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KiOR Faces Significant Challenge Moving Forward

In an August 11, 2014, filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, cellulosic biofuel company KiOR, Inc. (KiOR) reported that without any new financial commitments, the Company only has enough funding to operate...more

SEC Brings Fraud Charges Against Oil and Gas Company and Its CEO

On August 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission instituted cease-and-desist proceedings against Houston American Energy Corp., an oil and gas exploration and production company, and John F. Terwilliger, its CEO, for...more

SEC Charges Oil and PR Firms And Their Executives With Fraud

An energy company, its CEO and the firm’s public relations adviser and its president were named in a fraud action by the SEC centered on false representations concerning oil reserves for a property in Columbia. The...more

What 2014’s Continued IPO Surge Means for Clean Tech and Renewable Energy Companies

The year 2014 is on track to be the most active IPO market in the United States since 2000, with the mid-year total number of IPOs topping last year’s mid-year total by more than 60%. There were 222 US IPOs in 2013, with a...more

CFTC No-Action Relief from Potentially Burdensome Requirement for Automated Form 40S Response to CFTC ‘Special Calls’

On July 23, the CFTC staff issued No-Action Letter 14-95 extending the compliance date from August 15, 2014 to February 11, 2016 for use of new Forms 40/40S—reports solicited from market participants by “special call” of the...more

Focus on Regulatory Law - July 2014

In This Issue: - Regulation Authorities ..French Competition Authority ..Securities and Market Authority ..Audiovisual Council ..Authority for the Regulation of Electronic Communications -...more

SEC Settles Civil FCPA Action Against Two Former Oil Services Executives

On the eve of a trial which was scheduled to begin this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission settled a civil Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) case it brought against two former oil services executives. The case...more

CFTC Proposes to Amend De Minimis Threshold for Swaps with Utility Providers

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has proposed to amend the “special entity” de minimis exception from swap dealer designation to exclude certain swaps with public utility providers. The proposed regulations are...more

Focus on Regulatory Law - June 2014

In This Issue: Regulatory Authorities - ..Securities and Market Authority ..Authority for the Regulation of Electronic Communications ..Data Protection Authority ..Commission Nationale Informatique et...more

Going Public: Powhatan Energy Fund’s “Insurance Policy” Regarding FERC Enforcement’s Non-Public Manipulation Investigation Into...

On February 28, 2014, Powhatan Energy Fund (“Powhatan”) launched a public website disclosing that for more than three years, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) Office of Enforcement (“OE”) has been...more

Ignore The First Conflict Minerals Filing

Securities lawyers eagerly await the first (or the first few) new filings required by law to learn (and of course copy) from them. So the first conflict minerals filing to hit Edgar last week was eagerly anticipated, and...more

DC Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Conflict Minerals Disclosure Rules, But Strikes Down Requirement That Companies Label Their...

Last week, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (“DC Circuit”) issued its long-awaited opinion relating to legal challenges to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) conflict minerals disclosure...more

D.C. Circuit Rules A Provision Of The SEC Conflict Minerals Rule Violates The First Amendment

On April 14, 2014, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Nat'l Ass'n of Mfrs. v. SEC, 2014 BL 102614, D.C. Cir., No. 13-5252, 4/14/14) upheld all aspects of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s conflict mineral rule,...more

Appellate Court Issues Opinion on SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule

On April 15, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued its opinion in the challenge to the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule. We have reviewed the D.C. Court of Appeals decision and find that it leaves much of the SEC’s...more

What’s Next for Conflict Minerals Rules After D.C. Circuit Decision?

On April 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) issued its long-anticipated ruling in the industry challenge to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) conflict minerals...more

Conflict Minerals – Yet Another Update

If ever there was an SEC rule that refused to slip quietly into the books, it’s conflict minerals disclosure. With the May 31st Form SD filing deadline fast approaching, three things are happening: Companies are focusing for...more

D.C. Circuit Largely Upholds SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule But Supports First Amendment Challenge

On April 14, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in National Association of Manufacturers v. SEC, a case that sought to challenge the conflict minerals rule released by the Securities and Exchange Commission...more

Mandate Withheld In Conflicts Minerals Case

In a little known action, the Clerk of Court of the Unites States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an order in the conflicts minerals case to withhold issuance of a mandate until seven days after...more

Conflict minerals rule – limited portion invalidated; June 2 filing deadline looms

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has issued an opinion in the legal challenge to the conflict minerals rule adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission in late 2012. A divided court concluded...more

Court Invalidates Conflict Minerals Rule Because It Crosses First Amendment Line

In the end, it’s pretty simple. The court held the conflicts minerals rule and statute embodied in Dodd-Frank violate the First Amendment to the extent the statute and rule require regulated entities to report to the...more

D.C. Circuit Partially Strikes Down SEC Conflict Minerals Rules

On April 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in the challenge to the SEC’s conflict minerals disclosure rule filed by the National Association of Manufacturers (“NAM”) and...more

"SEC Conflict Minerals Disclosure Requirements Ruled Unconstitutional"

On April 14, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s conflict minerals disclosure requirements are unconstitutional and remanded the matter to...more

Appeals Court Opinion Changes Conflict Minerals Rules Compliance Landscape

On Monday, April 14, 2014, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (the DC Circuit) struck down part of the federal rules requiring publicly traded companies to report on their use of “conflict...more

Climate Change Disclosure - Heads I Win, Tails You Lose?

Arjuna Capital, a sustainable wealth management platform, and As You Sow, an environmental corporate responsibility advocacy group, have been advocating for publicly traded companies to assess and disclose the risks that...more

SEC Issues New FAQs on Conflict Minerals

On April 7, the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued nine new responses to frequently asked questions regarding the disclosure of conflict mineral usage that is required by rules...more

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