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UK Regulator Cancels Proposed Secondary Annuities Market

The UK Government announced that it would not be taking forward its plans to create a secondary market for consumers to sell their annuity income..…more

Focus: Public Officials - The reform of proceedings before the Court of Auditors - The new Code of Accounting Justice

On 7 October 2016, Legislative Decree 174 of 26 August 2016 entered into force laying down the "Code of Accounting Justice, adopted pursuant to Art. 20 of Law 124 of 7 August 2015". This piece of legislation has re-organised and…more

FanDuel, DraftKings Settle Fantasy Sports Lawsuit with New York AG

This week, the office of the New York Attorney General (the “AG”) announced that it had reached a settlement with both FanDuel and DraftKings, resolving the State’s deceptive marketing practices lawsuit. We had previously blogged…more

Commercial Insurers Urge Congressional Budget Office to Consider their Telemedicine Data

In hopes of expanding reimbursement opportunities for telemedicine services in the Medicare program, representatives of eleven payers, including Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Cambia Health Solutions and Humana…more

2017 Cost of Living Adjustments for Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced its cost-of-living adjustments applicable to dollar limitations for retirement plans and Social Security generally effective for Tax Year 2017 (see IR-2016-141). Most notably, the…more

Three Workplace Trends that will Impact your Bottom Line in 2017

Employers in the food and beverage industry face countless and ever increasing regulatory challenges, including food safety and handling, labeling, distribution requirements, and on and on. Regulatory compliance often has an immediate…more

NAIC Life Actuarial (A) Task Force Approves Revisions to Actuarial Guideline 49 for Exposure and Comment

On October 20, the NAIC Life Actuarial (A) Task Force (LATF) of the Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee met and approved proposed revisions to Actuarial Guideline 49 (AG 49) for exposure and comment. If adopted, the proposed…more

The Defend Trade Secrets Act: A Powerful New Tool for Employers

Trade secrets provide significant value for American companies. Take, for example, the formula for Coca-Cola. The exact formula for the popular softdrink is a closely guarded secret, and Coca-Cola’s exclusive ability to make its…more

Benefit and Contribution Limits for 2017

The Commissioner of Internal Revenue announced the 2017 dollar limitations for benefits and contributions that apply to retirement and cafeteria plans. Some limits have increased while others remained the same. The Social Security…more

Conflict Avoidance and Conflict Resolution Mistakes that Ruin Workplace Culture Part I

I dedicate a fair portion of my professional life to resolving workplace conflict. While I enjoy helping companies once a crisis has occurred, my preference is to help companies avoid crises in the first place…more

New Questions Raised by Judge Rakoff: Misuse of the ® Symbol and Literal Falsity Examined

Judge Rakoff is back at it in Classic Liquor Importers, Ltd. v. Spirits International, B.V. We previously blogged about the dangers inherent in sending a cease and desist letter without the concurrent appetite for litigation, a post…more

UK ICO recommends personal liability of directors for breaches of data protection law

At a recent Parliamentary meeting to discuss the draft Digital Economy Bill, the UK Information Commissioner recommended imposing personal liability and accountability upon company directors. If such liability is imposed, it will mark…more

Inventions Out Of This World: Patent Protection In Outer Space

Outer space exploration has been expanding.  For instance, since 1998, the International Space Station has served as a platform for scientific research and discoveries in space within modules that are operated by the space agencies of…more

Just Released Proposed Cyber Risk-Management Update for the Financial Sector

On October 19, US banking agencies released an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) seeking comments on enhanced cybersecurity standards. These standards potentially would apply to ..US bank holding companies and savings…more

"FINRA Pay-to-Play Rule Effective August 20, 2017"

On October 24, 2016, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced in Regulatory Notice 16-40 that its pay-to-play and related recordkeeping rules, FINRA Rules 2030 and 4580, will take effect on August 20, 2017…more

2017 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Increases, 2017 Social Security Taxable Wage Base 2

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the cost-of-living adjustments for the various qualified retirement plan limits. Some of the limits shown below remain unchanged from last year, but others have increased…more

DOL Issues First Guidance on Fiduciary Rule

On October 27, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued initial guidance on its new fiduciary rules, which are scheduled to become effective on April 10, 2017. The guidance was issued in the form of FAQs and is expected to be…more

Federal Circuit Distinguishes its Recent McRO Decision

Less than a month after reversing the lower court’s determination of invalidity in McRO, Inc. v. Bandai Namco Games America, Inc., the Federal Circuit has now upheld the invalidity of claims in FairWarning IP, LLC v. Iatric Systems…more

The Saga Ends With Ex-Tax Court Judge Pleading Guilty to Cheating on Her Taxes

As previously reported, former U.S. Tax Court judge Diane L. Kroupa and her now estranged husband, Robert E. Fackler, were indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, tax evasion, making and subscribing a false tax…more

What happens to federal set-aside contracts when the owner of the government contractor passes away?

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) have multiple programs where federal contracts can be “set-aside” for companies owned by certain classifications of persons. But what happens to those…more

Au revoir bailiff notifications for the assignment of receivables

Starting on October 1st , 2016 the French law on receivable acquisition has changed to become simpler. Before, a formal bailiff’s notification was required in order to render a receivable acquisition enforceable towards the debtor of…more

Ninety-Nine Problems but a Breach Ain’t One: Cybersecurity Lessons for Insurers

In the movie WallStreet , the character Gordon Gekko famously states that information is the most valuable commodity he knows. These days, the same could be said of data, which can now be bought, sold, and, increasingly, stolen. In…more

Countries at a Glance: United Kingdom - Employee Stock Purchase Plans

EMPLOYEE STOCK PURCHASE PLANS - EMPLOYEE STOCK PURCHASE PLANS: EMPLOYMENT - Labor Concerns - Appropriate language should be included in enrolment forms stating that the employee has no rights to compensation for loss of…more

House and Senate Pass HB-1196 – More Than Just a Fix-It Bill to Act 39

Late last night, the House and Senate passed 1196, touted as a fix-it bill to Act 39 which was the largest single piece of Liquor Code reform since Prohibition. As I have detailed in many releases, Act 39 provided many new…more

CMS Finalizes Changes to the Future of Physician Reimbursement with the Quality Payment Program

CMS released the Final Rule with comment period delineating a portion of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) known as the Quality Payment Program (QPP) on October 14, 2016, with the official Federal…more

Conducting an Internal Investigation in the PRC? Protect Your Company From the Outset

Requests by a company’s counsel to interview company employees as part of internal investigations into potential misconduct are commonplace. But when a U.S. company and its counsel seek to interview citizens working for the company’s…more

AHCA Sues to Enjoin Prohibition on Binding Arbitration

On October 4, 2016 CMS issued its Final Rule entitled “Reform of Requirements for Long Term Care Facilities” which updates the requirements for all SNFs and NFs participating in Medicare and Medicaid. Many of the changes impact quality…more

Supreme Court to Decide if Disparagement Provision in the Lanham Act is Invalid Under the First Amendment

On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court agreed to review Lee v. Tam, better known as “THE SLANTS” case, to assess the constitutionality of the Trademark Office’s refusal to register disparaging marks under Section 2(a) of the Lanham…more

Controversial Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule Partially Blocked

On October 24, 2016, a federal judge enjoined the U.S. government from enforcing certain provisions of the controversial Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule. The decision was handed down from Judge Marcia Crone in the U.S. District Court…more

CMS Finalizes MACRA Rule and Continues Transition Toward Value-based Payments

On October 14, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule with comment period (Final Rule) implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The Final Rule overhauls…more

SEC Adopts Changes to Rules 147 and 505

Changes Reflect Adoption of Intrastate Crowdfunding and Increased Usage of Private Offerings Under Regulation D The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on October 26, 2016 voted to update Rules 147 and 504…more

Employees Unlawfully Disciplined for In-Store Protest, Labor Board Decides

Six employees who stopped work and engaged in an in-store protest over their alleged mistreatment by a supervisor and to secure permanent jobs for temporary employees were unlawfully disciplined, the National Labor Relations Board has…more

