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For Theranos, Life is Not All Rainbows and Unicorns: Government Conducting Criminal and Civil Investigations of Blood-Testing...

In a memorandum released on April 18, 2016, the private blood-testing company Theranos – once valued at over $9 billion – announced that it is under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the...more

Illinois AG Settles with New York Investment Bank Over RMBS Practices

Last week, Illinois AG Madigan announced a $41 million settlement with a New York-based investment bank for its alleged misconduct in connection with the marketing and selling of at risk residential mortgage-backed securities...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

No-Action Letter Issued Regarding the OCR Final Rule - On April 8, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission's ("CFTC") Division of Market Oversight issued a no-action letter regarding the ownership and control final...more

Be Careful What You Say – Or Rather What You Don’t Say – AVEO Pays $4 Million to SEC to Settle Fraud Charges

In March 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Massachusetts-based biopharmaceutical company, agreed, without admitting or denying the allegations, to pay $4 million to...more

The Wait Is Over – the DOL Announces New Rules Impacting Broker Regulation

The Department of Labor recently enacted rules that require financial advisers and brokers handling individual retirement and 401(k) accounts to act in the best interests of their clients. The much-anticipated rules have...more

Recent Lawsuit Demonstrates Continuing Need for Plan Fiduciaries to Document Decision-Making Process

Late last year, another lawsuit was brought on behalf of participants in a 401(k) plan alleging breaches of fiduciary duties resulting from allegedly high plan fees. This type of case is not novel; the law firm that brought...more

“They’re Here!” – Department of Labor Issues Final ERISA Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Regulations

After receiving and reviewing extensive feedback on its earlier proposals, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued final regulations expanding the definition of a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act...more

Private Equity Funds Held Liable for Pension Obligations of a Portfolio Company

District Court: Two Affiliated Funds Formed “Partnership-in-Fact” and Have Controlled Group Liability for Portfolio Company Pension Liabilities - In a closely watched case (the “Sun Capital” case), the U.S. District...more

Private Equity Funds Liable for Withdrawal Liability of Portfolio Company

What you need to know: On March 28, 2016, the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts held, on remand from the First Circuit, that two related private equity funds were jointly and severally liable for...more

Statutory and Contractual Limitations Periods and the Events that Trigger Them: Insight from the Fourth Circuit

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) does not contain a statute of limitations provision, and courts generally apply the most analogous state law statutory limitation. However, some plans fill the void...more

Broker-Dealer Liability: Are the Rules Pertaining to Providing Investment Advice to Retail Customers About to Change?

In the securities industry, broker-dealers play an important and vital role. If the current broker-dealer regulatory environment is not daunting enough already, it is about to get more complicated and costly, from a revenue...more

Financial Services Quarterly Report - First Quarter 2016: Northstar Decision on Remand: U.S. District Court Holds SLUSA Precludes...

In a complete victory for Defendants, on February 23, 2016, a federal district court dismissed with prejudice the final remaining claims in Northstar Financial Advisors, Inc. v. Schwab Investments et. al., which had been...more

SEC Imposes Penalties on Company and Officers for Inadequate Staffing in Accounting Department

Highlights - The SEC settled charges against Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation and two of its officers for deficient oversight of the company’s internal controls over financial reporting, resulting in fines of...more

SEC Imposes Fine for Improper Research Report

In March 2016, the SEC entered into a settlement agreement with a U.S. broker-dealer, which initiated research coverage of an issuer after being invited by the issuer to participate as an underwriter for that issuer’s planned...more

Dutch Foundations Negotiate €1.204 billion Settlement with Ageas, formerly Fortis.

Following up on our December 15 post on the debate over the best strategy to recover foreign securities losses, a collection of Dutch Foundations (known as Stichtings) negotiated a substantial collective settlement with Ageas...more

Supreme Court Emphasizes Heightened Pleading Standard for Stock Drop Cases

On January 25, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a per curiam opinion in Amgen Inc. v. Harris, holding that the Amgen, Inc. employees who filed suit after the value of the employer stock in which they had...more

2015 Year in Review: Select SEC and FINRA Developments and Enforcement Cases

The SEC brought a record number of cases in 2015, many of which the Commission touted as “high impact” and “first-of-their-kind,” and FINRA increased its enforcement total, tripling the amount of restitution to be paid to...more

Ontario Superior Court Decision Confirms That “Public Correction” Requirement is a Temporal Marker

Under the Ontario Securities Act (“OSA”), a statutory right of action exists for secondary market misrepresentation for any person who acquires or disposes of an issuer’s securities within the relevant time period. An action...more

Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Reporting Thresholds Increase

On January 26, the Federal Trade Commission published the annual adjustment of the thresholds that trigger premerger reporting obligations (and the mandatory waiting period) under the Hart-Scott Rodino (HSR) Act. The new...more

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies the Scope of ERISA Fiduciary Obligations in Recent Stock Drop Decision

In recent years, plaintiffs’ lawyers have brought numerous ERISA breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits against employers that offer employer stock funds in their 401(k) plans. These lawsuits are typically brought on behalf of...more

The Supreme Court Meant What It Said On Employer Stock Funds

On January 25, 2016, in Amgen, Inc. v. Harris, 2016 WL 280886, the Supreme Court sent a strong message to the lower courts, plaintiffs and ERISA fiduciaries that pleading standards for breach of fiduciary duty prudence claims...more

Be Careful What You Wish For – Dudenhoeffer May Do “More Harm Than Good” For ERISA “Stock Drop” Plaintiffs

In its June 2014 decision in Dudenhoeffer v. Fifth Third Bank, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declined to recognize a “presumption of prudence” that had favored retirement-plan fiduciaries faced with allegations of...more

Court of Appeal overturns decision in Titan 2006-3 v Colliers in finding that valuer in CMBS structure was not negligent - Court...

In the last edition of Banking Disputes Quarterly, we reported that the Court of Appeal was due to consider the Commercial Court's ruling in Titan Europe 2006-3 plc v Colliers International UK plc [2015] EWCA Civ 1083. The...more

"CFTC Aims to Lower the Bar on Proving Manipulation in Pending Cases"

In two separate Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) enforcement actions before district courts in New York and Chicago, the CFTC has asked each court to adopt holdings that would significantly enhance the CFTC’s...more

Commerzbank AG Sues Four RMBS Trustees Alleging Violations of Duties to Investors

On December 23 and 24, Commerzbank AG filed four actions in the Southern District of New York against Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and the Bank of New York Mellon in their...more

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