Category: Ethics and Compliance

SEC Updates FAQs Regarding the Ongoing Government Shutdown

On January 10, 2019, the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission updated its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about how to handle certain filing matters during the U.S. government shutdown, which is now entering its fourth week. (See, sec.gov/page/corpfin-section-landing.) The staff revised questions 4 and 5 and added new questions 6 and 9. Question 4 was revised to emphasize that Rule 430A is...

U.S. Government Shutdown Impacts SEC Operations, EDGAR and Other Filings, Enforcement and Regulatory Activities

In response to the U.S. government shutdown that began on December 22, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and its Divisions of Corporation Finance and Investment Management published public guidance regarding the impacts on their operations. Although electronic filings will continue to be accepted in many cases, as described below, nearly all SEC operations, including the review and processing of filings and enforcement and...

SEC Guidance on Cybersecurity Disclosure and Policies – Recap of Dorsey Webinar Presentation

Earlier this week, Dorsey hosted a webinar panel presentation on the SEC’s recent guidance on cybersecurity disclosures and policies. The webinar provided a detailed walk-through of the SEC’s guidance, including issues related to enhanced disclosure, insider trading, and Reg FD policies. The panel also discussed the impact of the SEC’s guidance within the changing landscape of cybersecurity and current developments in shareholder litigation, SEC enforcement actions,...

The Danger of Paying Finder’s Fees to Unregistered Broker-Dealers

We get asked from time-to-time whether it is advisable for issuers to pay fees to unregistered “finders” for introducing potential investors in the United States to the issuer in connection with securities offerings. The short answer is “no.” Most finders are engaged by issuers under finder’s, advisory, or other arrangements, which typically require payment of “success fees” upon completion of a financing transaction. While these...

General Counsel Permitted to Use Attorney-Client Privileged Information in Whistleblower Retaliation Case

In a recent case, Wadler v. Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. case number 3:15-cv-02356 (2016), the federal court in the Northern District of California ruled that the plaintiff and former general counsel of Bio-Rad Laboratories could use attorney-client privileged information to support his claim of whistleblower retaliation. The court determined that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s whistleblower protections preempt the state ethical rules against disclosure of attorney-client privileged information....

Do Your Confidentiality Clauses Expressly Allow Whistleblowing?

Over the last few months, the SEC has obtained a string of cease and desist orders against SEC reporting companies, both domestic and foreign, to enforce an often overlooked rule adopted under Dodd-Frank.  Rule 21F-17 provides that “[n]o person may take any action to impede an individual from communicating directly with the [SEC] staff about a possible securities law violation, including enforcing, or threatening to...