On March 8, 2017, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust Inc. that further widened a circuit split on the issue of whether the anti-retaliation provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act apply to whistleblowers who claim retaliation after reporting internally or instead only to those who report information to the SEC. Following the Second Circuit’s 2015 decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, the Ninth Circuit panel held that Dodd-Frank protections apply to internal whistleblowers. By contrast, the Fifth Circuit considered this issue in its 2013 decision in Asadi v. G.E. Energy (USA), LLC and found that the Dodd-Frank anti-retaliation provisions unambiguously protect only those whistleblowers who report directly to the SEC. READ MORE
Kevin Askew, a senior associate in Orrick’s Los Angeles office, is a member of the White Collar, Investigations, Securities Litigation & Compliance Group.
Kevin represents companies, officers and directors in connection with SEC investigations and enforcement actions, securities class actions, shareholder derivative suits and other complex commercial litigation matters. He has also represented clients in a broad range of matters involving antitrust, trade secrets, contract disputes and consumer class actions.
Kevin has also devoted a significant portion of his time to pro bono representations in immigration and asylum matters.
Kevin’s notable recent engagements include:
- Representation of the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of a telecommunications company in connection with an SEC enforcement action alleging misstatements related to revenue recognition.
- Representation of a municipal employee in connection with an SEC enforcement action alleging misstatements in municipal bond offering documents. Successfully argued motion to strike SEC’s request for more than $13 million in disgorgement from client.
- Representation of the former president of the nation’s largest mortgage lender in various securities lawsuits around the country.
- Representation of international trust entities and Singapore-based public company in action alleging alter ego and RICO liability.