Capital Markets

  • February 22, 2024

    Ex-BP Exec's Husband Cops To $1.7M Insider Trading

    The husband of a former manager at British oil and gas company BP PLC on Thursday pled guilty to securities fraud in Texas federal court and agreed to forfeit the $1.7 million he made with the help of insider trading, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.

  • February 22, 2024

    Ex-Vitol Trader Denies Knowing Of Bribes, As Trial Nears End

    Counsel for a former Vitol Group executive told a New York federal jury in closing arguments Thursday that his client wasn't aware of bribes being paid to officials in Ecuador and Mexico in order to obtain $500 million in state contracts, while a prosecutor insisted that the former oil trader was the linchpin to the corruption scheme.

  • February 22, 2024

    SEC Won't Force BofA To Act On ESG Critic's Proxy Proposal

    A division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has said it wouldn't recommend enforcement action against Bank of America for excluding a climate-related shareholder request from its upcoming proxy statement, while the division rejected Pfizer's request to exclude a shareholder proposal on human rights from its proxy statement.

  • February 22, 2024

    Penny Stock Co. CEO Must Pay $473K Over Fraud Claims

    A Connecticut federal judge granted in part the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's motion for final judgment in a securities fraud suit against the CEO of a penny stock company, finding that a less severe punishment than requested is appropriate due to the CEO's financial situation.

  • February 22, 2024

    Lawmakers Press Big Banks On Muslim Discrimination Claims

    A group of five Democratic lawmakers on Thursday pressured the leaders of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citibank for information on how they work to prevent discrimination in banking, pointing to media reports of "de-risking" practices that target Muslim Americans.

  • February 22, 2024

    Chancery Defers Settlement To Ponder Control Challenges

    Hopes for a quick end to litigation between a Texas-based insurance provider and a stockholder who sued over disproportionate insider control slipped away at a hearing in Wilmington, Delaware, Thursday after the presiding judge demanded to know how related Chancery Court litigation might affect a proposed settlement.

  • February 22, 2024

    Latham, Davis Polk Rep As Reddit Files For IPO

    Social media platform Reddit on Thursday formally outlined its plans to go public with a long-rumored initial public offering that's being guided by Latham & Watkins LLP and underwriters' counsel Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

  • February 22, 2024

    Vesttoo Liquidation Delayed For Closer Look At Creditor Deals

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Thursday postponed deciding the fate of Israeli financial technology firm Vesttoo Ltd.'s liquidation plan until early next week to give the remaining objector to the proposal time to review settlements the debtor reached with prior challengers.

  • February 22, 2024

    FTX Can Cash Out $500M Investment In AI Biz To Fund Ch. 11

    Insolvent cryptocurrency exchange FTX Trading Ltd. received a Delaware bankruptcy judge's approval Thursday to sell off its equity stake in an artificial intelligence technology company launched by former members of OpenAI that FTX purchased for $500 million in 2021.

  • February 22, 2024

    AI Software Co. Hasn't Actually Developed AI, Suit Says

    Software and data engineering company Innodata Inc. has been hit with a proposed class action alleging its stock price dropped more than 30% after a financial research firm published a report saying its promised artificial intelligence technology is "smoke and mirrors" and that its marketing claims are like "putting lipstick on a pig."

  • February 22, 2024

    Biotech VC Firm ORI Capital Closes $260M Fund

    Biotech venture capital firm ORI Capital announced Thursday that it has closed a $260 million fund to invest in early-stage biotech companies globally.

  • February 22, 2024

    Wage Rules Don't Apply To Ursinus Bonds, Pa. Justices Say

    Bonds arranged by a government-created authority for the expansion of a private Pennsylvania college did not become "public funds" through the government's involvement — or subject the project to prevailing wage rules for publicly funded construction, the Keystone State's highest court ruled Wednesday.

  • February 22, 2024

    Skadden Adds Latham Capital Markets Ace In Silicon Valley

    Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP is expanding its Silicon Valley finance team, announcing Thursday it is bringing in a Latham & Watkins LLP capital markets expert as a partner in its office in Palo Alto, California.

  • February 22, 2024

    B. Riley Stands By Franchise Group Deal After Internal Review

    B. Riley Financial reaffirmed its commitment to the $2.6 billion take-private deal for Franchise Group Inc. despite the misconduct of former Franchise Group CEO Brian Kahn, saying on Thursday that its audit committee determined through a nine-week internal review that B. Riley had no knowledge of or involvement in the misconduct.

