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SEC Proposes Rules to Require Disclosure Regarding the Relationship Between Executive Pay and Company Financial Performance

On April 29, the Securities and Exchange Commission published proposed rules that would require companies to disclose the relationship between executive compensation and the financial performance of the company, as well as...more

The SEC Doesn’t Love Secret Perks for Executives

If you find yourself as the CEO of a public company, you’ll probably find pluses and minuses. You’ll have to work really hard, but it can be lucrative, too. You can get paid a lot of money. And your company can pay you...more

New Capital Raising Alternatives for Non-SEC Reporting Companies: Regulation A+

Non-SEC Reporting US and Canadian companies may now raise up to $50 million in a 12-month period under an expanded exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) under...more

New UAE Commercial Companies Law: A Move Towards Global Standards

On 1 April 2015, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, enacted Federal Law No 2 of 2015 (the Commercial Companies Law, or Law). The Law brings to a close several years of...more

SEC Targets Confidentiality Agreements That Stifle Whistle-Blowing

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced its first enforcement action and settlement against a company for violations of the whistleblower protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act...more

Parties Push to Enforce Statutory Time Limits on SEC Enforcement Actions

Two cases now before US Courts of Appeals carry the possibility of placing meaningful new limits on the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) time horizon for bringing enforcement actions. The SEC has long argued that...more

California AG Initiates Supply Chain Act Disclosure Review; Enforcement Actions Likely to Follow

The California Attorney General has kicked off a campaign to ensure that companies are complying with their obligations under the state’s Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010. On April 1, 2015, the AG’s office sent...more

The SEC Continues to Turn Up the Heat on Private Equity’s Fees, Expenses and Valuation Practices

On April 3, 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that private equity adviser Fenway Partners LLC (Fenway) received a Wells Notice from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in March 2015 regarding Fenway’s...more

SEC Approves Final Rules for Regulation A+

On March 25, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted final rules amending Regulation A to implement the provisions of Section 401 of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act). The new rules confirm...more

SEC Says Employer's Confidentiality Agreement Violates Dodd-Frank

Employers paying severance to separated employees usually require written release agreements that include a confidentiality provision. The employee is prohibited from disclosing the existence of the agreement, or from...more

UK FCA Focuses Increased Scrutiny on Asset Managers

Regulators across the globe are intensifying their focus on enforcing the regulation of the asset management industry. Over the last twelve months, the global Financial Stability Board, the International Monetary Fund, the US...more

Three Thoughts about the SEC’s First “Pretaliation” Case

I was on a flight last Wednesday when the SEC released the first of what whistleblower chief Sean McKessy has dubbed “pretaliation” cases against KBR, Inc. When I landed I had several emails from colleagues, asking, “Did you...more

Employer’s confidentiality agreement triggers SEC action and penalty - review and revise agreements now

Consistent with its prior announcements that it will protect and encourage whistleblowers, the SEC recently announced its “first enforcement action” against a company for using allegedly restrictive language in an agreement...more

SEC Adopts Regulation A+ Rules

As amended, Regulation A now provides an exemption from registration for certain issuers offering up to US$50 million of securities in a 12-month period. On March 25, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)...more

Carefully Draft NDAs to Avoid Whistleblower Concerns

In light of the SEC’s first enforcement action against a company for impeding whistleblower activity in violation of Rule 21F-17, employers may wish to consider clarifying in their agreements, policies and practices that...more

The SEC on Capital Formation: Graded Incomplete – Commissioner Gallagher

Last year the IPO market was overheating – a record number of initial offerings were conducted. Nevertheless, SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher gives the SEC a grade of “incomplete” in the area of capital formation in recent...more

Do Your Confidentiality and Employment Agreements Violate SEC Whistleblower Protection Rules?

As the SEC takes aim at whistleblower “pretaliation” (attempts to muzzle whistleblowers via confidentiality and other employment agreements—overt or otherwise) ethics and compliance officers need to take practical steps to...more

SEC Cracks Down On Employment Agreements That Stifle Corporate Whistleblowers

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) gave a boost to corporate whistleblowers, reaching its first settlement with a company accused of stifling whistleblowing activity through the use of...more

"SEC Enforces Whistleblower Protection Rule Against Restrictive Confidentiality Agreement"

On April 1, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first enforcement action against a company for a restrictive provision in confidentiality agreements that could deter employees from using the...more

SEC Charges KBR, Inc. with Using a Confidentiality Agreement that Could "Chill" Whistleblowing

About six months ago, the Director of the Office of the Whistleblower warned that the SEC was “going to bring a case where somebody has asked an employee or forced an employee to sign a document that in order of substance...more

The SEC’s New Whistleblower Action: Is It Counterproductive?

The SEC brought its first enforcement action centered on corporate restrictions which could impact employee whistleblowers, deterring them from reporting to the agency. ...more

Don't Silence the Whistle: SEC Enforcement Action Attacks Employer's Confidentiality Agreement as Whistleblower Interference

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first enforcement action based upon improperly restrictive language in a Houston-based technology and engineering firm’s employee confidentiality...more

SEC Charges Ex-CEO with Concealing Personal Use of Corporate Funds from Investors, Settles with Corporation

Signaling that it is closely scrutinizing the expenses of senior executives and the internal controls of public companies, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged former Polycom CEO Andrew M. Miller this week with...more

SEC Fines KBR $130,000 for Using Employee Confidentiality Agreement that Violates Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protections

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has brought its first-ever enforcement action against a company for using language in confidentiality agreements that prohibits employees from speaking with the SEC without prior...more

SEC Uses Its Powers under the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provisions to Warn Employers Against Attempting to Restrict Employees’...

On April 1, 2015, the SEC announced a settled enforcement proceeding against KBR, Inc., a publicly traded, Houston-based technology and engineering company, for including “restrictive language” in confidentiality agreements...more

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