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CONVERSATIONS

This section of the Corporate Crime Observatory focuses on showcasing a series of events that foster meaningful and insightful dialogues with distinguished international experts. Our objective through these interactions is to explore the depths of economic and corporate crime, seeking to unravel and understand the multifaceted and complex issues that lie at its core. This endeavor is designed to offer a thorough and nuanced comprehension of the various aspects that contribute to corporate and economic crime, thereby enhancing our collective knowledge in these fields. 

MASTER OF LAWS (LLM) SPECIAL GUEST SESSION: CONVERSATION WITH RUDOLF ELMER
Organizer: Dr. Costantino Grasso

Rudolf Elmer

Rudolph Elmer is an expert in off-shore accounting and banking secrecy. He is one of the most prominent whistleblowers in the context of financial matters. Rudolf Elmer’s experiences have shed light on the more opaque aspects of banking and finance, challenging institutions that appeared impervious to scrutiny. He has displayed remarkable courage in exposing the activities of Julius Baer, a Swiss private bank in the Cayman Islands, and its alleged involvement in tax abuse schemes. One of Rudolph's significant revelations was Julius Baer’s shadow banking activities consisting of the fact that, although the bank had declared its services to have been carried out in the Cayman Islands, in reality, the work had been conducted in Switzerland. This commitment to integrity came at a personal cost, as he faced harassment from the bank and legal prosecution from Swiss authorities for violating Swiss bank secrecy laws. Despite facing initial convictions, Rudolph Elmer was eventually acquitted by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in 2018. His remarkable story has been featured in two iconic documentaries, namely "A Leak in Paradise" by David Leloup and "Offshore - Elmer and the Swiss Bank Secrecy" by Werner Schweizer.

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On December 14, 2023, Dr. Costantino Grasso, who serves as an Associate Professor in Business and Law at Manchester Law School, organized this Special Guest Session, inviting Rudolf Elmer for an interactive conversation with his Master of Laws (LLM) post-graduate students as part of the Business Organization and Corporate Governance course. The special session aimed to provide a unique opportunity for students to engage with Rudolf Elmer and gain insights from his extensive experience. The discussion not only enriched their understanding of the technical aspects of offshore finance and whistleblowing but also served as an inspiration, shedding light on events that occur in nearly every professional career when individuals are compelled to take a stand or assume significant risks, either for themselves or their employers.

The Corporate Crime Observatory has had the privilege of publishing this inspiring and enlightening experience, sharing Rudolph Elmer's profound insights and firsthand experiences with our global audience.

The session covered the following topics:

•    Opening Remarks [link]
1.    Negotiations and Compensation [
link]
2.    Corporate Stalking Activities and Harassment [
link]
3.    Ethical Dilemmas and Professional Integrity within Corporate Realities [
link]
4.    Academic and Professional Support for Ethical Challenges [
link]
5.    Interaction with Swiss Authorities [
link]
6.    Criminalization and the Protection of Swiss Banking Secrecy [
link]
7.    The 2018 Swiss Supreme Court's Verdict [
link]
8.    Media Coverage and Impartiality [
link]
9.    Influence of Panama Papers and Other Leaks [
link]
10.    Personal Insights and Perspective on Whistleblowing [
link]
11.    Pre-employment Awareness of Potential Unethical or Illegal Practices [
link
12.    Corporations as Black Boxes [
link]
13.    Complexity of Corporate Structure and Accountability [
link]
14.    Accountability of Top Managers in Corporate Scandals [
link]
15.    Status and Duration of Legal Cases [
link]
16.    Applications to the European Court of Human Rights [
link]
17.    Guidance for Potential Whistleblowers [
link]
18.    Decision-Making Process and Motivations Behind Becoming a Whistleblower [
link
19.    Explaining the Prevalence of Unethical Behavior in Corporations [
link]
20.    Social Relationships and Friendships After Blowing the Whistle [
link]
21.    Maintaining Neutrality in Moral Stressful Situations [
link]
•    Conclusive Remarks [
link]

Reference Material and Sources

Please find below the material provided by expert Rudolf Elmer, which pertains to the topics discussed during the conversation. The Corporate Crime Observatory has not verified the origin or authenticity of the material supplied.

Assignment as Chief Operating Officer, Julius Baer and Rudolf Elmer, 1999.

Expatriate Agreement between Julius Baer and Rudolf Elmer, September 1, 1999.
Sam Jones, Cayman
directors sit on hundreds of boards, The Financial Times, November 20, 2011.
GRECO Reply to Rudolf Elmer, November 29, 2021.

Additional Material and Sources

You may also download the following document including additional specifications provided by Rudolf Elmer, which complement the conversation that took place on December 14, 2023:


Rudolf Elmer, Perspectives from a Whistleblower on Exposing Tax Abuses and Challenging Swiss Banking Secrecy, Corporate Crime Observatory, January 13, 2024. 

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Suggested Citation

BLUEBOOK: Rudolf Elmer, ‘Master of Laws (LLM) Special Guest Session: Conversation with Rudolf Elmer,’ CORPORATE CRIME OBSERVATORY, at [00:00] (Dec. 14, 2023), www.corporatecrime.co.uk/guest-sessions-and-interviews

APA: Elmer, R. (2023, Dec. 14). ‘Master of Laws (LLM) Special Guest Session: Conversation with Rudolf Elmer’. Corporate Crime Observatory. Video recording at [00:00]. Retrieved from www.corporatecrime.co.uk/guest-sessions-and-interviews
 

HARVARD: Elmer, R. (2023) ‘Master of Laws (LLM) Special Guest Session: Conversation with Rudolf Elmer’. Corporate Crime Observatory. Video recording at [00:00]. Available at: www.corporatecrime.co.uk/guest-sessions-and-interviews

OSCOLA:
Rudolf Elmer, ‘Master of Laws (LLM) Special Guest Session: Conversation with Rudolf Elmer’, (Corporate Crime Observatory, 14 December 2023), video recording at​ [00:00] <www.corporatecrime.co.uk/guest-sessions-and-interviews>

CONVERSATION WITH RUDOLF ELMER (December 14, 2023)
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