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False Claims Act – 2014 Year in Review

The False Claims Act (FCA) imposes liability on individuals and companies who defraud or submit false claims to the federal government. The FCA allows the federal government to seek treble damages, civil penalties and...more

OFAC Issues Cuban Asset Control Regulations Focused on the U.S. Financial Sector

On January 15, 2015, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations to implement changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba announced by President Obama on December...more

Time To Apply A Risk-Based Approach To Information Security Training

Digital warfare seems to be the name of the game these days. Terrorists attack our database infrastructures and wreck havoc by making personal information public. Look at the most recent attacks on Sony, Chick-Fil-A and...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The SEC named ratings giant Standard & Poor’s in three actions this week and one of its senior executives in another. The firm settled all three actions, admitting to a series of facts but not violations of the law in one...more

Ethics in Pharmaceutical Sales: Strengthening Corporate Culture and Preventing False Claims Act Violations

“I didn’t set out to commit a crime. I certainly didn’t set out to hurt anyone… I was kind of a hero, because I helped the company make its numbers every quarter. And I thought I was doing a good thing. I thought I was...more

New Funding for Energy Innovation: D.O.E. Announces $125 Million for Transformational Energy Projects

On January 7th, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it was making available up to $125 million in funding for transformational energy projects through the ‘OPEN 2015’ program. The program, which will...more

The New Enforcement Threat – Sanctions Violations

To label the current enforcement environment as “tough” is a dramatic understatement. I never understand why lawyers spend so much time touting the new, aggressive enforcement era as part of their marketing pitches –...more

Bank of America Whistleblower Wins $57 Million Decision

In what is being considered a record, landmark case, a former bank executive at Countrywide Financial (now owned by Bank of America Corporation) was awarded $57 million for exposing the presence of fraud in the company’s...more

When Being Ethical Pays Off – Countrywide Whistleblower Gets $56.7 Million Payout

A former executive at mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial, is about to become an extremely wealthy man. Edward O’Donnell is set to collect $57.6 million from Bank of America, for his role in exposing fraudulent activity...more

Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards

On December 19, 2014, a number of U.S. national agencies and departments jointly published the interim final rules Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards: Federal...more

HUD Publishes New Rule Governing Federal Procurement and Contracting

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently published a rule that made numerous changes to grant administration, procurement, and contracting requirements. The rule repealed the requirements found at...more

Federal Omnibus Bill Makes Significant Changes to Federal Campaign Finance Laws

The Fiscal Year 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill (“Omnibus”) signed by President Obama on December 17, 2014, contains campaign finance provisions that allow national party committees to raise significantly more money from...more

U.S. Department of the Interior Launches Online Data Portal Giving Access To Revenue Data

Last Thursday, December 11, 2014, the Department of the Interior (“DOI”) became the latest governmental agency to open the doors to some of its data via a new online portal located at https://useiti.doi.gov/....more

Benefits of P3 Model – Rebuttal of Ontario Auditor General’s Report

On December 9, 2014, Ontario’s Auditor General released her 2014 Annual Report, sharply criticizing Ontario’s Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP or P3) program and suggesting a return to using the traditional method...more

Energy Storage Update: 2014 California Storage RFO

Orrick and Clean Energy Pipeline have launched a series of reports dedicated to exploring investment opportunities and challenges in the global renewable energy sector. In the first issue, we analyzed the investment...more

Mexico: E&P Regulator Issues First Call for Bids under Round One

The Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos (CNH) has issued the first call for bids under Round One and the terms and conditions (T&Cs) governing the tender. CNH seeks to award 14 production-sharing contracts for the exploration...more

Congress Passes FY 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill: What it Means for Labor and Employment Agencies

Narrowly averting a federal government shutdown, on December 13 in a rare Saturday evening session the Senate passed the massive 1600 page, $1.1 trillion FY2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill that will fund government operations...more

"Increased Scrutiny for Government Contracts Under New Maryland Pay-to-Play Law"

Amendments to Maryland's pay-to-play law taking effect January 1, 2015, will impose burdensome contract reporting requirements for many companies. Although Maryland has had a pay-to-play law on the books for years, these...more

UK Government Publishes Response to Further Consultation on Changes to Financial Support for Solar PV

On 25 November 2014, the UK government published its response to its further consultation on changes to financial support for solar PV projects which opened on 2 October 2014 and closed on 24 October 2014. The response...more

Administration Publishes Fall 2014 Unified Regulatory Agenda

We expect 2015 to be a very busy year for actions on new or proposed federal regulations in the absence of congressional legislation. That was confirmed on November 21, 2014, when the administration published its “Unified...more

FSOC Criticized by Government Accountability Office, but GAO Report Misses Critical Substantive Improvements; FRB Begins to...

The U.S. Government Accountability Office just issued a report on the Financial Stability Oversight Council's (“FSOC”) systemically important financial institution (“SIFI”) designation process, entitled “Further Actions Could...more

DOJ Announces Record Year of Over $5 billion in False Claims Act Recoveries

2014 was a banner year for federal recoveries under the False Claims Act (“FCA”). In a press release dated November 20, 2014, the DOJ announced that its total recoveries – including those from both settlements and judgments –...more

Maryland Jurisdictions Expanding P3 Strategies Despite Political Uncertainty

Despite perceived uncertainty as to the future of two, prominent transportation P3 projects, it appears that jurisdictions within Maryland are looking to P3 structures to solve a wider array of infrastructure issues in the...more

New York City Expands Living Wage Law for City Contractors

As we covered in a recent blog post on the living wage requirements for city contractors, on September 30, 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order that: (1) raises New York City’s “living wage”...more

DoD's Updated FOIA Program and Exemption 4 Guidance

On September 3, 2014, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a proposed rule updating its policies and procedures implementing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), including FOIA Exemption 4. FOIA Exemption 4 exempts from...more

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