National Whistleblower Authority Gregory Keating Re-Joins Choate

Choate Press Release

 | September 9, 2015

Choate today announced the return of Gregory Keating, a national authority in the area of whistleblowing and retaliation, to chair its Labor, Employment & Benefits Group.

“We are delighted to welcome Greg back to the firm,” said Choate Co-Managing Partner Charles Cheever. “His reputation as a leader representing companies on the firing line in whistleblower and retaliation cases is well-deserved.  The combined strength of Choate’s government investigation team and Greg’s years of experience makes us a premier firm to handle this kind of high-stakes work.”

Keating is currently serving his second two-year term as a management representative on the US Department of Labor’s Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee.  Originally nominated by US Senators Michael Enzi and Johnny Isakson in 2012, then-US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis appointed Keating to the WPAC in December of 2012.  In 2014, the current Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez re-appointed Keating to this high level post.  In the spring of 2014, Keating testified before the Health, Education, Labor and Pension subcommittee of the US Senate on the need for clear guidelines around the hallmarks of an effective compliance program.  He subsequently helped to draft such guidelines as part of the Best Practices Working Group established by the WPAC.  In April of 2015, the WPAC unanimously voted to send the recommended guidelines to the Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor, for consideration and potential dissemination.

Keating spent the last twelve years as a shareholder at Littler Mendelson.  He founded Littler’s Boston office in 2004 and held high-level positions at the Firm including two terms on Littler’s Board of Directors and co-chair of Littler’s Whistleblowing & Retaliation Practice Group which he started in 2009.  Keating’s highly regarded national treatise Whistleblowing and Retaliation will now be co-authored by Choate and Littler and published by LexisNexis; the Sixth Edition is scheduled for release in the spring of 2016.  In addition to collaborating on the book, Keating also anticipates working with Littler as local counsel on certain cases filed across the country and internationally.

Keating handles matters arising under the growing array of state and federal statutes which provide whistleblower protections, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, the False Claims Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Whistleblower litigation has spiked recently due in large part to the whistleblower provisions under Dodd-Frank and two recent multi-million dollar awards.  Stepped up government enforcement by the Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission and broad bipartisan support for increased whistleblower protections make this an area of law which will remain exceptionally active for years to come.

“Internal investigation capabilities are an essential element of any company’s response  when a complex whistleblower claim  puts it in the cross hairs of the government,” said Keating. “In recent years while at Littler, I have successfully teamed up with Choate on several high profile, national and international investigations.  With the significant increase in the government’s focus on the health care and financial sectors, there is a real need for the deep experience that our team offers.” 

“We specialize in executing targeted internal investigations quickly and comprehensively, enabling companies to make timely, informed decisions in response to whistleblower claims” said Jack Cinquegrana, Co-Chair of Choate’s Government Enforcement and Compliance Practice Group.  “Greg adds tremendous depth and experience to our group, rounding out our capabilities in a way few firms can match.”     

In addition to an active whistleblower defense practice, Keating represents clients on employment issues in the retail and healthcare industries, as well as in higher education.  His experience includes leading a team of attorneys in the defense of more than 20 wage and hour class and collective actions nationwide, including successfully defeating conditional class certification on numerous occasions.  Keating’s strong employment litigation skills include handling discrimination, harassment, non-competition and other post-employment restrictions, ERISA benefits and contract- and tort-based claims.

Before practicing law, Keating was a sixth grade teacher, and he continues his interest in and involvement with education by counseling and advising schools, currently representing numerous prominent private educational institutions in New England.

Keating, a 1993 graduate of Boston College Law School, serves on the Board of Advisors to the National Employment Law Institute, and is regularly honored among the nation’s top attorneys. His recognition includes being named among “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” by Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers.

Keating will speak on whistleblowing and retaliation developments at the National Law Institute’s Employment Law Conference in Washington, DC on November19 and will also attend the next Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee meeting in Washington, DC in early November.


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