  • February 22, 2024

    Deals Rumor Mill: Occidental, Kroger-Albertsons, BuzzFeed

    Occidental explores a $20 billion sale of Western Midstream, the FTC and some states could sue to block the $24.6 billion Kroger-Albertsons deal, and The Independent is taking over BuzzFeed's U.K. and Irish operations. Here, Law360 breaks down the notable deal rumors from the past week.

  • February 21, 2024

    Ex-KPMG Exec, Ex-Oversight Staffer Get Convictions Vacated

    A New York federal judge has vacated the convictions and guilty pleas of an ex-KPMG executive and a former member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board in a scheme to use stolen confidential information to help the auditing firm get better results on audits conducted by the regulatory board.

  • February 21, 2024

    Texas Crypto Firm Sues SEC To Avoid 'Unlawful' Enforcement

    A Texas-based crypto firm has sued the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a bid to convince a Texas federal court to find that digital assets traded on public exchanges are not securities and protect it from potential registration enforcement cases.

  • February 21, 2024

    NY Judges Question Lehman's Bid To Undo CDS Trial Loss

    A panel of New York appeals court judges on Wednesday appeared reluctant to undo a bench trial loss Lehman Bros.' bankrupt European unit suffered last year in a suit attempting to clawback nearly half a billion dollars from Assured Guaranty over alleged losses on credit default swaps tied to the 2008 financial crisis.

  • February 21, 2024

    Judge Rejects $5.2M Atty Fee Bid In Poultry Farm Loan Suit

    A New York federal judge rebuffed attorneys' attempt to collect a nearly $5.2 million fee for representing an affiliate of two billionaire brothers that accused an investment adviser of fraudulently inducing the affiliate to provide a loan for a Russian poultry operation, saying the adviser wasn't improperly defending himself.

  • February 21, 2024

    OCC's Hsu Floats Payments, PE 'Trip Wires' For FSOC Review

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's acting chief sounded an alarm Wednesday about the growth of digital payments and private equity, saying federal regulators should consider setting numerical "trip wires" around those activities to stay ahead of potential financial stability risks.

  • February 21, 2024

    SEC Seeks $4M Damages Award In Sports Stock Fraud Suit

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asked a D.C. federal judge on Wednesday to put the sports business Crystal World Holdings and others on the hook for more than $4.1 million in total damages for their alleged securities fraud.

  • February 21, 2024

    Former Exec Convicted Of Medtronic Insider Trading Scheme

    A Minneapolis man who tipped off a friend about his employer's secret negotiations on a $1.6 billion acquisition deal with medical device company Medtronic has been convicted of securities fraud and conspiring to commit insider trading, the Minnesota U.S. Attorney's Office has announced.

  • February 21, 2024

    SPAC Boom Costs Auditor $2M In PCAOB Fine

    New Jersey-based auditing firm WithumSmith+Brown PC was sanctioned with a $2 million fine Wednesday by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which accused the company of taking on more work than it could handle as the market for special purpose acquisition companies boomed.

  • February 21, 2024

    Tesla, Musk Say Investors' Self-Driving Fraud Suit Is Doomed

    Attorneys for electric-car maker Tesla and its owner, Elon Musk, have said a proposed class action related to claims the company and billionaire had made about the vehicles' autonomous driving abilities should be dismissed, saying most of the statements at issue were forward-looking.

  • February 21, 2024

    JPMorgan Got $400M Before Inovalon Sale, Del. Justices Hear

    Inovalon didn't properly disclose that investors that bought the healthcare data company in 2021 paid $400 million in fees to its financial adviser, a JPMorgan unit, before the transaction, a reason enough to revive a lawsuit challenging the $7.3 billion acquisition, counsel for stockholders told Delaware's Supreme Court Wednesday.

Expert Analysis

  • A Post-Mortem Analysis Of Stroock's Demise

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    After the dissolution of 147-year-old firm Stroock late last year shook up the legal world, a post-mortem analysis of the data reveals a long list of warning signs preceding the firm’s collapse — and provides some insight into how other firms might avoid the same disastrous fate, says Craig Savitzky at Leopard Solutions.

