News & Analysis as of

SEC Sends Wells Notice to S&P Concerning MBS Ratings

On July 23, S&P’s parent company, McGraw Hill Financial Inc., disclosed that it received a Wells notice indicating that the SEC’s enforcement staff had made a preliminary determination to recommend that the SEC institute an...more

New Decision Bodes Well for SEC in Conflict Minerals Case

In April 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held the SEC’s conflict minerals rule and statute embodied in Dodd-Frank violate the First Amendment to the extent the statute and rule require...more

SEC Settlement: The FCPA Risks of Entering New Markets

Entering into new, international markets may be good for developing business, but it also carries certain risks. This is particularly true in many countries where doing business may include making gifts, paying gratuities and...more

Guns and More Guns: SEC Hits Smith & Wesson for FCPA Violations

One thing the SEC likes to do is bring cases with a lot of deterrent value. That is, cases that it hopes will scare other people and companies into complying with the law. Often that means cases with large price tags...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending July 25, 2014)

The Commission issued its long discussed rules reforming money markets this week, requiring that institutional prime money market funds have a floating NAV. The vote was 3-2....more

Big Brother Vs. Underfunded Enforcement

On July 5, 2014, in an opinion piece entitled “The Real Internal Revenue Scandal,” the editorial board of The New York Times noted that “every dollar spent on internal revenue service enforcement yields $6 in additional...more

Expect Focus - Catching The Next Wave, Regulatory and Litigation Developments - Volume II, Spring 2014

In This Issue: - IN THE SPOTLIGHT ..Private Equity: The Next Wave of SEC Enforcement Actions? - LIFE INSURANCE ..How to Fight a STOLI Scheme: Court Rulings Offer Clues ..STOA Schemes Face...more

SEC Efforts To Compel SIPIC Coverage For Stanford Victims Rejected

The D.C. Circuit rejected efforts by the SEC to compel the Securities Investor Protection Corporation to liquidate a broker-dealer that was part of the Stanford Ponzi scheme empire. The investors had purchased CDs from an...more

SEC Continues to Focus on Microcap Fraud

Microcap fraud is a continuing enforcement priority for the SEC. Last week, for example, the Commission brought an action centered on what would have been a pump and dump scheme but for the fact that the shell company was...more

Examples of Social Media in M&A Transactions

In April 2014, the SEC provided guidance on the use of social media in M&A and other contexts. Companies have begun to cautiously make use of the guidance but the flood gates haven’t exactly opened....more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending July 18, 2014)

The SEC’s insider trading probe regarding the House Ways and Means Committee and a senior staff member, also involves 44 investment funds and other entities, according to a Bloomberg news report citing recently filed court...more

FDA Promises Guidance on Lawful Off-Label Promotion

In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (the "FDA") announced that by the end of the year, the agency would issue a draft guidance document addressing the contours of lawful and unlawful off-label promotion. The...more

Swimming in the Deep End: A Primer on Dark Pools

“Dark pools of liquidity” have recently become the focus of increased regulatory scrutiny, including a number of high-profile enforcement actions related to these alternative trading systems. This increased scrutiny follows...more

SEC Settles Civil FCPA Action Against Two Former Oil Services Executives

On the eve of a trial which was scheduled to begin this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission settled a civil Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) case it brought against two former oil services executives. The case...more

Governance & Securities Law Focus: Latin America Edition

In this issue: - US DEVELOPMENTS - SEC Developments - PCAOB Adopts Auditing Standard and Amendments - Noteworthy US Securities Law Litigation - Recent SEC/DOJ Enforcement Matters...more

Governance & Securities Law Focus: Asia Edition

In this issue: - ASIAN DEVELOPMENTS - HKEx Publishes Revised Connected Transaction Rules - US DEVELOPMENTS - SEC Developments - PCAOB Adopts Auditing Standard and Amendments -...more

The SEC, Insider Trading, Golf And E-Mails

Insider trading is generally a profit making venture. But not always as a group of golf friends recently learned – and documented in numerous e-mails that may have actually created a better evidentiary trail than the much...more

Private Equity: The Next Wave of SEC Enforcement Actions?

Ever since the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act required many investment advisers to private equity funds to register with the SEC for the first time, fund managers knew that additional scrutiny might...more

An XBRL Prod from the SEC

The SEC has been noticeably quiet about XBRL compliance since those regulations were adopted in 2009. In July, however, the staff softly prodded this public company sore spot (think: conflicts mineral sore) with a letter...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending July 11, 2014)

The unblemished record of the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office in insider trading cases came to an end this week with the acquittal of Rengan Rajaratnam, brother of the convicted Galleon Fund founder. This is the first loss...more

Two Observations From the SEC’s First Settlement Under its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative

Just yesterday, the SEC announced its first settlement pursuant to its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative. ... Here are two observations on this settlement that could shed some light on...more

SEC’s First Action Under the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative

The SEC settled its first action under the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative, launched on March 10, 2014. Under the Initiative the Enforcement Division agreed to recommend settlement on favorable,...more

Second Circuit Overturns District Court’s Rejection of SEC-Citigroup Fraud Settlement

In a closely-watched decision involving judicial review of agency settlements, the Unites States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated United States District Court Judge Jed Rakoff’s 2011 order rejecting a proposed...more

SEC Charges Tied to the Lack of An Algorithm

High speed trading and the use of algorithms is a key topic of debate. An investment strategy centered on an algorithm for use in the currency markets is at the center of a settled administrative proceeding filed by the...more

Parallel Government Actions Against Bank of America May Proceed

On June 19, Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. of the Western District of North Carolina issued Orders in two parallel actions by the DOJ and SEC against Bank of America, previously covered in the August 12, 2013 and April 7, 2014...more

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