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Employee Share Scheme Rules Overhaul

AS FORESHADOWED IN OUR RECENT ARTICLES (4 AUGUST AND 8 OCTOBER), THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS NOW COMMITTED TO: (A) REVERSING (AT LEAST IN PART) THE CONTROVERSIAL EMPLOYEE SHARE SCHEMES TAX CHANGES IMPLEMENTED IN 2009 AND (B)...more

Function over Form: The Impact of Separate Stock Classes on Veteran-Owned Firms

In my recent blog post about Employee Stock Ownership Plans (“ESOPS”), I discussed how the plans are treated differently under the Department of Veterans Affairs’ program (the “VA Program”) for Veteran-Owned and...more

New Route to Trade Shanghai-Listed Securities

The Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect program, expected to launch this fall, will give many European and U.S. funds, managers and individuals their first opportunity to trade Shanghai-listed equities. Stock Connect represents...more

Blog: You Never Issued Stock To Your Founders. Is That A Problem?

You and your co-founders have begun exploring a new business idea. You plan to incorporate, build out a team and raise capital in the future. However, before incorporating you decide to divide ownership in the future company...more

NYSE Proposes New Global Market Capitalization Test for Listing Companies

On September 30, 2014, the SEC published an NYSE amendment, effective as of such publication, to adopt a new initial listing standard, and to eliminate all but one of the current NYSE initial listing standards, for US...more

MD&A Rules Do Not Create Rule 10b-5 Disclosure Obligation

The Ninth Circuit recently examined whether Item 303 of Regulation of S-K, which sets forth the MD&A rules, creates an affirmative duty of disclosure on which to pin a Rule 10b-5 case. The case centered around a significant...more

An Overview of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect

The Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect (Stock Connect Scheme), a pilot programme for establishing mutual stock market access between Mainland China and Hong Kong, was announced in April 2014 by the China Securities Regulatory...more

Legend Removal Requires Proper “Request To Register Transfer”

Removal of legends from restricted securities (i.e., securities issued without registration under the Securities Act of 1933) can be a tricky business for transfer agents, issuers and their counsel. Improperly removing...more

What Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer May Mean for ERISA Stock-Drop Litigation

Did the future course of “stock-drop” litigation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) against fiduciaries of public company employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) take a sharp turn on June 25, 2014, when...more

Alert: IRS and Department of the Treasury Notice Limits Inversion Transactions

On September 22, 2014, the United States Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issued a Notice (Notice 2014-52) that limit "inversion" transactions and their potential tax benefits. In general, an...more

Supreme Court Establishes New Standard for Fiduciaries of ESOP Plans

The Supreme Court, in Fifth Third Bancorp v. John Dudenhoeffer (Dudenhoeffer), recently established new standards for determining when fiduciaries of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) act prudently regarding a company’s...more

SEC Compliance Manual for NASDAQ-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 NASDAQ Stock Market (“NASDAQ”), non-US...more

Company Liability for Insider Stock Ownership Reports

Earlier this month, the SEC announced charges against six public companies for contributing to their insiders’ failure to properly file Form 4s or for violating the Item 405 proxy disclosure requirements for late insider...more

Private Ruling Endorses Taxpayer-Friendly Reading of “Qualified Small Business” Under Section 1202

On September 5, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Private Letter Ruling 201436001 (the “Ruling”), which found that a company providing products and services primarily within the pharmaceutical industry was a...more

Proposal for Tick-Size Pilot Program Submitted to SEC

In response to an order from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in June, on August 26, 2014, the SEC announced that it had received a proposal from the national securities exchanges and the Financial Industry...more

Texas Supreme Court Draws Distinction Between Loyalty Agreement and Non-Compete

In many industries, it is common to pay incentives in the form of restricted stock options payable in the future if certain conditions are satisfied. In Exxon-Mobil v. Drennen, decided on August 29, 2014, the Texas Supreme...more

New York ALJ Rejects Retroactive Application of Statute

State courts generally have allowed legislatures a fair amount of flexibility in adopting retroactive statutes, but a recent New York case held that, under the circumstances presented, the retroactive application of a statute...more

Buyer Beware: How to Ensure the Valid Issuance of BVI Company Shares

Subscribers for shares in a British Virgin Islands (BVI) company usually assume that such shares have been validly issued and they are quick to point to their share certificate or even the share register of the BVI company as...more

FINRA and Exchanges Submit Tick Size Pilot Plan

FINRA and the exchanges have complied with an SEC order to establish a national market system plan to implement a targeted 12-month pilot program that will widen minimum quoting and trading increments (tick sizes) for certain...more

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Important Decision Affecting Fiduciaries of ESOPs

In a recent decision, Fifth Third Bankcorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 189 L.Ed. 2d 457 (2014), the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the “presumption of prudence” previously given to fiduciaries of employee-owned stock ownership plans (ESOPs)...more

Julie Friedman v. Dara Khosrowshahi, et al., C.A. No. 9161-CB (Del. Ch. Jul. 16, 2014) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss a stockholder’s complaint, challenging the accelerated vesting of the CEO’s restricted stock units based on an alleged violation of...more

Acquisitive Reorganization Under Section 367(b)

This outline discusses, in plain English, the regulatory provisions called into play under IRC § 367(b) on acquisitive mergers and other non-divisive corporate reorganizations. A Section 367(b) acquisitive reorganization...more

Supreme Court Sets New Standards for ERISA Stock-Drop Cases

In the Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer decision issued June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the “Moench presumption”, a presumption of prudence for employer stock held in an ESOP or a 401(k) plan company...more

Negotiating the Option Pool

Many people think a high(er) valuation is the Holy Grail. Those people are (often) wrong. In pursuit of a high(er) valuation, founders often unwittingly give up valuable ownership percentage points by agreeing to a...more

Delaware Formally Adopts Proposed Statutory Amendments Governing Mergers Following the Completion of a Tender Offer

The governor of Delaware recently signed into law previously proposed amendments to Section 251(h) of the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”), which make Section 251(h) more accessible to deal parties by...more

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