Conflicts of Interest

News & Analysis as of

Three Considerations For Drafting A Code of Business Conduct

Although the Securities and Exchange Commission does not require that a company adopt a code of business conduct and ethics, I would be very surprised to hear of an SEC reporting company that has not adopted such a code. ...more

Service on outside boards has its risks

Attorneys are often eager to serve on boards of directors of outside organizations and with good reason. After all, membership on a board can increase the attorney's visibility, create connections that lead to new business...more

SEC Charges Private Equity Advisers With Inadequate Disclosure

The Commission has brought a series of cases against private equity centered on undisclosed fees and conflicts of interest – key areas of interest during OCIE exams. The latest proceeding in this string of cases involves four...more

NLRB Says General Conflict of Interest Policies Violate Federal Labor Law

Another week, another National Labor Relations Board decision concluding that a standard employee handbook policy violates employees’ rights to engage in protected concerted activity under Section 7 of the NLRA. This time,...more

The Science Behind Expert Disqualification

Basic Test - Why stop at excluding expert testimony when you can exclude the expert? For years, expert witness conflicts doctrine has been developed through the federal common law. Although appellate courts have been...more

Accountability and Transition in ICANN’s New gTLD Program

Bringing accountability to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the little known yet hugely significant global regulator of the Internet domain name system, is always a significant victory. ICANN...more

Mexico Enacts a Sweeping New Anti-Corruption Regime, Accompanied by a Public Apology from President Peña Nieto and Increased...

After an aggressive grassroots campaign, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto recently announced the enactment of sweeping changes to Mexico’s anti-corruption regime. The new law is a significant step toward transparency in a...more

North Carolina Court of Appeals Affirms Right of Former Trustee to Represent Lender in Foreclosure Under Deed of Trust

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion addressing whether a conflict of interest exists when a trustee under a deed of trust initiates a foreclosure proceeding and later represents the lender in that...more

FCA considers promotion, conflicts of interest and governance of dark pools in thematic review

On 21 July 2016, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published the results of a thematic review, in which they examined 'dark pools' - trading venues with no pre-trade transparency, where the price and volume of all orders...more

Open-ended property funds: a fund-amental mismatch?

On 4 July 2016, Standard Life Investments suspended trading as a result of investors flooding the gates for redemptions. Several other funds such as M&G and Aviva Investments followed suit throughout the same week. The...more

Rooting Out Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of interest do not thrive in sunlight. Just ask anyone in the advertising industry. Whatever follows in the wake of the recent eye-opening study of transparency in the media business, one thing is already...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The SEC prevailed on summary judgment in an action centered on an offering fraud. The principals of the scheme were found to have violated the antifraud provisions while a codefendant was determined to have acted as an...more

Corporate Law & Governance Update - August 2016

The Hershey Governance Settlement - On Friday, July 29, the Pennsylvania Attorney General, the Hershey Trust Company and the Milton Hershey School, entered into a written settlement resolving an investigation conducted...more

What Have Merchants Gained from Payment Card Antitrust Litigation?

In recent years, federal antitrust enforcers and businesses that accept payment cards have been waging a slow war against payment card fees and the card network rules that protect them. The payment card industry’s antitrust...more

Elevating Form Over Substance: OCI Waiver Challenges at GAO

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has exhibited little interest in evaluating the basis for agency decisions to waive organizational conflicts of interest (OCI). Where protesters have challenged agency waiver...more

FDA Regulatory and Compliance Monthly Recap — July 2016

FDA publishes draft guidance outlining conflict-of-interest rules for advisory committee members - The draft guidance describes how the agency determines whether members with appearance issues may be allowed to...more

Excluding lawyers from Section 2 interviews: has the SFO gone too far?

It has usually been taken for granted that an individual who is required to attend an interview with a UK regulator or authority can be accompanied by a lawyer of their choice. Until now. Under new UK Serious Fraud Office...more

Court Of Chancery Reviews Corporate Opportunity Doctrine Where Derivative Claim Eliminated By Merger

This is an excellent explanation of the corporate opportunity doctrine’s four elements, under which directors may be liable for taking a business opportunity that: (1) the corporation is financially able to take for itself;...more

AMA Adopts Ethical Guidelines for Telemedicine Providers

At its annual meeting on June 13, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted ethical guidelines for the use of telemedicine, affirming the organization’s support of the use of telemedicine technologies within the confines...more

ERISA Litigation Newsletter - July 2016

Editor's Overview - This month we take a look at the plaintiffs' past successes in fee litigations, and the influx of such lawsuits seeking to impose heightened fiduciary standards for 401(k) plans. Regardless of the...more

SEC Approves Nasdaq “Golden Leash” Disclosure Rule

On July 1, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved Nasdaq’s proposal for a “golden leash” disclosure rule (Rule 5250(b)(3)) requiring listed companies to publicly disclose benefits given by investors or other...more

Relief in Sight for New York Nonprofits with Prospect of Additional Amendments to the Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013

On June 16, 2016, the New York Legislature passed A10365-B approving further changes to the Nonprofit Revitalization Act (the “Revitalization Act” or “Act”), including major changes to the rules on independent directors and...more

Make sure your emails don't turn into evidence

Sometimes the first notice of a legal malpractice claim is a demand or a complaint. However, attorneys or law firms often become aware of a claim through threats from the client during the course of a representation or...more

SEC Examiners Focused on Fund Share Class Conflicts of Interest

OCIE recently published a Risk Alert announcing that it will examine the potential conflict of interest created by registered investment advisers being financially incentivized to recommend certain share classes to clients....more

The FCA Peers Into Dark Pools

On July 21, 2016, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom (UK) published a thematic review: UK equity market dark pools - Role, promotion and oversight in wholesale markets. Background - The...more

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