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This post was written by Amy. J. Greer and C. Neil Gray. Earlier this week, J. Bradley Bennett, Executive Vice-President, Enforcement for FINRA, spoke at a gathering hosted by SIFMA’s Compliance & Legal Society.  Bennett’s remarks purported to bust common myths about the FINRA Enforcement program he leads—myths like FINRA picks on larger firms and complexes, or parties will do better if they litigate with FINRA, or FINRA somehow targets chief compliance officers.  Bennett…
This post was written by Joelle E.K. Laszlo. The pool of potential competitors for federal contracts may have just gotten a little bit smaller. On February 21, 2014, the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics issued a memorandum to all Department of Defense (“DOD”) contracting agencies and officers instructing that, effective immediately and with limited exceptions, no funds made available under DOD’s 2014 appropriations acts may be used for contracting with a corporation…
This post was written by Amy Greer. I guess we will see whether SEC Chairman Mary Jo White revisits her decision to try more cases, given the unattractive string of losses that is piling up.  Most recently, a Federal District Judge in the Northern District of Georgia, after a bench trial, found in favor of defendant Ladislav “Larry” Schvacho, who faced insider trading charges. Mr. Schvacho traded in the shares of Comsys, where…
This post was written by Bethany Brown, Michael J. Lowell, and Leigh T. Hansson. What does pork have to do with national security? Companies contemplating cross-border investment in the United States should be asking themselves this question in the aftermath of recent action by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”). Last month, CFIUS completed its review of China’s Shuangui International Holdings Limited’s acquisition of Smithfield Foods. Smithfield, headquartered in…
This post was written by James A. Rolfes. In a “crackdown” on the “gatekeepers” who put investors at risk when they fail to uncover financial statement fraud and misstatements, the Securities and Exchange Commission this week highlighted the work of “Operation Broken Gate” when it announced the filing of several proceedings against certified public accountants and their firms. Just three months ago, the SEC made headlines with the formation of its Financial Reporting and…
This post was written by Daniel Z. Herbst. After two unsuccessful attempts to implement consolidated supervisory rules, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA), on June 21, 2013, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) a long-anticipated notice of proposed Rules 3110 (Supervision) and 3120 (Supervisory Control System). The proposed rules would replace and consolidate several pre-existing supervisory rules, and would significantly impact the scope of a supervisor’s duties. FINRA’s two prior attempts at…
This post was written by James A. Rolfes. Expressing its concern that “the current difficult fundraising environment … can incentivize private equity managers to artificially inflate valuations,” the Securities and Exchange Commission emphasized the need for private equity firms to “implement policies and procedures to ensure that investors receive performance data derived from the disclosed valuation methodology.” Failing to follow articulated valuation methodology – and having compliance personnel ensure the use of such disclosed…
This post was written by Daniel Z. Herbst. With just a few weeks remaining until the close of the comment period (ending March 5, 2013), the brokerage industry nearly uniformly has given a chilly reception to FINRA’s proposal to require disclosure of broker recruiting incentives to customers when an individual broker is recruited to a new firm. FINRA’s Regulatory Notice 13-02 proposes mandatory disclosures to customers of the details of “enhanced compensation” packages offered…
This post was written by Joelle E.K. Laszlo. In a move that should surprise no one, the Councils responsible for the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) have adopted a final rule prohibiting the award of a government contract using 2012 appropriated funds to an inverted domestic corporation or a subsidiary of one. First published in May 2012, the rule extends a de facto ban on direct contracting with inverted domestic corporations that first appeared in…
This post was written by Joelle E.K. Laszlo and Gunjan Talati. Two bid protest decisions issued late last year have upheld the Department of Veterans Affairs’ practice of purchasing from Federal Supply Schedule contractors without the need to consider setting aside such purchases for veteran-owned small businesses, or service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. As a result, businesses of all shapes and sizes may wish to consider getting “on the schedule” so as to benefit from its…