Debevoise & Plimpton

SDNY holds that anti-retaliation provision of Dodd-Frank does not apply extraterritorially

On 21 October 2013, the Southern District of New York (SDNY) weighed in on the scope and applicability of the anti-retaliation provision of the whistleblower protections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, holding that the provision does not apply to protect whistleblower conduct outside the US.

In Liu v Siemens A.G, No. 13-317, 2013 WL 5692504 (SDNY Oct. 21, 2013), judge William Pauley applied the presumption against extraterritoriality articulated by the Supreme Court in Morrison v Nat’l Austl. Bank Ltd, to hold that nothing in the plain language of Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision suggests that it should apply extraterritorially and, accordingly, the provision does not extend to protect ‘overseas whistleblowers’.

In Liu v Siemens, the court considered whether the anti-retaliation provision of Dodd-Frank applied extraterritorially to cover a Taiwanese resident bringing a claim against a German corporation for its Chinese subsidiary’s allegedly corrupt actions in China and North Korea. The plaintiff alleged that he was terminated in retaliation for reporting a potential violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)…

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