Conflicts of Interest

News & Analysis as of

FINRA Sets Effective Dates for Research Report Conflicts Rules

FINRA rules addressing conflicts of interest relating to the publication of equity research reports become effective on September 25, 2015, or December 24, 2015. Corresponding rules for debt research reports become effective...more

A Compilation of Enforcement and Non-Enforcement Actions

Non-Enforcement - Form PF — What Purpose? SEC registered investment advisers with at least $150 million of assets under management in private funds are required to periodically file Form PF with the SEC. The...more

Public Bid Rejected Based on Access to Inside Information

The Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General (“AGO”) this month denied a bid protest by a low bidder because it had access to “insider knowledge” about the University of Massachusetts building project through its...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Limited Right of Carrier to Seek Recovery of Unreasonable Fees Directly from Insured’s...

On August 10, 2015, in Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. J.R. Marketing, LLC, et al., the California Supreme Court held that in some circumstances insurers may seek reimbursement of payments made to the insured's...more

FINRA’s New Research Rules

The new rules retain many of the current rules’ core requirements, but expand certain obligations and impose requirements on debt research activities for the first time. On August 26, 2015, the Financial Industry...more

Seventh Circuit Affirms Approval of Class Action Coupon Settlement Despite “Clear Sailing” and “Kicker” Clauses and Potential...

The Seventh Circuit affirmed a class action coupon settlement involving “clear sailing” and “kicker” clauses and a fee award based on the lodestar analysis rather than the value of the redeemed coupons, and notwithstanding a...more

Show Us the Money: FINRA Initiates Sweep Relating to Compensation Practices

FINRA has made no secret of its interest in broker compensation, and the potential conflicts of interest that can be generated by some types of compensation practices. FINRA discussed these issues in its 2015 annual...more

A Summary of Comments From the DOL Hearing on the Proposed Conflict of Interest Rule

On August 13, 2015, the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) concluded a four day public hearing on its proposed conflict of interest rule (the “Proposed Rule”). The approximately 75 witnesses generally fell into two groups: the...more

FINRA Sweep Exam on Compensation Conflicts

FINRA this week released its targeted exam letter requesting information on firms’ conflict-of-interest policies surrounding broker compensation and retail accounts. The sweep follows up on FINRA’s Conflicts Report from...more

Give & Take: The Case for a Better G&E Compliance Program

Part One: Setting The Foundation - Why Does G&E Matter? Tony Robbins once said, “Every problem is a gift—without problems we would not grow.” In the compliance arena, the reverse also applies, as many gifts can...more

The NLRB Expands Its Reach in the Non-Union Workplace

The National Labor Relations Board continues to infiltrate the workplace even where there are no unions. Standard workplace policies — including those relating to employee conduct, protecting intellectual property, use of...more

"SEC Extends Comment Period on Proposed Rule G-42, MSRB Files Partial Amendment"

On August 6, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed an Order instituting proceedings intended to determine whether to approve or disapprove Proposed Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) Rule G-42...more

RMBS Investors Sue U.S. Bank for Trust Losses

On August 5, 2015, RMBS investors filed a putative class action against U.S. Bank, N.A. in the Supreme Court for the State of New York. The investors assert that U.S. Bank, as trustee for the MASTR Adjustable Rate Mortgage...more

Bridging the Week - August 2015 #3

Hackers and Traders Charged by SEC and Department of Justice in International Securities Fraud Scheme - The computer servers of three major newswire companies were allegedly hacked as part of an elaborate illicit...more

Why Argentina's Petition to Vacate an Award in AWG Group Ltd v. Republic of Argentina Matters for Future Arbitrations

On 6 July 2015, Argentina filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia a petition to vacate an UNCITRAL arbitration award of approximately $20 million rendered in favour of AWG Group Ltd (No. 15-cv-01057, 6...more

You Cannot Buy an Ethical Corporate Culture

I do not mean to be facetious or snarky, but I am concerned about organizations that sell or promote their ability to certify or give a seal of approval to a company as an “ethical” company.  Even more troubling (or perhaps...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending August 14, 2015)

A second insider trading action was brought by the Commission against a senior banking official based on the same take-over for which he was previously charged — but a different securities trading account is at the center of...more

SEC Fines Adviser $20 Million Based on Conflicts

Failure to disclose conflicts of interest and/or to comply with firm procedures are the predicates for a series of SEC enforcement actions involving regulated entities. The most recent example of these trends is an action...more

Attorney General Issues Guidance On State Not-for-Profit Law

On April 13, 2015, the New York Attorney General’s office released two guidance documents addressing key provisions of the New York Not-for Profit Corporation Law (the N-PCL) enacted as part of the Non-profit Revitalization...more

ERISA (Sixth Circuit) — Medical Reviews: You Need to Explain WHY You are Rejecting the Treating Physician’s Opinions; and Don’t...

You already know that you do not have to give special deference to the opinions of treating physicians. But you need to explain why the treating physician’s opinions are being rejected....more

District Court Excludes Plaintiff's Infringement Expert for Conflict of Interest

Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC ("Mobile") filed a patent infringement action against LG Electronics Mobilecomm U.S.A. ("LG"). As trial approached, LG filed a motion to disqualify Mobile's infringement expert, Dr....more

50% Shareholder Denied Say In Defense Of Corporation

If two shareholders each own one half of the outstanding shares of a corporation, one might expect that they would have an equal say in just about everything.  It turns out that in some circumstances they won’t....more

2015 Mid-Year Securities Litigation and Enforcement Highlights

Welcome to the 2015 Mid-Year Report from the BakerHostetler Securities Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement Practice Team. The purpose is to provide a periodic survey, apart from our team Executive Alerts, on matters we...more

Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries

In re Estate of House, 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 3006 (Wash. Ct. App. 2014) - A release waiving any and all claims that the parties may have or may acquire, bars recovery for unknown claims existing at the time the release...more

Conflicts of Interest: When You're Having Too Much Fun at That Business Lunch

How should fund directors monitor gifts and entertainment received by investment adviser personnel? This question moved to the forefront in February, when the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment...more

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