General Business Securities Administrative Agency

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SEC Awards Compliance Officer Whistleblower Bounty of Approximately $1.5 Million

Wednesday, the SEC announced that it would pay an unidentified compliance officer a whistleblower bounty award of between $1.4 and $1.6 million. This is the second award that the SEC has made to a whistleblower with internal...more

The SEC Defines “Voting Equity Securities” for Purposes of the Rule 506(d) Bad Actor Disqualification Rules

The SEC is continuing to tie up some loose ends left over from the adoption of the Rule 506(d) bad actor disqualification rules. Certainty regarding these open items will be beneficial for issuers and placement agents of...more

SEC Files Two Offering Fraud Actions Tied To A Horse Farm

The Commission filed two settled offering fraud actions centered in part around an entity engaged in the purchase and sale of thoroughbred horses called Raintree Racing. A second involved an offering of interests in a real...more

Can You Keep a Secret? The SEC Says to Ask Carefully

Employers have a lot to be worried about. Employees are given access to trade secrets, customer lists, financial accounts, and other highly sensitive, confidential information. Most employers attempt to deter improper use of...more

BlackRock, CCO Settle SEC Conflict Charges

Conflicts of interest involving market professionals continue to be a focus of SEC enforcement. In many cases the conflict is uncovered by the inspection staff, OCIE. This time, however, the information came from an article...more

SEC Takes Aggressive Approach to Fortify Dodd-Frank’s Whistleblower Rules

On April 1, 2015, the Securities & Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or “Commission”) fined a public company $130,000 for requiring employees involved in internal investigations to sign a confidentiality agreement that the...more

MSRB Files Proposed Municipal-Advisor Conduct Rule with SEC

The MSRB filed its Municipal-Advisor conduct rule proposal with the SEC on April 15. The Rule G-42 proposal has been around the block twice, since the Board first floated it in January last year (Reg. Notice 2014-01). The...more

Will California Require Notice Filings For Regulation A Offerings?

Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted amendments to Regulation A as required by Section 3(b)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933, which was added by Section 401 of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS)...more

SEC Adopts Updated EDGAR Filer Manual

On April 13, the SEC adopted revisions to EDGAR Filer Manual and related rules to reflect updates to the EDGAR system. The updates are being made primarily to support the 2015 US GAAP financial reporting and 2015 EXCH...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 Applies Whistleblower Protections to Confidentiality Arrangements

Public companies should review their confidentiality arrangements for any provisions that may result in unintended violations of the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower protections....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

SEC Secures Victory on Fraud Allegations Against Technology Executive

The US District Court for the District of Columbia took the unusual step of granting summary judgment against a technology company executive who the Securities and Exchange Commission accused of various violations of the...more

SEC Assault on Employee Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced an enforcement action against KBR, Inc., alleging that a form of confidentiality agreement used in internal investigations violated an SEC whistleblower rule. To...more

Expanding Oversight of Active, Proprietary Trading Firms: SEC Proposes Amendments to Rule 15b9-1

Overview - On March 25, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC" or "Commission") proposed an amendment to Rule 15b9-1 (the “Proposal”) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") that, if...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

Going from A to A+: SEC Approves Amendments to Regulation A

On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission unanimously adopted final rules to amend Regulation A, as mandated by Title IV of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act). Whereas the existing...more

The SEC Joins the NLRB and EEOC in the Assault on Employee Confidentiality Agreements and Policies in Workplace Investigations

On April 1, 2015, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first settlement of a whistleblower enforcement action against a company for using confidentiality agreements to stifle the...more

In re Polycom and the SEC's Continued Focus on Internal Controls

Over the past year, the SEC and other regulatory agencies have initiated an increasing number of investigations into companies based on allegations of inadequate internal controls and/or a system for reporting those controls....more

Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest - Volume X, Issue 14

In This Issue: - NFA Updates BASIC to Assist With Bylaw 1101 Diligence on Delegating CPOs - Second Circuit Refuses to Rehear Groundbreaking Insider Trading Case - SEC Secures Victory on Fraud Allegations...more

In-House Counsel Risk SEC Enforcement for Some Confidentiality Agreements - Following Best Practices as Part of a Comprehensive...

Confidentiality agreements are boilerplate in many legal departments, but they shouldn't be. In-house counsel need to review all currently effective confidentiality agreements with anyone who could potentially be a...more

Constitutional Challenges to SEC Administrative Proceedings

May defendants charged in SEC administrative proceedings challenge the constitutionality of those proceedings in federal district court? The determination of whether district courts have subject matter jurisdiction over such...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

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