News & Analysis as of

SEC Lays Out Road Map On Disclosure Reform

Keith F. Higgins, Director, SEC Division of Corporation Finance, recently laid out the SEC staff’s approach to the much discussed disclosure reform initiative. Highlights are as follows...more

D.C. Circuit Partially Strikes Down SEC Conflict Minerals Rules

On April 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in the challenge to the SEC’s conflict minerals disclosure rule filed by the National Association of Manufacturers (“NAM”) and...more

"SEC Conflict Minerals Disclosure Requirements Ruled Unconstitutional"

On April 14, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s conflict minerals disclosure requirements are unconstitutional and remanded the matter to...more

Appeals Court Opinion Changes Conflict Minerals Rules Compliance Landscape

On Monday, April 14, 2014, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (the DC Circuit) struck down part of the federal rules requiring publicly traded companies to report on their use of “conflict...more

Court Ruling Regarding the Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals Disclosure Requirements

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held today that a portion of the SEC’s conflict minerals reporting regulations – and possibly a portion of the underlying Dodd Frank Act – compel speech in violation...more

SEC Director of Corporation Finance Discusses Disclosure Effectiveness

On April 11, 2014, Keith F. Higgins, Director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Corporation Finance, gave a speech before the ABA Business Law Section discussing the new Disclosure Project...more

SEC Issues New FAQs on Conflict Minerals

On April 7, the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued nine new responses to frequently asked questions regarding the disclosure of conflict mineral usage that is required by rules...more

Name And Shame No More?

The last few years has seen the rise of so-called “name and shame” laws. The aims of many these laws may be laudable, but yesterday’s decision by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit calls their...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review - April 14, 2014

Agencies Apply Increased Leverage Ratio to Large U.S. Banks - On April 8, the Fed, FDIC and OCC adopted the final rule to increase the leverage ratio for the largest U.S. banks. The final rule applies to U.S. bank...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel

The Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Keith Higgins, recently gave the keynote address, here, at the 2014 Angel Capital Association Summit. He focused on the following three items on the SEC rulemaking...more

The Complexities of the USPTO Proposed Attributable Ownership Rules

The USPTO proposed attributable ownership rules would require the public disclosure of the “attributable owner” of patent applications and patents. As discussed in this article, the proposed definition of “attributable owner”...more

SEC Initiative Encourages Continuing Disclosure Violation Self-Reporting By Issuers And Underwriters

HIGHLIGHTS - - The Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative (MCDC Initiative) begun by the SEC's Enforcement Division encourages issuers, borrowers or underwriters to self-disclose potential...more

An Upside to Parallel Civil and Criminal Investigations? Criminal Authorities May Have to Disclose Exculpatory Information in the...

Good facts make good lawyers, but good lawyers need to know where to go to get those facts. More and more frequently, the staff of the Division of Enforcement of the SEC is conducting investigations in coordination with U.S....more

Securities Update - March 2014

In December 2013, the Staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance issued to Congress its “Report on Review of Disclosure Requirements in Regulation S-K” (the S-K Study) that originally...more

Beyond Real Estate: Publicly Traded Homebuilders (And Other Public Companies) Must be Aware of Cybersecurity and Data Breach...

Generally speaking, publicly traded homebuilders and other public companies must disclose material information in their SEC filings. “Information is considered material if there is a substantial likelihood that a reasonable...more

For Municipal Bond Issuers, SEC’s New Cooperation Initiative Could Be a Good Idea (Unless It’s a Bad Idea)

You know how every few years libraries will offer an amnesty program and give delinquent borrowers a chance to bring in their old books without prohibitive late fines? The SEC is sort of trying out that approach with its new...more

Another Modest Proposal – Risk Factors

This week, Broc Romanek launched CorporateAffairs.tv. No, it’s not a live video feed of boardroom dalliances. One of Broc’s first videos, Dramatic Risk Factors: We Face Competition (Vol. 1), inspired me to write about an...more

Proxy Statement Enterprise Risk Management Disclosure – A Missed Opportunity

Buried at the end of the SEC’s multi-page corporate governance disclosure rule (Regulation S-K, Item 407(h)), is the requirement to: “disclose the extent of the board’s role in…risk oversight, such as how the board...more

SEC Approves Changes to FINRA BrokerCheck Disclosure Rule 8312

The Securities and Exchange Commission approved two changes to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Rule 8312 relating to FINRA BrokerCheck Disclosure (BrokerCheck Rule)...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 8

In this issue: - OTC Markets Proposes Amendments to OTCQX Rules and New Rules for US Banks - SEC Approves Changes to FINRA BrokerCheck Disclosure Rule 8312 - SEC to Examine Never-Before Examined...more

Interim Vote Tallies: To Disclose or Not to Disclose

Uncertainty continues as Broadridge flip-flops over its policy on the disclosure of interim proxy tallies in a proxy contest. In early February 2014, Broadridge announced a new policy that a company and shareholder proponents...more

Closing the Conflict Minerals Loop–Ongoing Compliance

By now you’ve heard all you want to hear about complying with the new conflict minerals disclosure rules. You know that public companies that manufacture a product, or contract to manufacture a product, for which a conflict...more

SEC Updates Guidance on Share-Based Compensation Disclosures in IPOs

On February 6, 2014, the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) updated Section 9520 of its Financial Reporting Manual regarding share-based compensation disclosures in initial...more

Merger And Acquisition Due Diligence And Voluntary Disclosures

The Justice Department and the SEC continue the drumbeat encouraging companies to voluntarily disclose potential FCPA violations. Of course, the reason for their position is obvious – they want to know about every violation,...more

SEC Division of Corporation Finance Issues Guidance on Rule 506(c) Private Placements

On January 23, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance issued new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (C&DIs) with respect to Rule 506 exemptions from registration under the Securities...more

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