Securities Exchange Act

The Securities Exchance Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1934 to govern the secondary securities trading market. In addition, the Securities Exchange Act established the Securities and Exchange... more +
The Securities Exchance Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1934 to govern the secondary securities trading market. In addition, the Securities Exchange Act established the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is the primary regulatory agency enforcing federal securities laws. less -
News & Analysis as of

Beware of Confidentiality Agreements with Employees; Make Sure They Don’t Stifle Whistleblowing

On April 1, 2015, the SEC announced its first enforcement action against a company for utilizing language in a confidentiality agreement which could discourage whistleblowing....more

Proposed Amendments to SEC Rule 15b9-1 Would Require Most Proprietary Trading Broker-Dealers to Become FINRA Members

Consistent with the increased regulatory scrutiny of proprietary trading firms-and high frequency trading firms in particular—the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently proposed amendments to SEC Rule 15b9-1 (also...more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Class Action Alleging That RBS Mislead Investors About RMBS Exposure

On April 15, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a putative investor class action against the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The plaintiffs had brought claims under Sections 10(b)...more

Dodd-Frank Anti-Spoofing Statute Not Void for Vagueness For High Frequency Trader

In United States v. Coscia, the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division declined to dismiss an indictment for “spoofing” against a high frequency trader under 7 U.S.C. §§ 6c(a)(5)(C) and 13(a)(2)...more

Third Circuit Lets Wal-Mart Exclude Firearms Proposal Under the “Ordinary Business Operations” Exception

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit summarily reversed a troubling decision of the Federal District Court in Delaware that required Wal-Mart to include in its 2015 proxy materials a shareholder...more

SEC Files Financial Fraud Action Against Japan Based Controller

The Commission filed a financial fraud action against a former senior accounting officer and controller of Molex Japan Co., Ltd., the Japanese based subsidiary of publically traded Molex Inc. The scheme, which took place in...more

"Wal-Mart Wins Appeal of Shareholder Proposal Decision"

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a decision on April 14, 2015 that reversed a U.S. District Court opinion and vacated a permanent injunction that would have required Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. to include a...more

SEC Secures Victory on Fraud Allegations Against Technology Executive

The US District Court for the District of Columbia took the unusual step of granting summary judgment against a technology company executive who the Securities and Exchange Commission accused of various violations of the...more

Expanding Oversight of Active, Proprietary Trading Firms: SEC Proposes Amendments to Rule 15b9-1

Overview - On March 25, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC" or "Commission") proposed an amendment to Rule 15b9-1 (the “Proposal”) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") that, if...more

In-House Counsel Risk SEC Enforcement for Some Confidentiality Agreements - Following Best Practices as Part of a Comprehensive...

Confidentiality agreements are boilerplate in many legal departments, but they shouldn't be. In-house counsel need to review all currently effective confidentiality agreements with anyone who could potentially be a...more

Three Thoughts about the SEC’s First “Pretaliation” Case

I was on a flight last Wednesday when the SEC released the first of what whistleblower chief Sean McKessy has dubbed “pretaliation” cases against KBR, Inc. When I landed I had several emails from colleagues, asking, “Did you...more

SEC Files Fraud Action Tied To Sale of Cellular Licensing

The sale of spectrum to operate cell phones can yield millions of dollars in profits. This notion was at the center of an action brought by the SEC against six individuals and eleven entities. Investors who purchased...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Scope of Liability Under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933

What you need to know: Public companies and practitioners alike have historically relied on the “bespeaks caution” doctrine, meaning that qualifying a statement as a belief was an effective disclaimer that the statement...more

SEC Charges Group of Unregistered Broker-Dealers Trading in Corporate Bond Market

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged more than 20 individuals and companies with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Exchange Act) related to the buying and selling of...more

Supreme Court Decides Omnicare

When an Opinion May Be Considered a Statement of Fact - Overview: On March 24, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Omnicare Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund, resolving a...more

SEC Uses Books and Records and Internal Control Regulations to Extend Reach of Actions Beyond Fraud

Last year, we predicted that the SEC would increase its use of administrative proceedings to enforce strict liability violations such as books and records and internal controls. See Mary P. Hansen & William L. Carr, The...more

CFTC Pushes Dodd-Frank Boundaries With Manipulation Case

In the first case of its kind, the CFTC has accused Kraft Food Groups, Inc. and former parent Mondelez Global LLC with manipulation pursuant to Section 6(c)(1) of the Commodities Exchange Act and Regulation 180.1 promulgated...more

SEC Fines KBR $130,000 for Using Employee Confidentiality Agreement that Violates Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protections

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has brought its first-ever enforcement action against a company for using language in confidentiality agreements that prohibits employees from speaking with the SEC without prior...more

"Corporate Finance Alert: SEC Adopts Regulation A+ to Provide New Exemption for Smaller Capital-Raising Transactions"

On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted the final rules for the new Regulation A+ exemption, which will permit eligible issuers to conduct securities offerings of up to $50 million without...more

Fourth Circuit Sustains Securities Fraud Claim Against Drug Manufacturer

On March 6, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit found that the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina had erred in dismissing a class action lawsuit filed under Section 10(b) of the...more

Important Regulatory Developments for Proprietary Trading Firms and Broker-Dealers Using Algorithmic Trading Strategies

On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted unanimously to issue a proposed rule amendment that would significantly narrow the existing exemption that permits many proprietary-trading...more

SEC proposes requiring FINRA membership for exchange-member-only broker-dealers

The Securities and Exchange Commission has published a proposal to amend SEC Rule 15b9-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which exempts certain broker-dealers from membership in a registered national...more

SEC Proposes to Amend Rule 15b9-1

The Securities and Exchange Commission is proposing to amend Rule 15b9-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, to require broker-dealers that engage in off-exchange proprietary trading to become members of a...more

SEC Charges Directors, Officers and Major Investors for Failing to Update Disclosures Prior to Announcements of Going Private...

On March 13, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced settlement proceedings against officers, directors, and major shareholders of several companies that were recently taken private for failing to update...more

SEC Proposes Rule to Require Broker-Dealers Active in Off-Exchange Market to Become Members of National Securities Association

On March 25, the SEC proposed to narrow Rule 15b9-1 under the Securities Exchange Act, which exempts certain brokers or dealers from membership in a registered national securities association...more

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