KBR (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root)

News & Analysis as of

SEC Takes Issue with Employee Confidentiality Obligations and Waivers of Monetary Awards

The Securities and Exchange Commission's (the "SEC" or "Commission") Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations ("OCIE") issued a risk alert on October 24, 2016, announcing that it will be reviewing registrants'...more

Small Business Securities Bulletin: Standard Confidentiality Provisions May Be Prohibited "Pretaliation" in Eyes of SEC

As we discussed in our June 2011 Bulletin, available here, SEC rules promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (Exchange Act), pursuant to Section 21F thereunder as enacted by the Dodd-Frank Wall...more

The New FCPA Cooperation Plan - Revitalized program or regurgitation of existing policy?

On April 5, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued an Enforcement and Guidance Plan (Plan) concerning the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). While the new Plan could be interpreted as a novel departure from past...more

SEC Takes Aim at Anti-Whistleblower Employment Agreements

On Aug. 15, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued its second fine in six days to an employer for drafting severance agreements that restricted former employees from collecting awards as whistleblowers. The fines...more

CFTC Proposes Rules to Align with SEC Whistleblower Program

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) proposed amendments last month to the regulations governing its whistleblower bounty program. A number of the changes are aimed at more closely aligning the CFTC’s...more

Lessons From Recently Vacated Arbitration Awards

While I was busy blogging out listicles and “think pieces” last month, my stack of unread arbitration cases grew exponentially.  August was apparently a very busy month for publishing arbitration opinions.  Maybe most...more

Companies Should Revisit Severance and Other Agreements as the SEC Steps Up Enforcement Actions to Protect Whistleblower Rights

In less than one week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced enforcement actions against two companies that had required their departing employees to waive their rights to any monetary recovery under the...more

Privilege Considerations in Cyber Incident Response

As with other types of crisis situations, a cyber security incident can generate not only operational issues, but also significant legal exposure. Affected companies should think through the associated privilege issues,...more

The SEC Nixes Contractual Waivers of Whistleblower Recoveries

In April 2015, the SEC announced in a first-of-its-kind enforcement action that certain KBR, Inc. confidentiality agreements violated the whistleblower protections of the Dodd-Frank Act by requiring employees and former...more

SEC Issues Cease-and-Desist Order Against Severance Agreement Clause Limiting Whistleblowers' Rights to Recover Bounty Awards

On August 10, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a cease-and-desist Order and imposed remedial sanctions against a publicly traded company for including language in its severance agreements requiring...more

Benchmarking Your FCPA Compliance Program

After a relatively slow year of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prosecutions in 2015, this year started out with a landmark settlement against telecommunications provider VimpelCom Ltd. DC Partner Mark Srere, Denver...more

Between A Rock and A Hard Place: How the Severin Doctrine May Relate to Your Statute of Limitations Period

I previously blogged about the rules relating to pass-through claims, where a prime contractor’s recovery from an owner for damages suffered by its subcontractor is limited in certain circumstances. In the post, I talked...more

Preserving the Attorney-Client Privilege when Conducting an Internal Investigation

You may recall that, back in July 2014, we advised that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals had overturned a D.C. District Court decision in a False Claims Act case that required the results of an internal investigation, which...more

The DBA's Exclusive Workers Compensation Scheme for Overseas Government Contractor Personnel

Understanding the preemptive role of the Defense Base Act (‘‘DBA’’) is crucial for any federal government contractor performing overseas work for the US military or federal departments or agencies. The DBA creates an...more

Second Circuit Offers Bad News, Good News and No News

In Schaeffler v. United States, 806 F.3d 34 (2d Cir. 2015), the Second Circuit reversed a district court's holding that (1) a taxpayer waived his privilege protection by disclosing protected legal advice to his lenders, and...more

First Circuit Applies Kellogg Brown & Root to Allow Relator to File Motion to Supplement Previously Dismissed Complaint

In United States ex rel. Gadbois v. PharMerica Corp., — F.3d —- (1st Cir. 2015), the First Circuit, in a matter of first impression, held that a relator’s complaint was not subject to dismissal under the first-to-file bar...more

Business Lit Ledger - Fall 2015

In this Fall issue of our newsletter, you will find a review of several significant legal developments. For example, our antitrust group reviews actions taken by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice...more

Business Litigation Report - September 2015

Alleging Fraud in a Financial Crisis: The Second Circuit Articulates a Less Stringent Pleading Standard for Loss Causation: Loss causation has emerged as a central obstacle to post-financial-crisis fraud cases. The loss...more

KBR And Maintaining Privilege Throughout Investigations

Last month, for the second time, the D.C. Circuit in In re Kellogg Brown & Root Inc., No. 14-5319, slip op. (D.C. Cir. Aug. 11, 2015), granted a writ of mandamus sought by KBR and vacated a series of district court orders...more

The Chill is Gone: SEC Wants Unfettered Whistleblowers

The SEC continues its efforts to support whistleblowers. The whistleblower program promulgated by the Commission under the Dodd-Frank Act offers rewards to individuals who report securities law violations. As we have...more

The D.C. Circuit Issues Another Privilege-Friendly Decision: Part II

Last week's Privilege Point discussed the D.C. Circuit's refusal to order disclosure of privileged communications a Rule 30(b)(6) deponent reviewed before testifying. In re Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., No. 14-5319, 2015 U.S....more

D.C. Circuit Reinforces Attorney-Client Privilege Applicable to Internal Investigations

On August 11, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District Court of Columbia issued a decision of importance to all companies that seek to maintain privilege with respect to internal investigations. The D.C....more

D.C. Circuit Once Again Upholds Privilege Over Internal Investigation Documents

In United States ex rel. Barko v. Halliburton Co. et al., a qui tam suit we previously covered, the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals once again ruled that defense contractor KBR Inc.’s internal investigation...more

The D.C. Circuit Issues Another Privilege-Friendly Decision: Part I

In 2014, the D.C. Circuit adopted a very favorable privilege standard — protecting communications if "one significant . . . purpose[]" was corporations' need for legal advice, even if that was not the communications' "primary...more

“You Know How to Whistle Don’t You?”—Whistleblowers Gain Even More Protection

The SEC recently issued guidance specifying that whistleblowers do not first have to take their concerns to the SEC in order to be covered by the SEC’s anti-retaliation rule. The guidance clarifies that those whistleblowers...more

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