People

Laura S. Wertheimer

Partner

Wertheimer, Laura S.

Laura Wertheimer is a partner in the firm's Securities Department, and a member of the Securities Litigation and Enforcement Practice Group. She joined the firm in 2003. Ms. Wertheimer represents public companies, audit committees, special committees, individual directors and officers, accountants and lawyers in civil and criminal securities law enforcement investigations by the SEC and DOJ, regulatory and criminal nonpublic inquiries by other agencies, including the OCC and FDIC, and cross-border regulatory proceedings. She conducts time-sensitive internal investigations of possible misconduct for clients and counsels clients on corporate governance and compliance issues.

Practice

Ms. Wertheimer has a proven record of handling complex, high stakes matters relating to the enforcement of the federal securities laws, corporate governance and corporate compliance, and of advising clients facing franchise-threatening crises.

She regularly conducts sensitive internal investigations on behalf of corporations, board audit committees, board special committees, and general counsels on a broad range of securities-related issues, including investigations of whistleblower claims by individuals and unions, insider trading, improper foreign payments, stock option backdating, accounting irregularities, financial reporting and disclosure issues, and breaches of fiduciary duty. She counsels clients on practical strategies to enhance existing compliance policies, programs and controls to avoid or reduce the threat of a regulatory crisis and mitigate existing liability risks. She advises clients on a spectrum of corporate governance matters, including composition and responsibilities of boards and their committees, D&O indemnification and insurance coverage, and governance policies and committee charters.

Honors & Awards

Ms. Wertheimer was selected by Washingtonian magazine as one of the top lawyers in Washington DC in the area of securities law in 2007, 2009 and 2011. She has been selected by her peers for inclusion in every edition of The Best Lawyers in America since 2002.

Publications & News

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July 14, 2014

Understanding the Global Reach of U.S. Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Protections

An article by William McLucas, Laura Wertheimer and Arian June, published in the July 2014 edition of Bloomberg BNA's World Securities Law Report, Vol. 20, No. 7.

April 16, 2014

Whistleblower Working Group Members Publish Series on Mitigating Risks under Dodd-Frank Act

Members of WilmerHale's Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Working Group recently published an article series in the January and April editions of Bloomberg BNA's Securities Regulation & Law Report.

April 14, 2014

Attorneys Caught in the Ethical Crosshairs: Secretkeepers as Bounty Hunters
Under the SEC Whistleblower Rules

An article by William McLucas, Laura Wertheimer and Arian June, published in the April 14, 2014 edition of Bloomberg BNA's Securities Regulation & Law Report, Vol. 46, No. 711.

January 27, 2014

Don’t Tread on Whistleblowers: Mitigating and Managing Retaliation Risks—Part II

An article by William McLucas, Laura Wertheimer and Arian June, published in the January 27, 2014 edition of Bloomberg BNA's Securities Regulation & Law Report, Vol. 46, No. 167.

January 13, 2014

Don’t Tread on Whistleblowers: Mitigating and Managing Retaliation Risks

An article by William McLucas, Laura Wertheimer and Arian June, published in the January 13, 2014 edition of Bloomberg BNA's Securities Regulation & Law Report, Vol. 46, No. 77.

July 22, 2013

Dispatches From the Whistleblower Front: Five Common Pitfalls For Companies to Avoid

An article by Partners William McLucas and Laura Wertheimer and Counsel Arian June, published in Bloomberg BNA's Securities Regulation & Law Report. Click here to view the article.  

May 13, 2013

Year Three of the SEC Whistleblower Program: Will It Turbocharge SEC Enforcement?

An article by William McLucas, Laura Wertheimer and Arian June, published in the May 13, 2013 edition of Bloomberg BNA's Securities Regulation & Law Report.

May 7, 2012

Preparing for the Deluge: How to Respond When Employees Speak Up and Report Possible Compliance Violations

An article by William McLucas, Laura Wertheimer and Arian June, published in Bloomberg BNA Securities Regulation & Law Report, Vol. 44, No. 922.

March 12, 2012

Get Ahead of the Bus or Be Hit by the Bus: Practical Strategies for Meeting the Challenges and Mitigating the Risks of the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program

An article by William McLucas, Laura Wertheimer and Arian June, published in Bloomberg BNA Securities Regulation & Law Report, Vol. 44, No. 526.

December 8, 2011

Washingtonian Magazine Names Eighteen WilmerHale Attorneys to "Best Lawyers" List

Recent Highlights

Several recent representative engagements include:

  • Counsel to audit committee of federally chartered thrift investigating potential disclosure and financial reporting errors and breach of fiduciary duty by senior officers;
  • Co-lead counsel for special board committee of Sunrise Senior Living investigating potential accounting improprieties, options backdating, expense recognition and insider trading;
  • Lead counsel for audit committee of major European time share operator investigating whistleblower claims alleging tax evasion, improper payments to government officials, and financial reporting irregularities; and
  • Co-lead counsel for audit committee of Nortel Networks investigating causes of multi-billion dollar restatement.

Professional Activities

Ms. Wertheimer has written for several publications and is a frequent speaker on topics involving management of corporate crises, internal investigations, corporate governance and responding to whistleblower complaints. She teaches professional responsibility and corporate governance as an adjunct professor at the Washington College of Law, American University.

She has served on the DC Bar Rules of Professional Responsibility Committee and District of Columbia District Court Committee on Grievances. She taught professional responsibility and corporate governance at the Washington College of Law at American University from 2002 through 2005.

Practices

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Education

JD, Columbia Law School, 1981, Editor, Columbia Law Review

BA, magna cum laude, Yale University, 1977, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia

New York

Clerkships

The Hon. Spottswood Robinson, US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit