Administrative Agency Securities Finance & Banking

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Top 5 Securities and Corporate Governance Litigation Developments of 2014

This year will be remembered as the year of the Super Bowl of securities litigation, Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. (“Halliburton II”), 134 S. Ct. 2398 (2014), the case that finally gave the Supreme Court the...more

SEC’s Second Amicus Brief On Whether Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Reports

On December 11, 2014, the SEC filed an amicus brief in support of Plaintiff-Appellant Mikael Safarian asking the Third Circuit to revive his Dodd-Frank whistleblower claim and endorse the agency’s definition of...more

A New Prosecutorial Frontier: SEC Seeks Bans on Municipal Officials

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) was recently granted a preliminary agreement by a federal judge to bar a municipal official from participating in future bond sales. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the...more

There’s No Place Like Home: SEC Increasingly Uses Administrative Proceedings

Stung by adverse court rulings in some of its enforcement cases, the SEC is bringing more of those cases in its own forum—an SEC administrative proceeding. ...more

SEC Fines Virtual Currency Operator For Alleged Registration Violations

On December 8, the SEC fined a computer programmer $68,387.07 for operating two separate online exchanges that traded securities using virtual currency without registering the businesses as broker dealers. Further, the SEC...more

Investment Management Director Offers Top 10 Lessons Learned in 2014

In a December 10, 2014 speech, Norm Champ, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, offered a glimpse at the top 10 industry lessons learned in 2014. While admitting that his Top Ten list “may not be as...more

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update -- December 2014

In This Issue: - Regulation ..SEC Chair’s Agenda Provides Glimpse of New Rules to Come ..The Results Are In: Investors Favor Additional Regulatory Protection ..SEC Declines to Approve Non-Transparent...more

Financial Regulatory Developments Focus - December 2014 #2

In this issue: - Bank Prudential Regulation & Regulatory Capital - Bank Structure - Derivatives - Financial Market Infrastructure - Financial Services - People - Events...more

Justices Scalia and Thomas Amenable to Reexamining Deference to SEC Statutory Interpretations

Like Prince Charming searching for the foot that fit the glass slipper, Justice Scalia recently issued a statement advising that he and Justice Thomas would be receptive to granting certiorari to a petition properly...more

SEC’s Authority to Interpret the Securities Laws Comes Under Fire in Criminal Enforcement

A recent statement by Justice Antonin Scalia accompanying the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari in a criminal insider trading case raises fundamental questions about how the courts interpret the federal securities laws and...more

Three Principals of Adviser Settle SEC Charges Over Undisclosed Conflicts

The Commission filed another settled action based on undisclosed conflicts involving an investment adviser. In this proceeding Respondents, principals of the adviser, failed to disclose a fee splitting arrangement with an...more

Private Equity Endures Heightened Public Scrutiny

The public scrutiny on private equity fund sponsors has continued to intensify this month, evidenced by at least three recent events. First, the government announced that it was probing performance figures at private...more

Critics Question SEC’s Increasing Use of Administrative Enforcement Proceedings

The SEC is increasingly bringing enforcement actions in its administrative forum rather than federal district court, setting the stage for a legal and policy battle over this tactic. The SEC’s approach has been made...more

The Regulators Are Coming! The Regulators Are Coming!

Regulators, in-house lawyers and compliance officers told a serious cautionary tale at the recent Practicing Law Institute Broker-Dealer Regulation and Enforcement seminar. Representatives of the Securities and Exchange...more

5th Circuit: Outing Whistleblower Equals Adverse Action

On November 12, 2014, in Halliburton, Inc. v. Admin. Review Bd., 5th Cir. No. 13-cv-60323, the Fifth Circuit affirmed an ARB’s decision that disclosing the identity of a whistleblower may constitute an “adverse action” under...more

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Document Preservation Notices Can Lead to SOX Violation!

On November 12, 2014, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a Department of Labor finding that Halliburton retaliated against a whistleblower by including his name in a document preservation notice. The court also held that emotional...more

Recent Key Bitcoin and Virtual Currency Regulatory and Law Enforcement Developments

In recent months, US federal and state regulators have continued to focus on Bitcoin and the adoption of a regulatory framework for it and other "virtual currencies," as well as the enforcement of existing securities laws to...more

The Results Are In: Investors Favor Additional Regulatory Protection

On November 6, 2014, FINRA released results from a survey of U.S. investors measuring the demand for additional regulatory protections. The survey polled 1,000 adults and revealed that an overwhelming majority felt that it...more

FCA Enforcement Performance: Part 2 – The Forex Effect

Only a couple of weeks ago I was commenting on a NERA report that had found that in the period between April 2012 and October 2014 the FCA had imposed fines of over £1bn, in sharp contrast to the preceding decade during which...more

Forex Probe Results in Fines, but Investigation Not Over Yet

The American Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) announced fines of $3.4 billion against five global banks on...more

Law Enforcement Bliss: The SEC As Policeman, Judge and Jury

New York’s Southern District Court Judge Jed Rakoff is always worth listening to. He expresses trenchant views about the rule of law elegantly and politely. He is fearlessly independent. Prosecutors in the US, who are...more

SEC Files Another Insider Trading Case As An Administrative Action

The SEC continued what appears to be a growing trend of bringing insider trading cases as administrative proceedings. Since the beginning of September the Commission has filed at least four insider trading actions as...more

SEC Provides Relief to GSEC From Rule 204 Close-Out Requirements

On October 27, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets (Division) issued no-action relief to Goldman Sachs Execution & Clearing (GSEC) relating to the close-out requirements of Rule 204. In...more

SEC Sanctions Auditor, Should Make Small Issuers Think Twice

The SEC brought a settled administrative action against an auditor on October 24th. Often I’ll take a case like this and write something about it to warn other auditors (or investment advisers or broker-dealers, or whomever)...more

SEC: Non-Transparent ETFs Not Ready for Prime Time

The SEC has given a preliminary thumbs-down to non-transparent exchange traded funds (ETFs). In two separate notices issued on October 21, 2014, the Commission stated that applications to allow actively managed ETFs to...more

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