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Five Key Issues Confronting Financial Services Industry Employers

Employers in the financial services industry are faced with a growing number of employment law challenges. Whistleblower complaints are on the rise as regulatory agencies become more aggressive in their efforts to encourage...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

DOL Fiduciary Rule to Revamp Regulation of Advice to Plans and IRAs

Reproposal would broaden the fiduciary definition, narrow exceptions, and substantially revise prohibited transaction exemptions applicable to current and newly covered fiduciaries....more

Department of Labor Proposes New Regulations on Fiduciary Advice

The U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) has reissued long-awaited proposed regulations describing the circumstances in which a person who provides investment advice in connection with a retirement plan or individual retirement...more

DOL Releases Controversial Proposal, Signifying Regulatory Intent to Expand Fiduciary Standard

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") released a controversial proposal that would require financial advisors to put their clients' interests ahead of their own when recommending retirement investments....more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - April 2015 #2

The SEC Acts to Protect Whistleblowers Against Restrictive Confidentiality Provisions. In a development that should send HR directors and general counsels to review their form confidentiality agreements, the SEC announced...more

Easier, Less Costly Alternatives for Correcting Retirement Plan Mistakes

In two recent Revenue Procedures, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has modified the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), the IRS correction program for retirement plans. Revenue Procedure. 2015-27 reduces...more

Settlement Reached in Stock-Drop Case

A class of former LandAmerica Financial Group employees agreed to a $5 million settlement of stock-drop claims arising from LandAmerica’s 2008 bankruptcy, and have submitted the agreement for court approval. LandAmerica filed...more

Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest - Volume X, Issue 13

In This Issue: - CFTC Extends Portfolio Margining on ICE Clear Europe - CFTC Extends CCO Report Filing Deadline - CFTC Issues Relief to Swap Dealers Regarding Legacy SPV Swaps - CME Updates Order...more

SEC Announces Action Against Company for Using Confidentiality Agreements That Allegedly Could Deter Whistleblowers

As we discussed in a post last month, the SEC has been closely scrutinizing whether companies may be using non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements that could discourage employees from acting as whistleblowers and...more

SEC Sends Message to Employers On Confidentiality Agreements

In the aftermath of the Enron scandal and the Great Recession, Congress passed broad legislation to purportedly address corporate malfeasance, including the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010....more

Employment Law Commentary - Volume 27, Issue 3 - March 2015: Does The Government Think Your Confidentiality Agreements Chill...

INTRODUCTION - Employers routinely incorporate confidentiality provisions into a variety of agreements, including employment, proprietary information, separation and settlement agreements. In an era when many...more

What Successful Whistleblowers Have in Common

As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC makes monetary awards to eligible individuals who voluntarily provide original information that leads to successful SEC enforcement actions resulting in monetary sanctions over $1...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - April 2015

FINRA Requests Comment on Current Membership Application Rules. As part of its ongoing retrospective rule review process, FINRA has published, in Regulatory Notice 15-10, a request for comment on the effectiveness and...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

• Fourth Circuit Applies Two-Year Statute of Limitations to SOX Whistleblower Claim and Confirms Availability of Emotional Distress Damages • SDNY Holds That SOX Protects Employee From Retaliation for Activity Engaged...more

Why PE Should Stick with Entrepreneurs’ Relief Over the New Employee Shareholder Status

Over the years the UK has seen a variety of tax efficient schemes available to incentivize management; and in 2014 the Employee Shareholder Status (ESS) regime was added into the mix. ESS essentially allows an employee...more

Welcome To California: No Foreign Corporations Need Apply

California continues to hemorrhage corporate charters to Delaware and Nevada.  The most recent potential emigrant is SJW Corp. which filed this proxy statement last week seeking shareholder approval of a reincorporation from...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - March 2015 #4

Focus on Fiduciary Standards. In February the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) issued a Report on the Effects of Conflicted Investment Advice on Retirement Savings. In its conclusion, the Report estimated the...more

SEC Approves FINRA Rule Regarding Investigation and Verification of Registration Applicants

After seeking comments last fall, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently approved the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (“FINRA”) proposed rule governing member firms’ verification and investigation...more

SEC’s Limit on Retroactivity of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Bounty Awards Is Reasonable, Second Circuit Holds

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently deferred to the SEC’s determination that a tipster who provided information to the Commission before July 21, 2010, the effective date of the Dodd-Frank Act, is not eligible to...more

Russian Legislation Update - 2 – 15 March 2015

In This Issue: - Civil Code Reform: contracts and obligations - New Development Bank BRICS - Employment/Foreign Citizens - Securities: bondholders; information disclosure - Excerpt from New Development Bank...more

Issuers Omit Proposals From Proxy Statements

As noted here, two issuers have omitted shareholder proposals from preliminary proxy statements where no-action letters from the SEC regarding omission of the proposals have been withdrawn. The blog suggests, within its...more

SEC No-Action Letter Permits Non-ERISA Retirement Plans to Issue Participant Fee Disclosures Without Violating Securities Laws

In a no-action letter dated February 18, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) extended relief from the application of Rule 482 of the Securities Act of 1933 to certain retirement plans that are exempt from...more

White Calls for SEC to Adopt Uniform Fiduciary Standard

SEC Chair Mary Jo White said Tuesday that the SEC needs to move forward on a uniform fiduciary standard for the financial industry, including brokers. Addressing the annual meeting of the Securities Industry and Financial...more

Study Finds Whistleblowers Increase Penalties of Regulatory Enforcement Actions

A recent academic paper found that whistleblower involvement in financial misrepresentation enforcement actions tends to increase (1) penalties against firms by an average of $77 million, (2) penalties against employees by an...more

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