Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of whistleblower complaints received by regulators has exploded on both sides of the Atlantic. That’s the subject of this new Cooley Alert, Whistleblower Complaints and Rewards Explode Worldwide, from our White Collar Defense and Investigations group.
On November 15, 2021, the SEC reported that it paid out more in whistleblower awards in fiscal 2021 than in all prior years combined since the whistleblower program began in 2011. The agency announced that it paid out approximately $564 million to 108 individuals based on over 12,200 whistleblower tips—an approximately 76% increase in tips from fiscal 2020. This comes after the agency reported a historic increase in the number of tips received in fiscal 2020, including 6,900 whistleblower tips, which was the most it had ever received in a single fiscal year until that time. The trend is similar in Europe, with two notable whistleblower protection charities (Protect and WhistleB) reporting an increase of up to 40% in the number of whistleblowing complaints in 2020-21 when compared to previous years. Check out the new Alert for more about these developments, including strategies and best practices.