UK Tribunal Allows Expatriate to Bring Claims in the UK

In Jeffrey v. The British Council 2016, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) ruled that an employee who had an “exceptional degree of connection” with the United Kingdom could bring claims in the UK even though he had been working…more

The Clock is Ticking for the “De Minimus” Time Doctrine

With briefs due next week, we anxiously await the California Supreme Court’s review of the de minimus doctrine in Troester v. Starbucks Corporation. Under the doctrine, employers are not obligated to pay employees for small increments…more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms That a Debtor’s Surrender in Bankruptcy Means Just That-You Must Surrender

Burr & Forman lawyers won a significant victory in the Eleventh Circuit earlier this month. In the case In re: David A. Failla, — F.3d — (2016), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed that a person who agrees to…more

China tightens regulations for vaccine distribution and issues new product registration measures

In the wake of a case of illegal trading of vaccines that implicated more than 300 people, ranging from businesses operating without proper licenses to hospital personnel, China's State Council has released amendments to the…more

The SEC’s Proposed Universal Proxy Rule: Beneficial to Shareholders or Tilting the Result toward Activist Investors?

Under current law and practice, a shareholder of a public company that is asked to vote in a contested election of directors where a slate of directors had been proposed by the company and an activist investor would likely receive two…more

Legal update on the renewable energy sector in Norway

The Norwegian power industry is rapidly changing as the market transits from a reliance on fossil fuel to renewable energy projects. Although energy prices currently are low compared to earlier years, there is heavy demand from foreign…more

Loi Travail : le principe de neutralité en enterprise

Since August 10, 2016, the rules may provide for restriction of the protest by employees of convictions under the principle of neutrality. The Labour Law provides that henceforth the rules may contain provisions enshrining the…more

Malware Attacks Against Healthcare Sector Rose 67 percent in Q3 of 2016

The NTT Security Q3 Quarterly Threat Intelligence Report states that the healthcare industry is the fifth most targeted industry for ransomware (behind financial services, retail, manufacturing and technology) for all cyber attacks…more

Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood… and I took the Smooth, Safe Path

Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken is a great American poem about choices. In the poem, the fork where the two roads diverge provides no indication which path is the better path to travel. In life and law, sometimes the better path is…more

New Clinical Trial Rule Alters Reporting Requirements

New federal requirements for posting of clinical trials information address how data collected in clinical trials are submitted for public consumption. The requirements were revealed on Sept. 16 when the Department of Health and Human…more

FDA Examining Role of Hospitals in Medical Device Surveillance

On October 25, 2016, FDA announced an upcoming public workshop entitled, “The Role of Hospitals in Modernizing Evidence Generation for Device Evaluation: Harnessing the Digital Revolution for Surveillance.”…more

Luxembourg Real Estate - Tax and Legal Developments

This brief report provides a summary of the most recent Luxembourg tax developments that currently affect and will be affecting real estate practitioners throughout 2017…more

FCPA Enforcement Action Highlights Risks for the Financial Services Industry and Individual Executives

New York-based hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management Group (the “Hedge Fund”) agreed to pay approximately $412 million to resolve charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and Department of Justice (“DOJ”)…more

Countries at a Glance: Italy - Employee Stock Purchase Plans

EMPLOYEE STOCK PURCHASE PLANS - EMPLOYEE STOCK PURCHASE PLANS: EMPLOYMENT - Labor Concerns - It is becoming more common for employees to claim they have entitlements under Plans. The risk of employee claims for…more

IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2017

IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2017 On October 27, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service released the 2017 cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans and…more

Video Game Patents Are In “Deathmatch” Mode

In 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, Inc. While the decision is long and convoluted, the Alice decision effectively narrowed the scope of patentable subject matter by holding that…more

Final Report on Investment and Corporate Banking Market Study Published by UK Regulator 

The Financial Conduct Authority published its final report on the investment and corporate banking market study. The focus of the study was on primary market activities in the UK, including equity capital markets, debt capital markets…more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

Qualcomm is reportedly set to acquire NXP Semiconductors for just shy of $40 billion in a deal that would help Qualcomm move beyond smartphone chips and into the broader internet of things…more

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