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Gifts of Travel and Luxury Watches to Saudi Officials Not Mere 'Icing on the Cake' for FCPA Charges

Improper Gifts Alone, Without Cash Bribes, Serve as Basis for SEC’s Latest FCPA Enforcement Action - Earlier this week, the SEC announced fines for two former defense contractor employees for FCPA violations relating...more

2015 Compensation Committee Handbook

Preface - The duties imposed on compensation committees of publicly traded companies have evolved and grown over time. This first edition of the Compensation Committee Handbook from the lawyers of the Executive...more

Office of Whistleblower Annual Report (Version 2014); More of the Same or Progress on Dodd-Frank Objectives?

The SEC released its Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Report (the “Report”) to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program on November 18, 2014. The Report analyzes the tips received over the last twelve months by the SEC’s...more

Highlights of SEC’s 2014 Annual Report

On November 17, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower (“OWB”) released its fourth Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program to Congress, which details information on OWB’s...more

Fifth Circuit Finds SOX Violation in Disclosure of Whistleblower’s Identity

The Fifth Circuit affirms the DOL Administrative Review Board’s decision that employer disclosure of a whistleblower’s identity in a document retention notice constitutes an adverse action....more

What Is a Prudent Investment? Using Simulation to Evaluate Investment Selections

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), plaintiffs may file suit alleging that the selection of certain retirement investments was imprudent. Such litigation occurs after a retirement plan incurs...more

SEC’s 2014 Report on Dodd-Frank Whistleblowing Program: Key Takeaways and Trends Companies Should Expect for 2015

On November 17, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued its 2014 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program and it is clear that the program is going strong. Following are six key takeaways...more

DOJ Criminal Division Renews Efforts to Investigate Whistleblower Allegations

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has signaled a heightened effort to bring criminal prosecutors into the loop regarding False Claims Act referrals and other whistleblower complaints. In recent remarks at a conference comprised...more

SEC Describes Profiles of Successful Whistleblowers

In its 2014 Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program, the SEC described the profile of successful whistleblowers. Because the SEC must keep the identity of whistleblowers confidential, it can only describe...more

Proxy Advisory Firms Release Policy Updates for 2015

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis, two leading proxy advisory firms, recently published their 2015 proxy voting guidelines for US companies, which include several updates applicable to the 2015 proxy...more

ISS and Glass Lewis Update their Proxy Voting Guidelines for 2015

Proxy research and advice entities Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) and Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC (“Glass Lewis”) recently updated the guidelines each service will use to inform their voting recommendations for...more

5th Circuit: Outing Whistleblower Equals Adverse Action

On November 12, 2014, in Halliburton, Inc. v. Admin. Review Bd., 5th Cir. No. 13-cv-60323, the Fifth Circuit affirmed an ARB’s decision that disclosing the identity of a whistleblower may constitute an “adverse action” under...more

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Document Preservation Notices Can Lead to SOX Violation!

On November 12, 2014, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a Department of Labor finding that Halliburton retaliated against a whistleblower by including his name in a document preservation notice. The court also held that emotional...more

Revealing Whistleblower’s Identity is Retaliation

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that revealing a whistleblower’s identity is prohibited retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in Halliburton, Inc. v. Administrative Review Board, United States...more

ISS and Glass Lewis Update Proxy Voting Guidelines for 2015

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) and Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC, issued their respective annual updates to their proxy voting guidelines on November 6, 2014. As revised these guidelines have important implications...more

FINRA: Firms Should Not Restrict Whistleblower Rights

Why it matters - In a new regulatory notice, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reminded regulated firms not to prohibit the exercise of whistleblower rights in settlement agreements with employees and...more

Glass Lewis Releases 2015 Proxy Paper Guidelines

On November 6, 2014, Glass Lewis & Co. released its 2015 Proxy Paper Guidelines for the United States showing the key draft policy changes for the 2015 proxy season. There are updates in the following areas: -...more

ISS Publishes 2015 Proxy Voting Guideline Updates

On November 6, 2014, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) released the 2015 updates to its benchmark proxy voting policies, having received comments to the draft policies it released on October 15, 2014. The final...more

Court Follows 5th Circuit Asadi Decision, Dismisses Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Verfuerth v. Orion Energy Systems, Inc., No. 14-cv-352 (E.D. Wis. Nov. 4, 2014) recently ruled that the Dodd-Frank whistleblower protection provision does not...more

Watch For A New Wave Of ERISA Stock Drop Cases

Plan fiduciaries may create a fiduciary duty in stock drop cases by incorporating filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission into the Summary Plan Description. We have been waiting for the Ninth Circuit to...more

SEC Obtains Over $4 Billion for Securities Violations in 2014

Following the end of its fiscal year on September 30, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reported that FY 2014 was notable not only for the record number of enforcement actions filed, but for the wide range of...more

Proxy Advisory Firms Update Policies with Respect to Executive Compensation for the 2015 Proxy Season

Two of the leading shareholder proxy advisory firms, Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”) and Glass Lewis & Co. ("Glass Lewis"), released updates to their proxy voting guidelines for the 2015 proxy season. In sum, there...more

ISS, Glass Lewis Release 2015 Proxy Voting Updates; Espouse Nuanced Review of Equity Compensation Practices

Proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services, or ISS, and Glass Lewis released their 2015 executive compensation proxy voting updates that may be particularly relevant for public companies that intend to submit new...more

Fifth Circuit Adopts Majority Rule on What Constitutes “Other Instruments” of an ERISA Plan

ERISA plan administrators facing broad requests for production under ERISA section 104(b)(4) may limit their production to formal legal documents governing the plan, based on new guidance from a panel of the Fifth Circuit in...more

Omnicare Court Ponders Two Middle Paths: One Rocky, One Smooth

Monday’s oral argument before the Supreme Court in Laborers District Counsel Construction Industry Pension Fund v. Omnicare, Inc., (“Omnicare”) was remarkable in that, as Omnicare attorney Kannon Shanmugam noted, it was the...more

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