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BREAKING NEWS: Supreme Court Declines to Address the Constitutionality of Securities and Exchange Administrative Forum

On March 28, 2016, the Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari review brought by Laurie Bebo, the former CEO of Assisted Living Concepts Inc., who challenged the constitutionality of proceedings conducted in an SEC...more

SEC Announces Senior Staff Changes; New Office of Risk and Strategy

On March 8, the SEC announced a change in senior leadership, naming Robert M. Fisher the Managing Executive of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE). Succeeding Peter B. Driscoll, Fisher will be...more

Preparing for the SEC’s Increased Pursuit of Compliance Officers

The SEC’s recent aggressive enforcement posture against chief compliance officers has raised many concerns, including whether the SEC’s actions are actually chilling robust compliance efforts. To protect themselves against...more

Full Court Pressure: SEC OIG Finds No Undue Influence By ALJs in Favor of Government

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) recently released findings from its extensive investigation into allegations of potential bias against respondents in SEC administrative...more

SEC OIG Cannot Substantiate ALJ Bias

In a January 21, 2016 Report of Investigation, the Inspector General for the Securities Exchange Commission found no evidence to substantiate allegations of pro-agency bias among SEC administrative law judges. The allegations...more

Mark Cuban Challenges the Referee: the Constitutionality of SEC In-House Courts

After the repeated challenges to the SEC’s in-house courts as previously reported, Mark Cuban joined the debate by filing an amicus curiae brief in support of petitioners Raymond J. Lucia Companies, Inc. and Raymond J. Lucia...more

In Flannery v. SEC, First Circuit Rebukes Commission, Signals Departure from Deferential Review

On December 8, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled in Flannery v. SEC that the Securities and Exchange Commission lacked substantial evidence in finding securities law violations by two executives in...more

Calculating SEC Civil Money Penalties: Do Hundreds of Related Acts Constitute a Single Course of Conduct or Hundreds of Separate...

In addition to going to court to seek sanctions, the Securities and Exchange Commission may impose civil money penalties in its own administrative proceedings on any person who violates, or causes a violation of, the federal...more

2015 Securities Law Developments

On balance, the securities litigation landscape in 2015 offered a glass half-full/glass half-empty perspective for issuers and their officers, directors and advisors. Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction...more

Recent SEC Actions Highlight Adviser Responsibilities With Respect to Performance Advertising

In a series of recent administrative proceedings, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) has clarified its expectations regarding the use of performance data in investment adviser advertisements. Specifically,...more

SEC Judge Lenient Toward Compliance Employee

Previously, we described how some recent SEC officials’ enforcement actions and statements could suggest a movement toward holding chief compliance officers (CCOs) strictly responsible for legal violations their compliance...more

SEC Issues Proposed Changes to Administrative Proceedings

Amid controversy over its increased use of administrative proceedings to bring enforcement cases, the SEC has recently proposed several reforms. For instance, one change would ease the deadlines by which an initial decision...more

New EU Regulation on Securities Financing Transactions and Reuse of Collateral

Regulatory context - The regulation on transparency of securities financing transactions and of reuse (the “Regulation”) stems from a belief that the 2007-08 global financial crisis revealed excessive speculative...more

The Year in Review: Ten Trends in SEC Enforcement Actions

As 2015 winds down, we offer the following observations about 10 important trends in SEC enforcement actions. 1. Increased Number of Enforcement Actions - The number of SEC enforcement actions continues to grow. In FY 2015,...more

Revised Capital Markets Act: Amendments to Regulatory and Criminal Enforcement Provisions

The recently released revised consultation draft of the Capital Markets Act (CMA) for the proposed Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System (Cooperative System) includes changes to the proposed rules around regulatory...more

SEC Tees Up Newman & Admin Forum Issues for 2016

The SEC granted two petitions for review last week that tee-up significant issues for full Commission consideration late next Spring. The Commission will consider the application of the Second Circuit’s Newman decision...more

A 1,500-Day Ordeal: First Circuit Rebukes SEC for In-House Prosecution

Five years after the SEC brought charges that cost two fund executives their jobs, the U.S. First Circuit overturned the sanctions, chiding the SEC for misreading critical evidence, lacking substantial evidence for its...more

SEC Settles Charges with Private Equity Firm and Four Executives for Failure to Disclose Conflicts of Interest

The SEC recently reached a settlement with New York-based private equity firm, Fenway Partners, LLC, and four executives related to charges that Fenway Partners and several of its executives (“Respondents”) failed to disclose...more

NDGA Judge Halts Another SEC Admin Proceeding

Atlanta federal Judge Leigh Martin May enjoined the SEC from proceeding in yet another administrative enforcement action Tuesday. Ironridge Global IV, Ltd. v. SEC, No. 1:15-CV-2512 (USDC NDGA Nov. 17, 2015)....more

Your daily dose of financial news The Brief – 11.18.15

The Journal reports that Federal prosecutors are “actively pursuing” criminal cases against executives from RBS and JPMorgan for the toxic securities sold in the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis. If filed, the charges...more

The Dos and Don’ts of an SEC Examination

The regulatory environment for SEC-registered advisers has become more complex as the result of a more aggressive and interconnected Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The connecting hub within the SEC is the Office of...more

SEC Announces Further Enforcement Actions in the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) announced enforcement actions against 22 municipal underwriters on September 30, 2015, as part of its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The SEC’s apparent preference for administrative proceedings as a venue for its enforcement actions continues to draw criticism. H.R. 3798 is now pending in the House of Representatives. The bill is tilted the “Due Process...more

White House Announces Nominations for SEC Commissioner

On October 20, the White House announced two intended nominations for Daniel Gallagher’s replacement as SEC Commissioner, Hester Maria Pierce and Lisa M. Fairfax. Currently, Ms. Pierce is a Senior Research Fellow and Director...more

SEC Enforcement Actions Against Investment Advisers

According to the SEC’s most recent financial report, as of August 2014, SEC-registered investment advisers managed $62.3 trillion in assets. Not surprisingly, investment advisers attract a great deal of attention from the...more

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