News & Analysis as of

Whole Foods’ Proposal for Proxy Access Is Sufficient to Exclude Shareholder Proposal

In a closely watched development, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance Staff (Staff) granted no-action relief in early December to Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Whole Foods, or the Company) in response to the Company’s...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 48

In this issue: - Recent Developments Relating to Rights to Exclude Shareholder Proposals from Proxy Statements - SEC Approves MSRB Best Execution Rule - SEC Sanctions Operator of Unregistered Virtual...more

SEC Permits BDCs to Analyze LPs as Stockholders for Certain Co-Investments

On December 5, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission, through the Chief Accountant's Office of its Investment Management Division, issued a Guidance Update in response to a public inquiry regarding co-investment...more

On the Third Day of Privacy, the Shareholders Gave to Me……

…….Shareholder Proposals on Cybersecurity and Privacy: Another Country Heard From As the holiday season slips into the rear view mirror, another season looms large for public companies —- proxy season. Adding to the...more

Commissioner Gallagher Posits SEC Would Prevail Against Harvard University

Just this week, Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher and former Commissioner Joseph A. Grundfest issued a draft of a paper that takes on the Harvard Shareholder Rights Project. The Harvard SRP describes itself as “a clinical...more

Blog: Court Precludes Omission Of Shareholder Proposal, After SEC Staff Permits Exclusion

In Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., a federal district court in Delaware granted injunctive relief precluding omission of a shareholder proposal from Wal-Mart’s proxy statement, notwithstanding the SEC staff’s...more

Should Judicial Deference To The SEC Be Strong, Weak or Non-Existent?

This post yesterday by Broc Romanek alerted me to Judge Leonard P. Stark’s recent opinion in Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165431 (D. Del. Nov. 26, 2014). The case involved Wal-Mart’s...more

Delay in Dodd-Frank Executive Compensation Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently indicated that further rule-making would not likely occur until October of 2015 with respect to....more

The Next Wave of Proxy Access Proposals: What Issuers Should Know and How They Can Prepare

The Comptroller of the City of New York, who oversees pension funds with a combined $160 billion in assets, recently submitted proxy access shareholder proposals at 75 U.S. public companies as part of its Boardroom...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel - November 2014

1.As the year moves to a close, expect lots of chatter about the upcoming 2015 proxy season. Including from us beginning right now. 2.Almost certainly because good corporate governance practices just change so darn...more

Why Commissioner Gallagher Is Not Mistaken On Political Spending Disclosure

In this post published on October 30, I observed: According to Enver Fitch and Limor Bernstock at ISS ESG Proxy Research, shareholders associated with the Center for Political Accountability submitted 47 proposals this...more

Fee-Shifting Provisions and the SEC

As noted in a prior blog, some companies have recently adopted fee-shifting provisions (i.e., language providing that a suing stockholder must pay the corporation’s legal fees and expenses if the stockholder does not obtain a...more

Political Spending Disclosures – An Idea So Good That I Think You Should Pay For It

In July 2011, a group of ten law professors filed a rulemaking petition with the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking adoption of a rule requiring disclosure of political spending by publicly traded companies. ...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 42

In this issue: - Delaware Court of Chancery Rejects Controlling Stockholder Claims and Applies Business Judgment Rule to Merger Suits - FINRA Remarks at the National Society of Compliance Professionals...more

Consequences of a Data Breach: Lessons from Wyndham Worldwide

On October 20, 2014, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation won dismissal of a shareholder derivative suit seeking damages arising out of three data breaches that occurred between 2008 and 2010. Dennis Palkon, et al. v. Stephen P....more

SEC Charges Corporate Insiders and Public Companies with Violations of Section 16 and Section 13 Reporting Obligations

In an enforcement sweep recently brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), 28 officers, directors and major shareholders were charged with violations of the reporting requirements relating to equity...more

Broken Windows: SEC Enforcement Reminds Officers, Directors and 5% Shareholders to Comply with Reporting Requirements

On September 10, 2014, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced enforcement proceedings against officers, directors and major shareholders and publicly-traded companies for violations related...more

1, 2 or 3 Years? How Should Boards Decide The Frequency Of Say-On-Pay Votes?

Although the initial ruckus over how to determine the outcome of executive compensation say-on-frequency votes has subsided, I still maintain that the Securities and Exchange Commission botched the rule (§240.14a-21(b)). ...more

Public Companies Take Note: SEC Launches Enforcement Initiative Targeting Section 16 and Other Shareholder Filings

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced charges against 28 public company officers, directors and ten percent shareholders for repeated violations of federal securities laws requiring them to promptly...more

SEC Compliance Manual for NYSE-Listed Non-US Companies

As a result of registration of ordinary shares including in the form of American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”) under the US securities laws and the listing of ordinary shares or ADSs on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”),...more

SEC Targets Corporate Insiders for Failing to Promptly Disclose Stock Transactions

The Commission has announced an unprecedented enforcement initiative against officers, directors, and major stockholders for violating beneficial ownership reporting requirements and against public companies for their roles...more

SEC Charges Issuers, Corporate Insiders, and Other Significant Investors for Violating Laws Requiring Reporting of Transactions in...

On September 10, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced settlements with officers, directors, and significant shareholders for violating federal securities laws requiring information about their...more

Charges Against Corporate Insiders Portend Vigorous Future SEC Enforcement of Section 16(a) and Beneficial Ownership Reporting...

On September 10, 2014, the SEC announced charges against 28 officers, directors and major shareholders, as well as six publicly-traded companies, for violating federal securities laws requiring insiders to promptly report...more

SEC Announces Enforcement Initiative for Delinquent Securities Holding and Trading Reporting by Corporate Insiders and Public...

On September 10, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced charges against 13 officers or directors and 15 major shareholders of publicly traded companies for violating Section 16(a), Section 13(d), and/or...more

SEC Charges Insiders for Violations of Section 16(a) and Section 13

On September 10, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against 28 officers, directors, and major shareholders for violating federal securities laws requiring them to report information about their...more

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