Orrick’s Employment Law & Litigation team today secured a complete defense verdict on behalf of client Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Securities after a weeklong trial in federal court in Connecticut. The jury rejected a claim raised against RBS for Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower retaliation, which is an issue that has posed a challenge in other recent trials against different financial services firms.
The trial centered on the plaintiff’s claims that he was fired for reporting concerns about the accounting methodology and valuation of certain complex life insurance-based assets RBS held after the financial crisis. He alleged that he was terminated after telling his managers RBS was overstating the assets’ value.
But the jury took less than three hours to deliberate before backing the defenses put on by an Orrick trial team led by partner Jill Rosenberg
. The defense focused on demonstrating to the jury that any communications that the plaintiff had about accounting treatment and valuation were part of an open discussion among many employees on how to best manage this asset and had nothing to do with unlawful conduct. RBS also showed that the discussions had nothing to do with the plaintiff’s termination.
In addition to Jill, the Orrick team included partner Renee Phillips
and senior associate Lisa Lupion