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Fourth Circuit Limits Liability under Maryland Finder’s Fee Act

In two recent opinions, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit substantially limited the potential scope of liability under the Maryland Finder’s Fee Act. Applying the plain language of the statute, the Fourth...more

VA Switches: FINRA Disciplinary Action Reminds Firms About the Need for Adequate Supervisory Procedures

In a case involving unsuitable variable annuity (VA) transactions, FINRA found that having good procedures and discovering improper conduct are not enough. A member firm must also ensure that it has adequate supervisory...more

U.S. Brokers Doing Business Overseas

Recently, regulators have made inquiries about the lawfulness of U.S. brokerage firms soliciting foreign clients. The regulators want to know under what exemptions or rules U.S. firms can do business overseas. This is a new...more

FINRA Targets Brokers’ Routing Of Orders

On July 8, FINRA released a targeted examination letter it sent to 10 firms to assess their compliance with requirements related to order routing and execution quality of customer orders in exchange listed stocks during the...more

FINRA Announces and Publishes Its Sweep of Order Routing Practices

FINRA announced this week that it is conducting a review of its member firms’ order-routing processes and procedures and the execution quality of customer orders in exchange-listed stocks. We previously reported in this...more

STOA Schemes Face Increased Regulatory Scrutiny

Increased SEC and Justice Department prosecution is bad news for stranger-originated annuity (STOA) schemes. The SEC recently announced that enforcement actions were taken against brokers Michael A. Horowitz of California and...more

FINRA Sanctions a Broker for Violating Japanese Insider Trading Law

On July 2, 2014, FINRA announced that it barred a former equity trader from the securities industry based on its finding that he violated Japanese insider trading law by trading in the securities of a Japanese company listed...more

Certain Merger and Acquisition Brokers Escape SEC Registration

The SEC recently issued a no-action letter that allows private company M&A brokers who satisfy specific criteria to avoid registering as broker-dealers with the SEC. Historically, an intermediary in a private M&A transaction...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions - June 2014

Insurance Coverage; Professional Services Exclusion; Completed Operations; Duty To Defend: North Counties Engineering, Inc. v. State Farm General Insurance Company (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 902, 169 Cal.Rptr.3d 726...more

Seed Capital Review: Fall 2013 Survey Of Angel Financings

Welcome to the first installment of Seed Capital review, written by members of the entrepreneurial Services Group at Gray plant mooty. this is our first periodic report analyzing seed capital being raised by companies in...more

SIFMA Guidance on Investor Verification

SIFMA has issued a Memorandum intended to provide broker-dealers and advisers with guidance regarding procedures for investor verification in connection with offerings made pursuant to Rule 506(c)....more

FINRA Fines Broker-Dealer for Failing to Apply Class A Sales Charge Waivers for Certain Eligible Customers on its Mutual Fund...

On June 16, 2014, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) accepted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (the “AWC”) from Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (the “Firm”) regarding an...more

Banking & Finance Litigation Update - Issue 77 (Global)

In This Issue: - Domestic Banking - Domestic General - European Banking - European General - International Banking - International General - Excerpt from International General: 55....more

CFPB Provides Guidance on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule

On June 17, 2014, the CFPB staff and Federal Reserve co-hosted a webinar on the final TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule that will be effective for applications received by creditors or mortgage brokers on or after August...more

Broker, Two Employees Alleged to Violate SEC Market Access Rule

The Commission’s inspection program, conducted by the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations or OCIE, has been the source of a number of enforcement actions. One example is the recently filed case against dark pool...more

Bernstein Shur Business and Commercial Litigation Newsletter #40

We are pleased to present the 40th edition of the Bernstein Shur Business and Commercial Litigation Newsletter. This month, we discuss fee shifting provisions in corporate bylaws, the settlement of high stakes smartphone...more

What A Broker Needs To Know About Suitability Under FINRA Rule 2111

The Financial Industry Regulation Authority (“FINRA”) updated the suitability requirements for brokers in July 2012. FINRA’s goal was to codify principles found in case law and expand language to account for a wide range of...more

Mortgage Lead Generator To Pay $250,000 in FTC Settlement on Deceptively Advertised Mortgage Rate Charges

GoLoansOnline.com, Inc., a Houston, Texas-based mortgage lead generator, will pay the Federal Trade Commission $250,000 under a settlement announced earlier this month of claims it operated mortgage lending websites that...more

Compliance Matters: Prior Disclosure = Future Exposure?

Broker and broker-dealer information is generally a few keystrokes or mouse-clicks away for anyone with an Internet connection, and regulators are working to shorten those paths. The information available is just as expansive...more

Is A Licensed Securities Dealer A “Professional” Under Alabama Law Prohibiting Enforcement Of Nonsolicitation Agreements Against...

The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals released a slip opinion on May 16, 2014 addressing enforcement of a nonsolicitation agreement against a licensed securities broker. See G.L.S. & Associates, Inc., and G.L. Smith &...more

Looking For The List Of OTC Margin Stocks? You’ll Find It In California’s New LLC Act

When originally enacted, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 banned brokers and dealers from extending margin credit on over-the-counter (OTC) securities. This changed in 1969 when the Exchange Act was amended. The Federal...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending May 16, 2014)

The Commission got split decisions in court this week. It prevailed in one high profile trial, obtaining a jury verdict in its favor. It lost a significant summary judgment motion regarding the statute of limitations...more

Private Equity Newsletter - May 2014

A no-action letter recently issued by the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets is a welcome development in the private equity world as it permits “M&A Brokers,” subject to conditions, to provide advice regarding certain...more

Liability Of A Truck Broker In Catastrophic Personal Injury Cases

In the vast majority of personal injury and wrongful death cases involving commercial motor carriers the insurance limits for the motor carrier are sufficient to cover the loss given the required $750,000 minimum limits...more

Specific Steps Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers Should Take in Response to the SEC’s Cybersecurity Initiative

On April 15, 2014 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) released a Risk Alert announcing its Cybersecurity Initiative....more

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