. The agency has raked in more than $950 million from enforcement actions based on whistleblower tips. The SEC said earlier this month that the program has resulted in payouts totaling $154 million to 44 whistleblowers.
Both Warren and Wilson come to Labaton with decades of past experience in the SEC’s enforcement division.
Wilson joins Labaton from Pelican Partners, a legal and consulting firm he founded in 2014 after leaving the SEC. He had spent more than 20 years at the agency, holding leadership positions such as deputy assistant director and branch chief. Warren, meanwhile, joins the firm directly from the SEC, where he spent more than 30 years, including as acting regional director in Chicago and associate director of enforcement.
Durham joins Labaton after spending roughly five years as a senior in-house compliance counsel for Weatherford International Inc. Prior to that, he spent more than two decades at the U.S. Department of Justice, rising to chief of the public corruption and fraud section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C.
Durham described the move to Labaton as a “rare opportunity to wear the white hat in private practice and continue to fight the good fight.” He also said his time in law enforcement offered him a window into the value that whistleblowers can provide when trying to combat corporate wrongdoing.
“After many years prosecuting major fraud and securities cases with the help of cooperating witnesses and whistleblowers, I know the incredible value whistleblowers bring to law enforcement and the challenges they face while navigating this tricky terrain,” he said.
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