News & Analysis as of

SEC Charges ECN Operator For Failing To Protect Customer Data

Fragmented markets, alternative trading systems and dark pools are increasingly a focus of discussion in the wake of repeated market outages. Interest in these venues has been intensified by the publication of Flash Boys and...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

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

Can You Raise Money From Investors Who Are Not “Accredited Investors”?

A question I receive frequently from entrepreneurs raising capital for the first time is whether they can raise money from people who do not meet the SEC definition of “accredited investors.” The easy answers are “you...more

FINRA Announces and Publishes Its Sweep of Order Routing Practices

FINRA announced this week that it is conducting a review of its member firms’ order-routing processes and procedures and the execution quality of customer orders in exchange-listed stocks. We previously reported in this...more

SEC Charges Auditor of PRC Firm With Unprofessional Conduct

The Commission filed another proceeding against an audit firm and its partners arising out of the audit of a PRC issuer. Unlike earlier actions involving audit firms for Chinese issuers, in this case the difficulties did not...more

SEC Announces Order for Tick Size Pilot Plan to Assess Impact on Market Quality for Small Cap Companies

On June 25, the SEC announced that it has ordered the national securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to act jointly to develop and file with the Commission a national market system plan...more

Reverse Churning

It is obvious that broker-dealers and their registered representatives, as well as investment advisors, must be careful in making recommendations to their clients. But the rise of claims related to inaction in a client...more

SEC Announces Order for Tick Size Pilot Plan

On June 25, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced that it had ordered the national securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) to act jointly to develop...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 26

In this issue: - Delaware Fee-Shifting Legislation Delayed - SEC Orders Securities Exchanges and FINRA to Develop Tick Size Pilot Plan - CFTC Extends Relief to FCMs from Certain Commingling...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending June 27, 2014)

The Supreme Court handed down its much anticipated decision in Halliburton. While the Court declined to overrule Basic and its presumption of reliance based on the fraud-on-the-market theory, it did alter existing practice....more

SEC Orders Tick Size Pilot Program

The SEC has announced that it ordered the national securities exchanges and the FINRA to develop and file a plan to implement a targeted 12 month pilot program that will widen tick sizes for specified small-cap stocks. The...more

Structured Thoughts: Volume 5, Issue 5 - June 25, 2014

In This Issue: - The 1996 Morgan Stanley Letter: Re-imagined at the Age of 18 - Structured CDs – Goodbye Regulation DD, Hello Regulation DD - FCA Issues Fine in Relation to Structured Product...more

SEC Orders Exchanges and FINRA to Submit Tick Size Pilot Program

The SEC has ordered registered securities exchanges and FINRA to submit a tick size pilot program within 60 days. The order specifies that the control group will be quoted at the current tick size increment, $0.01 per share,...more

Commissioner Rings Pension Fund Tocsin

In a speech given late last month, SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher warned that “for years, state and local governments have used lax governmental accounting standards to hide the yawning chasm in their balance sheets.” ...more

Why Startups Are Stepping on the Brakes Despite SEC Giving Green Light to General Solicitation

In September 2013, the SEC significantly relaxed restrictions that had been in place for over 80 years on companies’ ability to advertise for investors. The old rule, generally referred to as the “ban on general...more

SEC, Bitcoin and Unregistered Offerings

Bitcoin has been a much discussed item recently. The virtual currency is a digital representation of value that is traded and can serve as a medium of exchange. There are websites that use it. At one time there was a stock...more

Nebraska District Court: Employee’s Disclosures To FINRA Make Her A Dodd-Frank Whistleblower

In a first-impression decision, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska recently ruled that an employee who disclosed information about potential securities law violations to FINRA may qualify as a...more

If the SEC Misses the SOL, It’s SOL (Sorry, Out of Luck) – District Court Holds Statute of Limitations Is Jurisdictional and...

The SEC suffered a blow very recently when Judge James Lawrence King of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered summary judgment dismissing the entirety of its alleged Ponzi scheme case on...more

SEC Issues Additional FAQs On Engineering Exclusion From Municipal Advisor Rules

We have reviewed prior SEC guidance on the municipal advisor rules, from a view point of structuring a business to avoid a municipal advisory role. The SEC has now issued additional FAQs, including on the engineering...more

Unregistered Finder Settles With The SEC, Agrees To Pay Millions

The SEC recently settled an enforcement action against an individual alleged to have sold millions of dollars in securities on behalf of oil and gas companies without being associated with a registered broker dealer, as...more

Crowdfunding: It’s Coming to Texas

In late April, the Texas Securities Board issued proposed regulations that would allow crowdfunding in intrastate transactions in Texas. The word on the street is that the proposed regulations will become final in August...more

FINRA Proposes to Amend Rule 11892

On May 6, the Securities and Exchange Commission published a notice of filing of a proposed change to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. Rule 11892 regarding clearly erroneous transactions in exchange-listed...more

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

Insider trading and fraudulent investment schemes were the focus of SEC enforcement this week. The Commission filed insider trading actions tied to the massive BP oil spill, clinical trials for a drug and the expert network...more

SEC Explains How To Use Twitter And Absolves Issuers Of Retweets

Certain rules under the securities laws require certain communications be accompanied by legends. The length of the legend meant that Twitter could not be used because the 140 character limit would be exceeded. ...more

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