Securities & Exchange Commission

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission was created in 1934 in response to the Great Stock Market Crash of 1929. The Commission was created to protect investors, ensure fairness in the market, and... more +
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission was created in 1934 in response to the Great Stock Market Crash of 1929. The Commission was created to protect investors, ensure fairness in the market, and encourage capital formation. The Commission is headed by five presidentially-appointed Commissioners who oversee the Commission’s five divisions: Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Enforcement, Division of Investment Management, and the Division of Risk, Strategy and Financial Information.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Five Key Takeaways from Key Energy’s SEC FCPA Settlement

The SEC, last week, announced its $5 million settlement with Key Energy. As always, FCPA settlements contain important examples of enforcement priorities and policies. Key Energy’s recent settlement is an example of the...more

Business Litigation Report - August 2016

Circuit Courts Align to Shield SEC Administrative Proceedings from Collateral Constitutional Attack - In response to the financial crisis of the late 2000s, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer...more

Hallmark 4- Risk Assessments

One cannot really say enough about risk assessments in the context of anti-corruption programs. Since at least 1999 the DOJ has said that risk assessments that measure the likelihood and severity of possible Foreign Corrupt...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

Hallmark 3 – Oversight, Autonomy and Resources

I. Autonomy - The DOJ has made clear over the years the importance of this hallmark. In the FCPA Guidance it states, “In appraising a compliance program, DOJ and SEC also consider whether a company has assigned...more

Private Fund Advisers Must Pay Close Attention to Nuances under Pay-to-Play Restrictions in Light of Upcoming Elections Nationwide

As the elections approach nationwide, advisers to private investment funds with current or prospective state or local government entity investors should be mindful of political activities by their personnel which could raise...more

SEC Busts Apollo for Disclosure and Supervisory Failures

The SEC charged four private equity fund advisers affiliated with Apollo Global Management for misleading fund investors about fees and a loan agreement and failing to supervise a senior partner who charged personal expenses...more

August 2016: Circuit Courts Align to Shield SEC Administrative Proceedings from Collateral Constitutional Attack

In response to the financial crisis of the late 2000s, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”) in 2010. Previously the SEC could pursue civil penalties only against...more

Selected Risk Retention Questions and Answers for CMBS Securitizations

On October 22, 2014, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Housing...more

Hallmark 2 – Code of Conduct and Compliance Policies and Procedures

The cornerstone of a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance program is its written protocols. This includes a Code of Conduct, policies and procedures. In the FCPA Guidance, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and...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

What, If Anything, Impedes The SEC’s Whistleblower Rule?

As I suspected, law firms are churning out memoranda on the SEC’s recent enforcement actions involving alleged impediments to whistleblowers. While accurately, summarizing these actions, I’m not sure that some of the authors...more

SEC Files Settled Offering Fraud Action

Offering fraud actions continue to be a staple of SEC enforcement. The Commission’s most recent action is this stream of cases involved a limited liability company that never engaged in business. SEC v. Jones, Civil Action...more

Putting a Premium on Illiquidity: Some Reflections on the SEC’s Scrutiny of Valuation Practices and Disclosures

Valuation is typically near the top of the list when the SEC’s enforcement division and exam staff disclose their priority topics for private funds.  We expect that trend to continue and, if anything, the focus on valuation...more

Update: Another SEC Enforcement Action on Whistleblower Waivers and Releases

Summary - Earlier this month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its second significant enforcement action against an employer based on confidentiality and release provisions that the SEC asserts...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 8.22.16

The SEC’s opened an inquiry into Hampton Creek in response to a Bloomberg report that the Just Mayo maker used undercover contractors to purchase its non-egg mayonnaise product in bulk not long before HC raised $90 million...more

SEC Targets Employment Agreements Requiring Waiver of Whistleblower Awards

The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower continues to examine employee severance, settlement and confidentiality agreements for language that might chill reporting of securities violations to the SEC and other regulators. The...more

Private Fund Advisers Must Pay Close Attention to Nuances under Pay-to-Play Restrictions in Light of Upcoming Elections Nationwide

As the elections approach nationwide, advisers to private investment funds with current or prospective state or local government entity investors should be mindful of political activities by their personnel which could raise...more

SEC Takes Aim at Anti-Whistleblower Employment Agreements

On August 15, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its second fine in six days to a health insurer for allegedly creating severance agreements that illegally restrict former employees from collecting...more

Public Companies to Revise Employee Confidentiality and Severance Provisions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued two Cease and Desist Orders that dramatically change the landscape for employee contractual confidentiality provisions, as well as for employee waiver and release...more

Standard Severance Agreements May Need to Be Revised

Many employers offer severance agreements to departing employees which, at least in part, are designed to protect the employer from disclosures of confidential information and from any future claims or recovery by the...more

Insider Trading: Is Stewart the Way Forward for the Government?

The Government’s insider trading conviction last week in U.S.v. Stewart, No. 1:15-cr-00287 (S.D.N.Y.) is being hailed by some as the way forward for the DOJ and the SEC in a post-Newman world. Perhaps. But consideration of...more

Developments in SEC Private Company Enforcement: Sophisticated VC’s in the Role of Victim

The announcement that San Francisco private company Hampton Creek faces an SEC inquiry related to their alleged “buyback” program of vegan mayo comes as no shock... As soon as the facts were initially reported it seemed only...more

Two New SEC Orders Further Limit Employers' Ability to Secure Employee Releases and the Breadth of Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued two orders challenging employee confidentiality agreements and indicating that companies must not condition employees’ receipt of severance payments and other...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

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