Securities Updates

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SEC “Common Trust Fund” Exception Narrowly Construed for Private Trust Companies

Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of Private Trust Companies (“PTCs”) established by wealthy families. PTCs are used to consolidate the trustee function of multiple trusts within a family, and because...more

Expect greater SEC scrutiny of activist hedge funds that share information or collaborate in advance of their trades

A recent Wall Street Journal article – “Activist Investors Often Leak Their Plans to a Favored Few” – focused attention on “activist” investors and stock analysts who (as part of their bullish or bearish campaigns for or...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending April 17, 2014)

High speed trading continued to be a central focus in this shortened week with the markets closed on Friday. The New York Attorney General has reportedly issued subpoenas to three firms for information regarding their...more

FINRA Requests Comment on the Effectiveness and Efficiency of its Rules on Gifts and Gratuities and Non-Cash Compensation and its...

As part of an assessment of selected rules and related administrative processes, FINRA has issued Regulatory Notice14-15 and Regulatory Notice14-14 seeking public comment on the effectiveness and efficiency of its (a) Gifts...more

"Proposed Amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law"

On April 17, 2014, the Corporation Law Section of the Delaware State Bar Association proposed legislation that, if adopted, would amend the Delaware General Corporation Law (the DGCL) in a number of important ways. Proposed...more

Appellate Court Issues Opinion on SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule

On April 15, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued its opinion in the challenge to the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule. We have reviewed the D.C. Court of Appeals decision and find that it leaves much of the SEC’s...more

SEC Obtains Settlement for Violations of Registration Rules and “Layering”

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced a settlement with two brokerage firms and certain of their executives for improper compensation-sharing and “layering,” a strategy in which a trader places and later...more

What’s Next for Conflict Minerals Rules After D.C. Circuit Decision?

On April 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) issued its long-anticipated ruling in the industry challenge to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) conflict minerals...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Employees Of Private Contractors Of Public Companies Are Covered By SOX Whistleblower Protections

In Lawson v. FMR, LLC, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the whistleblower protections established in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) cover employees of a public company's private contractors and subcontractors, reversing...more

SEC Staff Provides Guidance to Investment Advisers on the Use of Social Media

In response to the prevalence of social media sites featuring consumer reviews of various types of businesses, on March 28, 2014, the SEC’s Division of Investment Management published an IM Guidance Update to address concerns...more

The Deal Video: Pepper Hamilton's Ed Dartley Talks Valuations [Video]

Right now, private equity firms are sitting on a cash glut that represents an all-time high for the industry, nearly $1 trillion. Perhaps unsurprisingly, says Pepper Hamilton securities lawyer Ed Dartley, we're also seeing...more

SEC’s OCIE Announces Cybersecurity Examinations Of Broker-Dealers And Registered Investment Advisers

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, or OCIE, previously announced that its 2014 Examination Priorities included a focus on technology, including cybersecurity preparedness. OCIE has issued a Risk...more

Conflict Minerals – Yet Another Update

If ever there was an SEC rule that refused to slip quietly into the books, it’s conflict minerals disclosure. With the May 31st Form SD filing deadline fast approaching, three things are happening: Companies are focusing for...more

D.C. Circuit Largely Upholds SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule But Supports First Amendment Challenge

On April 14, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in National Association of Manufacturers v. SEC, a case that sought to challenge the conflict minerals rule released by the Securities and Exchange Commission...more

SEC’s Recent Admissions Case Muddies Standard

The SEC famously announced last year that it would insist upon admissions in settled cases involving egregious conduct – instead of its long-standing “neither admit nor deny” rubric. But its recent Scottrade action has the...more

Mandate Withheld In Conflicts Minerals Case

In a little known action, the Clerk of Court of the Unites States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an order in the conflicts minerals case to withhold issuance of a mandate until seven days after...more

CFTC Seeks Comments on ICE Clear Europe Petition

On April 7, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission requested public comment on a petition submitted by ICE Clear Europe Limited (ICE Clear Europe) to amend an earlier CFTC order permitting ICE Clear Europe and futures...more

Out Of Control: SEC Says Lack Of Internal Controls Led To HP Paying More Than $108 Million To Settle FCPA Actions

On April 9, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Hewlett-Packard had agreed to pay more than $108 million to settle Foreign Corrupt Practices Act actions brought by the SEC and the Department of...more

CFTC Reissues and Clarifies Relief Regarding Swaps Trading on MTFs

On April 9, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight (DMO) and Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight jointly issued CFTC No-Action Letter No. 14-46, which modifies the conditions...more

SEC Lays Out Road Map On Disclosure Reform

Keith F. Higgins, Director, SEC Division of Corporation Finance, recently laid out the SEC staff’s approach to the much discussed disclosure reform initiative. Highlights are as follows...more

Section 1 Claims Dismissed in LIBOR, TIBOR Class Action

On March 28, 2014, Judge Daniels of the Southern District of New York dismissed antitrust and unjust enrichment claims against over 20 banks accused of manipulating prices in the Euroyen interbank lending market by submitting...more

Foreign Listed Stock Index Futures and Options Approval Chart April 16, 2014

Attached please find the updated Foreign Listed Stock Index Futures and Options Approvals Chart, current as of April 16, 2014. All prior versions are superseded and should be discarded. Please note the following developments...more

FINRA’S Reminder About Rollovers: News To Many

A number of government and regulatory agencies—the Government Accountability Office (the GAO), the Department of Labor (the DOL) and, most recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC), and the Financial Industry...more

UCITS V - Aligning with AIFMD!

The European Parliament voted to adopt the UCITS V Directive (“UCITS V”) on 15 April 2014, in advance of Parliamentary elections next month. The final vote followed a period of uncertainty where there was potential for the...more

SEC Charges Adviser, Others In Fee Splitting Scheme

A registered investment adviser and its principals were named as Respondents in a proceeding that centers on allegations of undisclosed revenue sharing arrangements, conflict of interest, violations of the custody rule and...more

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