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Financial Regulatory Developments (FReD)

Headlines - Commission urges EP to accept MLD 4, ESMA consults on knowledge and competence guidelines, EU Court judges on plain and intelligible language, FCA fines Deutsche Bank £227 million for IBOR failings and misleading...more

Director Equity Grants Subject to Entire Fairness Review

In Valma v. Templeton et al, the Delaware Court of Chancery held that grants of restricted stock units, or RSUs, to directors of Citrix Systems, Inc. were subject to an entire fairness standard of review. The court found...more

Court Offers Good Privilege News for Draft Form 10-K Filings

Courts disagree about the attorney-client privilege protection's applicability to draft documents whose final version will be publicly disclosed. Public companies naturally worry about this issue's impact on their draft...more

SEC Applies Whistleblower Interference Rule to Corporate Confidentiality Requirement

On April 1, the US Securities and Exchange Commission issued—in a settled administrative proceeding—a cease-and-desist order in In the Matter of KBR, Inc., directing that the respondent cease violating Commission Rule...more

Supreme Court Confirms Limited Scope Of The Fair Dealing Covenant

This is another decision that confirms that the implied covenant that the parties will act in good faith and deal fairly with one another is not available to expand the parties’ contract rights. ...more

Court Of Chancery Explains How To Prove Bad Faith

While not a corporate case, this decision is useful in explaining how to prove a party acted in bad faith so as to be outside the exculpation provisions of a trust or Sec. 102(b)(7). ...more

Court Of Chancery Upholds Primacy Of Purchase Price Adjustment Clause

The buyer’s rights under a stock purchase agreement sometimes seem in conflict. This decision resolves such a conflict by holding that under the terms of the agreement, the purchase price adjustment process trumps the buyer’s...more

Judge Declines to Dismiss Spoofing Charges Against High Frequency Trader

On April 16, the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois denied a motion to dismiss “spoofing” charges against Michael Coscia, a high-frequency commodities futures trader, finding that the indictment was...more

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Dismisses Failed Bank Shareholder Derivative Suit under FIRREA

On April 21, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a bank shareholders’ suit against a bank holding company – and its officers and directors – for breach of fiduciary duty. Barnes v....more

Obligations Under Earn-Outs Are Limited to What the Words Say

The stockholders of Cyveillance, Inc., sold their company for $40 million up-front and a $40 million earn-out if the company’s revenues reached a certain level. Section 5.4 of the merger agreement prohibited the buyer from...more

NGO Study Outlines Best Practices for SEC Conflict Minerals Rule Compliance

On April 22, 2015, two human rights non-governmental organizations, Amnesty International and Global Witness, published a report, Digging for Transparency (the “Report”), analyzing compliance by US reporting companies with...more

Chancery Applies Contract Principles in Preferred-Shares Dispute

In Choupak v. Rivkin, C.A. No. 7000-VCL (Del. Ch. April 6, 2015), the Delaware Court of Chancery concluded after a trial that the defendant and counterclaim-plaintiff, Vladimir Rivkin, forged documents, lied about exercising...more

The New Section 6501(c)(10) Regulations

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury recently finalized Treas. Reg. § 301.6501(c)-1(g), which interprets § 6501(c)(10)’s extended limitations period (and other associated rules) where a...more

Delaware Chancery Awards Investors $171 Million

On April 20, 2015, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a decision awarding $171 million in damages to the common unitholders of a limited partnership against its general partner in connection with a “dropdown” transaction. ...more

Georgia Supreme Court: Insured Cannot Sue for Settlement Amount of Bad Faith Absent Insurer’s “Consent to Settle”

On April 20, 2015, the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously held that when an insured fails to seek its insurer’s consent to settle a claim, the insured cannot pursue litigation against its insurer to recover settlement amounts...more

Implications of the U.S. Supreme Court Omnicare Decision

On March 24, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Omnicare, Inc., et al. v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund, et al., addressing when an issuer may be held liable for material...more

Southern District Allows SEC Insider Trading Case to Proceed, Distinguishing Newman

A recent decision from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York allowing a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) civil enforcement action to proceed against two former stockbrokers for...more

A Further Harbinger on the Application of SLUSA

On March 30, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed claims in a putative class action against New York-based hedge fund manager Philip A. Falcone (“Falcone”), his advisory firm Harbinger...more

Three Top Considerations After Omnicare

In Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund, 575 U. S. ____ (2015), the Supreme Court clarified issuer liability under §11 of the Securities Act. Section 11 provides that issuers are...more

“Friends” Who Trade on Inside Information: How United States v. Newman Changes the Law

In unsuccessfully seeking rehearing in United States v. Newman, 773 F.3d 438 (2d Cir. 2014), reh’g denied, Nos. 13-1837, 13-1917 (2d Cir. Apr. 3, 2015), the government acknowledged that the Second Circuit’s recent decision in...more

Internal Investigations: Do No Harm

Internal investigations are an ever-present challenge for companies. They can involve virtually any topic and arise in myriad ways.  Embezzlement, accounting improprieties, bribery, and financial statement adjustments can all...more

Employment Law - April 2015

To Accommodate or Not to Accommodate? U.S. Supreme Court Weighs in on Pregnant Employees - Why it matters: The U.S. Supreme Court decided the first of two major employment law cases this term when a 6-3 majority of...more

Opportunities and Risks in Municipal Underwritings and Derivatives

In the current economic climate, opportunities are expanding significantly for municipal underwriters and derivatives specialists as states and municipalities across the country clamor to pay for infrastructure and services,...more

Third Circuit Lets Wal-Mart Exclude Firearms Proposal Under the “Ordinary Business Operations” Exception

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit summarily reversed a troubling decision of the Federal District Court in Delaware that required Wal-Mart to include in its 2015 proxy materials a shareholder...more

"Wal-Mart Wins Appeal of Shareholder Proposal Decision"

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a decision on April 14, 2015 that reversed a U.S. District Court opinion and vacated a permanent injunction that would have required Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. to include a...more

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