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SEC Takes Issue with Employee Confidentiality Obligations and Waivers of Monetary Awards

The Securities and Exchange Commission's (the "SEC" or "Commission") Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations ("OCIE") issued a risk alert on October 24, 2016, announcing that it will be reviewing registrants'...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

8 years after returning as CEO, Starbucks’ Howard Schultz is again planning to step down, turning over the barista apron to current president and COO Kevin Johnson. Schultz will continue to work on Sbux social issues and the...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

Loyal Starwood pointers have been waiting anxiously to hear what the hotel brand’s merger with Marriott will mean for their coveted reward system. They’ll have to wait a bit longer, but here are a lot of answers to other...more

The Battle Over the New Fiduciary Rule

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued its final rule expanding the definition of the “investment advice fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and modifying the...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

The Financial Stability Board—that Swiss-based grand collection of central bankers and regulators from the world’s biggest economies—has upped the systemic importance ranking for three of America’s biggest banks, including...more

DOL Issues (Some) Additional Guidance on the Fiduciary Investment Advice Rule and Best Interest Contract Exemption

The US Department of Labor (DOL) has issued its first set of FAQs under the fiduciary investment advice rule (the “Rule”) and related prohibited transaction exemptions. In general, the Rule provides that parties providing...more

Forfeitures can be a compliance headache

Defined contribution plans such as 401(k) plans have a forfeiture provision if there are contribution in the plan that are not immediately vested. The problem with the forfeiture provision is that they are usually neglected...more

The Trump Administration: Change By Appointment

The election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States, along with the Republican control of the majority of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, will likely result in significant changes in...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 11

Structured Products Legal and Regulatory Conference: November 2016 - In November 2016, Morrison & Foerster LLP sponsored Risk magazine’s annual structured products legal and regulatory conference in Washington, D.C. ...more

DOL Prevails In First Challenge to the Conflict of Interest Rule and Related Exemptions

On November 4, 2016, Judge Moss in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the U.S. Department of Labor’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed claims brought by the National Association for Fixed...more

'Fiduciary Rule' Update: Financial Services Industry Should Prepare for Compliance

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) scored an initial victory in what is sure to be a long legal battle over the so-called "fiduciary rule." Judge Randolph D. Moss of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued...more

Could your Oil and Gas Interest Cause You to Be Responsible for Multiemployer Plan Withdrawal Liability?

I noticed an interesting case from the Tenth Circuit which found that a two to three percent working interest in an oil and gas venture could generate self-employment income for the owner of that interest. The individual in...more

Should Your ERISA Plan Have a Forum Selection Clause?

With relatively few exceptions, administrators of employee benefit plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) have enjoyed success enforcing forum selection clauses in cases across the country. As...more

The DOL Issues “Investment Advice” FAQs – Continues to Try to Find an Ideal Balance for the Brave New Fiduciary World

The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) released its first set of FAQs (the “FAQs”) regarding the DOL’s recently finalized “investment advice” regulation and various related exemptions (collectively, the “Final Rules”) on...more

"Department of Labor Issues Guidance on Conflicts of Interest Rule"

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued guidance on the Conflicts of Interest Rule it released earlier this year. The guidance, issued on October 27, 2016, is in the form of answers to frequently asked questions, which...more

Business Litigation Alert: "Lesson Learned from Wells Fargo - What Your Board of Directors Needs to Know"

According to recent news reports, Wells Fargo management created an aggressive sales culture that encouraged employees to create thousands of fake accounts. News reports also suggest that the Board took no action regarding...more

October 2016 Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance News Update

Our update for this past month is noteworthy for the fact that we report below on IC misclassification lawsuits plaguing some of the largest and most recognizable companies in the U.S. (like Uber, Amazon, and FedEx) as well...more

Think Twice Before Making Payroll Advances to Employees

It can be difficult to turn down an employee who asks for an advance on their earnings. However, there are lots of reasons for companies to think twice before making payroll advances to employees....more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week In Review

Financial Industry Developments - SEC Adopts Final Rules to Facilitate Intrastate and Regional Securities Offerings - On October 26, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted rules designed to modernize...more

Financial Services Weekly News - November 2016

Editor's Note Voting Matters. Next week, we head to the polls to elect a new president of the United States and other government representatives. Voting is important because it allows registered citizens to cast their...more

Fiduciary Rule FAQs Challenge Back-End Recruitment Bonuses

Financial services firms with active recruiting programs should consider immediately how the DOL’s FAQs affect their compensation packages with respect to back-end recruitment awards. To help the financial services...more

DOL Releases First Wave of FAQs on Fiduciary Rule

The guidance is the first of three waves of FAQs. On October 27, the US Department of Labor (DOL) released a long-awaited frequently asked questions (FAQs) document regarding the fiduciary rule, as released on April 8,...more

DOL Issues First Guidance on Fiduciary Rule

On October 27, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued initial guidance on its new fiduciary rules, which are scheduled to become effective on April 10, 2017. The guidance was issued in the form of FAQs and is...more

Investment Management Update - October 2016

Investment Adviser AXA Wins Excessive Fee Trial - A federal judge in New Jersey has ruled in favor of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (AXA Equitable) and its wholly owned subsidiary, AXA Equitable Funds Management...more

Mutual Fund Sales by Intermediaries – Fall-Out from DOL Fiduciary Rule and FINRA Enforcement

Mutual fund sales and distribution arrangements are once again under review. It has been reported that fund intermediaries are re-examining their practices relating to sales charges, share class structures and product...more

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