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SEC Faces New Constitutional Challenge to Administrative Proceedings Based on Tenure Protection of Administrative Law Judges

In a complaint filed recently in the Southern District of New York, an activist investor and his investment advisor company have gone on the offensive against the SEC. Joseph Stillwell and Stillwell Value LLC filed a...more

SEC Brings Another Offering Fraud Case

The Commission filed another in what appears to be an unending series of offering fraud actions. Unlike many of its prior cases, this action centers on a Respondent who kept shifting his scheme to continually raise more money...more

Ross Holding and Mgmt. Co. v. Advance Realty Group, LLC, C.A. No. 4113-VCN (Del. Ch. Sept. 4, 2014) (Nobel, V.C.)

In this post-trial memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery evaluated a reorganization under the entire fairness standard, and held that, although plaintiffs received a fair price, the unfair process infected the entire...more

Loss Causation In A Securities Fraud Case From a Stream of Small Disclosures

A critical element in a Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 securities fraud claim for damages is loss causation. Mandated as a key component of such a claim by the PSLRA, the element provides the essential link between the alleged...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

On July 31, 2014, the SEC awarded $400,000 to a whistleblower who had reported internally before providing information to the SEC. The award was unique because the SEC’s Claims Review Staff had denied the whistleblower’s...more

SEC Whistleblower Program Achieves Critical Mass with $30 Million Payout and Award to Compliance/Internal Audit Professional

Two recent Dodd-Frank whistleblower awards suggest that the program is becoming the kind of “game changer” for law enforcement that many had predicted. The program, which took effect in August 2011, mandates the payment of...more

CMBS Issuer wins negligence claim against valuer in English High Court

In a judgement of major significance for the commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS) market, the High Court has ordered a negligent valuer to pay €32 million damages to a CMBS issuer. This is the first time a...more

Will They Blow the Whistle for $30 Million? Whistleblower Rewards are Rising, Companies and Individual Lawyers Warned Not to Stand...

Last week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that it expects to pay the largest whistleblower reward pursuant to Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act...more

In re Nine Systems Corp. S'holders Litig., Consol. C.A. No. 3940-VCN (Del. Ch. Sept. 4, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this 146-page post-trial opinion addressing claims challenging a 2002 recapitalization of Nine Systems Corporation (“Nine Systems”), the Court of Chancery held that a conflicted transaction resulting in a fair price...more

CEO Hit With Sarb-Ox Clawback

The former CEO of Saba Software, Inc. agreed to repay over $2.5 million in bonuses, other incentive-based or equity-based compensation, and stock sale profits pursuant to Section 304(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The action...more

Insider Dealers Ordered to Pay Confiscation Orders in Excess of the Profits Generated from Insider Dealing

On September 15, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a press release in which it announced that a group of persons found guilty of insider dealing in 2012 and 2013 have now been ordered to pay more than £3.2...more

Disclosing Merger Negotiations: The Eleventh Circuit Weighs In

Corporate merger negotiations are typically conducted under a veil of secrecy, with public disclosure withheld until the end when a definitive agreement has been signed. The fear is that premature disclosure of preliminary...more

Think High Stakes Whistleblowing is Just a U.S. Phenomenon? Think Again.

Today the SEC announced that it will pay $30 million to a whistleblower in the largest award ever doled out by the agency. This news is monumental and will send shock waves around the financial world—along with gut...more

SEC’s Broken Window Enforcement Program Gets a Boost from “Quantitative Analytics” and “Algorithms”

The SEC announced last week that it had charged, in settled administrative proceedings, 28 individuals and investment firms that failed to “promptly report information about their holdings and transactions in company stock”...more

SEC Staff Grants Relief for Adjustment to Mutual Fund Subadvisory Fee Without Shareholder Approval

The staff of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management (the “Staff”) granted no-action relief for the implementation of an adjustment in the fee paid by a mutual fund’s adviser to the fund’s subadviser, without shareholder...more

SEC Charges Executive With Insider Trading Ahead of Client Announcements

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently filed a complaint in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York against a director at an investor relations firm charging him with multiple instances of insider...more

SEC Awards $300,000 to an Audit & Compliance Professional for Whistleblowing: Key Implications & Lessons Learned

Last week, the SEC announced its first whistleblower award to an audit and compliance professional. The $300,000 award announcement noted that the recipient had “reported concerns to appropriate personnel within the company,...more

SEC Gives $300,000 Whistleblower Award to Audit and Compliance Employee

Last week the SEC announced that, for the first time, it had made a whistleblower award to an employee who performs audit and compliance functions at a company. As the SEC noted in its order in the case, although its...more

CEO, CFO Charged in SEC Financial Fraud Action

Since the formation of the financial task force, and its related data group, there has been speculation regarding the focus of the new program and the impact of big data techniques. One indication of how the program could...more

In re Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. S'holders Litig., Consol. C.A. No. 8917-VCL (Del. Ch. Aug. 25, 2014) (Laster, V.C.)

The Delaware Court of Chancery denied a request by the parties to enter a proposed order withdrawing plaintiffs’ counsel’s request for the Court to retain jurisdiction to determine an award of attorneys’ fees and closing a...more

SEC Charges Colorado Woman and Her Two Companies with Offering Fraud

On August 15, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Heidi Ann Gamer and two companies under her control, Gamer Economic Systems, LLC and Gamer Media Partners Corp. The SEC alleged that between...more

Profits Do Not Always Equal Disgorgement

Judge Scheindlin of the Southern District of New York recently rejected the SEC’s attempt to seek disgorgement of almost $500,000,000 from Samuel Wyly and Donald R. Miller Jr., the Independent Executor of the Will and Estate...more

SEC Request For O&D Bar Denied

A frequently used remedy in Commission enforcement actions is the officer and director bar. A permanent bar has the very harsh effect of precluding the person from being an officer or director of any public company. That, of...more

Happy Birthday Dodd-Frank: The Whistleblower Program Milestones and How They’ve Impacted Business Ethics Training

Did you have some cake? Break out the balloons? While it’s hard to believe, it is true. Our little Dodd-Frank, signed into law by President Obama in 2010, is already four years old and about ready for pre-school. Although we...more

Fee Award Nixed After Client Abandons Case

In a neat, short opinion, the Delaware Supreme Court dealt with a situation that the chief justice characterized as "Kafkaesque" at oral argument and "unusual" in the written opinion. In Crothall v. Zimmerman, No. 608, 2013...more

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