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New York Times Discusses the Growth of Whistleblower Programs

As federal agencies dole out record-breaking awards to tipsters (such as the SEC’s recent $30 million award), whistleblower programs remain a topic of public interest. Earlier this month, The New York Times published an...more

Illegal “Wash Sales” in Futures Contracts Result in $35 Million Fine

On December 18, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a Consent Order against a foreign bank (the “Bank”), imposing a civil monetary penalty of $35 million and enjoining future violations by...more

Platinum Partners Value Arbitrage Fund L.P. v. Echo Therapeutics, Inc., C.A. No. 10303-VCN (Del. Ch. Nov. 14, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion, the Court of Chancery denied a motion to expedite proceedings in which a stockholder sought to call a special meeting to remove a majority of the corporation’s directors....more

SEC Files Settled FCPA Action Centered On Improper Travel

A “world tour” was at the center of FCPA violations by two employees of FLIR Systems, Inc., In the Matter of Stephen Timms, Adm. Proc. File No. 3-16281 (Nov. 17, 2014). Travel was also the focus of the Commission’s latest...more

Credit Risk Retention Final Rule: Enforcement and Compliance Considerations

Predicting enforcement of the final rule regarding U.S. risk retention is an uncertain task. This OnPoint is designed to provide guidance on possibilities related to consequences of non-compliance, enforcement approaches by...more

SEC Reports FY 2014 as a Historic Year for Whistleblower Program

According to the annual report issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), fiscal year 2014 was a "historic" one for the whistleblower program initiated pursuant to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. In...more

Cigna Health and Life Ins. Co. v. Audax Health Sol’ns, Inc., C.A. No. 9405-VCP (Del. Ch. Nov. 26, 2014)

In this action seeking a declaratory judgment regarding the validity of certain provisions in a merger agreement and related contracts, the Court of Chancery granted in part plaintiff’s motion for judgment on the pleadings,...more

Expedited Proceedings Denied Where Harm Is Only Speculative

The Delaware Chancery Court recently denied a shareholder’s motion to expedite proceedings to enjoin a company buyout, finding that the shareholder failed to show that any threatened harm from the buyout was imminent,...more

Blog: Court Precludes Omission Of Shareholder Proposal, After SEC Staff Permits Exclusion

In Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., a federal district court in Delaware granted injunctive relief precluding omission of a shareholder proposal from Wal-Mart’s proxy statement, notwithstanding the SEC staff’s...more

SEC Charges Eight Audit Firms Charged With Independence Violations

The broker windows approach of filing groups of actions together which center on common theme is expanding to auditor independence. The Commission grouped proceedings naming as Respondents eight audit firms. Each Order...more

Investor Claims NetTALK Executives Took Control of Board

On November 5, Telestrata, LLC brought a derivative shareholder action and direct action against NetTALK.com, Inc., a publicly traded telecommunication company, and NetTALK’s directors and officers, alleging that the...more

SEC Settles Insider Trading Case With COO

The SEC and the DOJ have waged an aggressive battle against insider trading for years, resulting in a string of courtroom victories, guilty pleas and settlements as well as significant sanctions which are supposed to deter...more

SEC Will Pay Largest Whistleblower Award Yet

The SEC’s whistleblower office has been in place since 2011, and in that time has handed out nine monetary awards to whistleblowers. It is about to hand out its largest award yet: a minimum $30 million reward to an...more

Judge Orders Stockholder To “Register” Correspondence With The SEC

Many boards operate with a high degree of collegiality, even when the directors disagree. Some don’t. When the board of directors of Gas Natural Inc., a publicly traded natural gas holding company, voted to remove its CEO...more

SEC Reports Amount of Whistleblower Tips, Awards Rose in 2014

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released its annual report on its new whistleblower program, and according to that report, whistleblower tips and awards through the agency are on the rise. This year...more

SEC Releases 2014 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program

By all accounts, 2014 was a year of tremendous success for the SEC’s Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program. According to its 2014 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program, the SEC paid nine whistleblower...more

Do Some Companies Already Have Fee-Shifting Provisions (And Not Know It)?

A lot of folks these days are arguing and writing about fee-shifting bylaws as if they were some kind of novel and sudden irruption, like Athena bursting from Zeus’ skull. This overlooks the existence of fee-shifting...more

Federal Court Holds That Lack of Loss Causation Is Not a Defense Under Massachusetts Blue Sky Law

The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts recently held in Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Residential Funding Co., LLC, that lack of loss causation is not available even as an affirmative...more

Delaware Chancery Requires Payment of Merger Consideration to Dissenting Stockholder After Expiration of Appraisal Period

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently dismissed corporate mismanagement and breach of fiduciary duty claims filed by a dissenting stockholder, but ordered that the surviving corporation in a merger was required to pay the...more

In re TPC Group Inc. S'holders Litig., C.A. No. 7865-VCN (Del. Ch. Oct. 29, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion, the Court of Chancery denied plaintiffs’ application for an award of attorneys’ fees and held that plaintiffs’ class action litigation was not the cause of the increase in the merger price achieved...more

Raj Rajaratnam Appeals $92 Million Civil Fine to Second Circuit Court of Appeals

Convicted investment fund founder Raj Rajaratnam filed an appeal of his Securities and Exchange Commission case in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, arguing that the district court improperly sought...more

SEC Charges Former Pharmaceutical Executive and Close Friend With Insider Trading

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged a former pharmaceutical company executive and his longtime friend with insider trading, alleging that the friend generated more than $1 million in illicit profits by...more

Gordon Lightfoot, the Edmund Fitzgerald and the Bio-Rad FCPA Settlement, Part I

This month there are two dates that are forever tied together in the annuals of maritime tragedies and great songwriters. November 10 is the 39th anniversary of the sinking of the Great Lakes freighter the SS Edmund...more

Eleventh Circuit Requests Assistance in Interpreting Consent-to-Settle Provision

Most cases in the United States settle. Insurers are well-aware of this fact. Thus, insurance companies employ consent-to-settle provisions in insurance policies to limit and control their liability in the likely event of a...more

SEC Files Another Insider Trading Case As An Administrative Action

The SEC continued what appears to be a growing trend of bringing insider trading cases as administrative proceedings. Since the beginning of September the Commission has filed at least four insider trading actions as...more

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