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Standard & Poor’s Resolves Three SEC Actions, Makes Admissions

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services was named as a Respondent in three settled administrative proceedings by the SEC. Each is tied to the Rating Services’ role in the conduit/fusion Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities market...more

Third Circuit Defines “Extraterritorial” Applicability of Federal Securities Laws in United States v. Georgiou

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit added its voice yesterday to the ongoing judicial effort to construe the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank, concerning the extent to...more

Bridging the Week - January 2015 #3

Cybersecurity, Potential Equity Order Routing Conflicts and AML Among the Top Examination Priorities for SEC in 2015 - The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations...more

House Passes Bill to Ease Volcker Rule and other Regulatory Requirements

The U.S. House of Representatives on January 14, 2015, voted (271-154) to pass H.R. 37, the “Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act.” If enacted, the bill, among other things, would extend the Volcker...more

2014 Top 10 SEC Enforcement Highlights

Mary Jo White was confirmed in April 2013 as Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), becoming the first former United States Attorney to serve in that role. Given her background, and despite criticism...more

Four Things to Know About the 2015 SEC OCIE Exam Priorities

On January 13, 2015, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations issued its Examination Priorities for 2015. Among the various priorities, these four issues stood out...more

SEC and FINRA Announce 2015 Exam Priorities

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently announced their 2015 exam priorities for their respective examination programs. Both the SEC and FINRA have...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume X, Issue 1

In this issue: - SEC Proposes Rule Amendments to Implement JOBS Act Registration Thresholds - ISS Releases FAQs on Equity Plan Scorecard and Independent Chair Policy - FINRA Issues Annual Regulatory and...more

Will 2015 Bring New Regulations for Bitcoin Users?  [Video]

Jan. 9, 2014 (Mimesis Law) -- Houman Shadab, professor at New York Law School, talks with Lee Pacchia about the emerging regulatory landscape for people and companies using bitcoin....more

This Week In Securities Litigation

FCPA enforcement was the focus this first week of the new year. The DOJ brought FCPA and Travel Act charges against an individual alleged to have repeatedly bribed an official of the European Bank of Reconstruction and...more

The Rule of Lenity: Should Courts Defer to Agency Interpretations of RESPA § 8?

On November 10, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for a writ of certiorari in a case entitled Douglas F. Whitman v. United States. Whitman was seeking to have the Supreme Court review (and, hopefully, overturn)...more

FINRA Issues a Packed Priorities Letter for 2015

FINRA opened 2015 with a lengthy and ambitious agenda of regulatory priorities. This year’s Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter is much longer than those issued the last two years, and repeats many of those years’...more

Swap Dealers Will Face Significant Challenges from Reproposed Margin Rules for Uncleared Swaps

Dealers and major industry participants may be subject to new margin requirements beginning as early as December 1, 2015. Regulators are expected to finalize rules regarding margin requirements for uncleared swaps...more

SEC Use of Administrative Proceedings Challenged Again

The SEC was granted authority in the Dodd-Frank Act to initiate administrative proceedings against non-regulated persons. In those proceedings the full range of remedies are available – a cease-and-desist order, disgorgement,...more

FERC Enforcement – What to Expect in 2015

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) Office of Enforcement (Enforcement) recently released its annual report on enforcement activities for 2014. As is typical, Enforcement identified its primary concerns as...more

SEC Seeks Serious Penalties Against Sands Brothers and its Senior Officers for Alleged Repeated Custody Rule Violations - Former...

On October 29, 2014, the SEC announced that it had instituted administrative proceedings under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 against Sands Brothers Asset Management LLC (Sands Brothers), its two co-founders and the...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Holiday wrap-up edition)

Through the holidays (Dec. 19 – 31, 2014) the Department of Justice and the SEC continued to file securities enforcement actions. The Department brought an FCPA case which is now number two on the top ten list for amounts...more

This “Appeal” Of Whole Foods’ No-Action Letter Isn’t Very Appealing

Last week, James McRitchie submitted an “appeal” of the staff’s grant of no-action advice to Whole Foods Market, Inc. As explained in a post by Broc Romanek, Whole Foods was able to obtain that staff’s concurrence in...more

Top 5 Securities and Corporate Governance Litigation Developments of 2014

This year will be remembered as the year of the Super Bowl of securities litigation, Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. (“Halliburton II”), 134 S. Ct. 2398 (2014), the case that finally gave the Supreme Court the...more

SEC’s Second Amicus Brief On Whether Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Reports

On December 11, 2014, the SEC filed an amicus brief in support of Plaintiff-Appellant Mikael Safarian asking the Third Circuit to revive his Dodd-Frank whistleblower claim and endorse the agency’s definition of...more

A New Prosecutorial Frontier: SEC Seeks Bans on Municipal Officials

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) was recently granted a preliminary agreement by a federal judge to bar a municipal official from participating in future bond sales. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the...more

There’s No Place Like Home: SEC Increasingly Uses Administrative Proceedings

Stung by adverse court rulings in some of its enforcement cases, the SEC is bringing more of those cases in its own forum—an SEC administrative proceeding. ...more

SEC Fines Virtual Currency Operator For Alleged Registration Violations

On December 8, the SEC fined a computer programmer $68,387.07 for operating two separate online exchanges that traded securities using virtual currency without registering the businesses as broker dealers. Further, the SEC...more

Investment Management Director Offers Top 10 Lessons Learned in 2014

In a December 10, 2014 speech, Norm Champ, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, offered a glimpse at the top 10 industry lessons learned in 2014. While admitting that his Top Ten list “may not be as...more

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update -- December 2014

In This Issue: - Regulation ..SEC Chair’s Agenda Provides Glimpse of New Rules to Come ..The Results Are In: Investors Favor Additional Regulatory Protection ..SEC Declines to Approve Non-Transparent...more

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