Corporate & Commercial

Lost amidst all of the turmoil surrounding the dramatic swings in the value of digital currencies is that the original idea for these digital assets is that  they might actually be used as exchange media, in place of traditional currencies. Whether or not someone might use cryptocurrency to, say, buy a cup of coffee at Starbuck’s, Ohio residents, at least, may now use bitcoin to pay their state taxes. In the following guest post, John…
The Exploration and Production (E&P) basins usually mature in about 20-30 years. What is left after the prolonged E&P phase are the abandoned installations and wells (onland), sub-sea infrastructure, platforms, and wells (offshore). Once the hydrocarbon resources are exhausted or it becomes unviable to extract them further, the E&P project moves to an abandonment phase, and the project is decommissioned. Decommissioning ensures that the E&P installations and infrastructure are removed subsequent to their abandonment and…
When implementing restrictive covenant agreements in their workforces, companies often grapple with how best to handle the wide variation in the law from one state to the other. One solution is to include a choice of law provision that calls for all agreements to be construed under the laws of a single state. Still, there is no guarantee that courts will honor a choice of law provision, particularly where the purpose of the agreement conflicts…
There is a tension in Government Contracting: How does a contractor adequately protect its rights given the day-to-day realities of working with its Government Customer? It is not uncommon for contracting officials to forgo certain formal procedures in their interaction with contractors. When this happens, Contractors may be inclined to follow the Government’s lead in order to move the project forward. This “going-along-to-get-along” can take many different forms. For example: (i) complying with the direction…
Key Takeaways: Emerging technology sectors are being reviewed now for new export controls that could take effect in 2019 (list below). You may submit comments on the criteria the U.S. government will use to determine what technologies are subject to export controls. The current deadline for comments is December 19, 2018. We can help.…
The October issue of the journal Science features a series of short articles highlighting a database containing a list of more than 18,000 scientific papers and conference abstracts that have been retracted over the past several decades. An analysis of the database shows that nearly 60 percent of retraction notices mentioned fraud or other kinds of misconduct (the balance of which were retracted because of errors, problems with reproducibility and other issues). The Science article,…
Generally speaking, the federal securities laws were drafted with the purpose of limiting the kind and amount of pre-offering publicity permitted in registered public offerings. Pursuant to Section 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933, it is unlawful to offer to sell or offer to buy any security unless a registration statement has been filed. The term “offer” is defined and interpreted very broadly, with the effect that any pre-filing publicity constitutes gun jumping if…
Sanctions compliance considerations have always been important for cryptocurrency companies, but several recent US government actions suggest regulators are increasingly focused on the intersection between digital currencies and economic sanctions.  This increased focus highlights the importance of sanctions compliance for blockchain-related companies, particularly for those considered to be US persons. This intensified focus has been building for a number of months.  For example, in March of 2018, President Trump issued an Executive Order imposing certain…
On December 3, 2018, a U.S. government working group aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the BSA/AML regime issued a second joint statement, which focuses on innovative industry approaches to BSA/AML compliance.  This follows the working group’s first joint statement last month, which focused on BSA/AML resource sharing (as discussed in our prior blog post).  The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the federal banking regulators (the Board of Governors…
The move away from a one-size-fits-all regulatory framework based on asset size continues. On October 31, the Federal Reserve proposed a rule to implement Section 401 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, tailoring enhanced prudential standards for firms with $100 billion or more in total consolidated assets, and the three U.S. banking agencies proposed corresponding tailoring of their Basel III capital and liquidity rules. Overall, the proposals would: for U.S. GSIBs,…

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