General Business Securities Energy & Utilities

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FERC Staff’s White Paper on Manipulation Provides Insights on Commission’s Developing Manipulation Law

On November 17, 2016, the Office of Enforcement (“FERC Staff”) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the “Commission” or “FERC”) issued a White Paper on Anti-Market Manipulation Enforcement Efforts Ten Years After...more

FERC Staff Issues a White Paper Providing Guidance on Effective Compliance Programs

On November 17, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the “Commission” or “FERC”) Office of Enforcement (“FERC Staff”) issued a White Paper on Effective Energy Trading Compliance Practices (“Compliance White Paper”)...more

Trump Risk Factors Begin to Appear in SEC Documents

Risk factors related to uncertainties resulting from possible policies that may be implemented by President-elect Trump have begun to appear in SEC filings...more

Dutch Collective Actions vs. Collective Settlements

As U.S. law has become less willing to entertain certain types of lawsuits on behalf of worldwide classes of plaintiffs, litigants have looked for other forums that might allow the prosecution – or at least the resolution –...more

Quarterly Investment Update - 3rd. Quarter 2016

Investor confidence rebounded in the third quarter immediately following Brexit, driving the S&P 500 to new highs. Comments by the Fed in early September stirred up some volatility and share prices slipped backwards. Not...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week In Review

Financial Industry Developments - The CFPB Publishes Final Rule for Prepaid Accounts - On October 5, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the "CFPB") finalized comprehensive consumer protections for...more

Business Litigation Alert: "SEC Launches Investigation Into Exxon's Accounting and Climate Change Practices"

In the face of dropping oil prices, the SEC has launched an investigation into how Exxon Mobil Corp. has valued its assets. While the value of competitors' assets have dropped dramatically since oil prices have plunged,...more

The Federal Reserve’s Proposed Rollback of Physical Commodities Authority for Financial Holding Companies

On September 23, 2016, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “FRB”) issued a proposed regulation concerning the ability of a financial holding company (“FHC”) to engage in physical commodities activities...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 9.29.16

OPEC has reached a tentative deal among its 14 member nations to “modestly cut” their oil output toward the end of the year in an effort to shore up sagging oil prices–an announcement that immediately sent global oil prices...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 9.22.16

As most expected, the Fed held rates steady yesterday. Though its divided FOMC and Chair Yellen’s comments about an improving economy seem to portend a rate hike before the end of the year....more

Do Not Pass Go: FERC Administrative Proceedings Remain First Stop for Market Manipulation Claims under the Natural Gas Act

Fraud and energy market manipulation have remained priorities of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Enforcement (OE) over the past several years. The agency has ramped up its investigative efforts, reporting...more

SEC Rules for Resource Extraction Issuers Could Lead to Increased FCPA Scrutiny, Disclosures

New rules issued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that require resource extraction issuers to disclose payments made to U.S. and foreign governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas or...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 9.7.16

Turns out that running the show at Valeant has given Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman quite the appetite. He’s looking to satisfy that hunger (and get back to the business of maximizing returns by pushing companies to make...more

Five Key Takeaways from Key Energy’s SEC FCPA Settlement

The SEC, last week, announced its $5 million settlement with Key Energy. As always, FCPA settlements contain important examples of enforcement priorities and policies. Key Energy’s recent settlement is an example of the...more

Key Energy FCPA Resolution – Part III

This week I have been exploring the Key Energy, Inc. (Key Energy) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action. Today, I want to consider the actions taken by Key Energy to obtain the very good resolution the...more

Court of Appeal Lifts Stay in Cross Border Class Action

In Kaynes v. BP [1] (referred to herein as “Kaynes”) the Court of Appeal for Ontario (“ONCA”) recently lifted a stay of a class proceeding in which the Plaintiff is seeking damages for alleged misrepresentations made to...more

Shareholders Will Get to Trial in Petrobras Corruption Scandal Action

Yesterday I wrote about what may well be the next great bribery and corruption scandal across the globe involving the Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA). However, the current largest corruption...more

New FERC NOPR Will Have Impacts on the Financial Trading Community

On Thursday, July 21, 2016, FERC issued a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Data Collection and Surveillance, which is to replace the prior Connected Entities and MBR Ownership NOPRs. The new NOPR will apply to: (1)...more

Securities Fraud – a Lesson for Promoters

We discussed SEC v. Arcturus et al last week and promised more. Here it is. Did defendants commit securities fraud? It doesn’t matter. Violations of Sections 5 of the Securities Act and 15.A of the Exchange Act are...more

Distress in the oil and gas industry: What happened to the price of oil?

To the delight of motorists everywhere, the price of oil suddenly halved in the second half of 2014, dropping from over $100 to less than $50 a barrel. It’s safe to say no one saw the fall coming: most banks and industry...more

U.S. Customs Aims to Increase Enforcement of the Jones Act

In what could foretell a significant increase in the enforcement of the coastwise trade provisions of the Jones Act, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) announced on July 18 the creation of the National Jones Act...more

Understanding the SEC’s Proposed New Mining Disclosure Rules: Questions and Answers

On June 16, 2016, the SEC proposed a major overhaul of the disclosure requirements for companies that are engaged in material mining operations, including royalty companies. The proposed rules would replace the SEC’s...more

Securities and Exchange Commission Issues New Rule on Extractive Industry Transparency

On June 27, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a new rule requiring extractive sector companies (oil, gas, and mining) to disclose the payments that they make to governments for the commercial development...more

FERC Issues Order Assessing Civil Penalties Against ETRACOM

On Friday, June 17, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the “Commission”) issued an Order Assessing Civil Penalties against ETRACOM LLC (“ETRACOM”) and ETRACOM’s founding member and majority owner, Michael...more

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