On July 21, 2010, after months of debate and controversy, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Act”) into law. This Client Alert focuses on the aspects of the Act that will most directly impact our publicly traded clients: changes relating to corporate governance and executive compensation. Many of these provisions are not self-effectuating, but instead will require the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) to engage in the process of issuing rules to implement the intent of Congress. Accordingly, many of the specific details of these changes remain to be determined, and most will not take effect until at least six months from now. However, companies should start now to think about ways in which they may need to adjust their disclosure controls and procedures, annual meeting processes, and compensation practices in order to comply with the Act.
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