  • Predicting DeFi Regulations At Home And Abroad In 2024

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    Though decentralized finance has advocates on both sides of the Atlantic in figures like U.S. SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, DeFi in 2024 seems likely to be folded into existing regulatory frameworks in the U.K. and EU, while anti-crypto scrutiny may discourage DeFi’s growth in the U.S., say Daniel Csefalvay and Eric Martin at BCLP.

  • Opinion

    Exxon Court Should Clarify Shareholder Proposal Exclusion

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    ExxonMobil last month took the unusual action of asking a Texas federal judge whether a proposal from climate activists seeking to limit oil and gas sales could be excluded from its 2024 proxy statement, and the court should use this opportunity to reevaluate SEC policy and set clear limits on when shareholder proposals can be included, says Stephen Bainbridge at UCLA School of Law.

  • Mitigating The Risk Of Post-Closing M&A Earnout Disputes

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    Today's uncertain deal environment makes a well-crafted earnout an excellent way for parties to accomplish a desired transaction that would not otherwise occur, but transacting parties also need to take key steps to avoid the risk of post-closing disputes that earnouts can present, say Chad Barton and Claire Lydiard at Holland & Knight.

  • Understanding SEC's Focus Amid Lack Of Final AI Rules

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    Although the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's proposed rules to govern artificial intelligence are likely far from being finalized, understanding existing regulatory provisions that could address AI risks with respect to development, disclosure, compliance and data protection could help firms anticipate and avoid pitfalls, say attorneys at Skadden.

  • Don't Sit On Bankruptcy Sidelines, 5th Circ. Ruling Reminds

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    The Fifth Circuit’s recent In re: Louisiana Pellets decision, holding that a creditor couldn’t assert indemnification defenses in a suit brought by the trustee of a liquidation trust, highlights the risks faced by creditors and other contract parties that choose not to participate in a bankruptcy, say Gregory Hesse and Kaleb Bailey at Hunton.

  • Preparing For DOJ's Data Analytics Push In FCPA Cases

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    After the U.S. Department of Justice’s recent announcement that it will leverage data analytics in Foreign Corrupt Practice Act investigations and prosecutions, companies will need to develop a compliance strategy that likewise implements data analytics to get ahead of enforcement risks, say attorneys at Cozen O'Connor.

  • How High Court SEC Case Could Affect The ITC

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    While the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jarkesy will likely spare the U.S. International Trade Commission from major operative changes, the ITC’s ability to issue penalties for violations of its orders may change, say Gwendolyn Tawresey and Ryan Deck at Troutman Pepper.

  • Loan Transparency Proposals May Bring Some Clarity

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    U.S. banking regulators' proposed revisions to rules that would require banks to disclose more granular information about loans made to nondepository financial institutions would somewhat clarify the size of the fund finance market, though full enlightenment does not look likely in the near future, says Chris van Heerden at Cadwalader.

  • Exxon ESG Proxy Statement Suit May Chill Investor Proposals

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    Exxon Mobil’s recent use of a Texas federal lawsuit to intimidate shareholders into withdrawing a climate-friendly proxy proposal could inspire more public companies to sue to avoid adopting ESG resolutions — a power move that would chill activist investor participation and unbalance shareholder-corporate relations, say Domenico Minerva and James Fee at Labaton Keller.

  • Series

    Coaching High School Wrestling Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Coaching my son’s high school wrestling team has been great fun, but it’s also demonstrated how a legal career can benefit from certain experiences, such as embracing the unknown, studying the rules and engaging with new people, says Richard Davis at Maynard Nexsen.

  • Implications For Digital Assets After SEC Settlement With DAO

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's December settlement with BarnBridge — finding that the decentralized autonomous organization's products were securities under federal law — foreshadows increased enforcement attention on digital assets, and reveals arguments the SEC may use in similar disputes with decentralized finance protocols, say attorneys at K&L Gates.

  • SG's Office Is Case Study To Help Close Legal Gender Gap

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    As women continue to be underrepresented in the upper echelons of the legal profession, law firms could learn from the example set by the Office of the Solicitor General, where culture and workplace policies have helped foster greater gender equality, say attorneys at Ocean Tomo.

  • Bitcoin ETF Approval Doesn't Mean SEC Approves Of Crypto

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    While the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's approval last month of 11 applications for spot exchange-traded funds tracking bitcoin is a landmark moment for the crypto-asset industry, investors who are hopeful that the SEC will approve similar crypto-based ETFs may be disappointed, says attorneys at Mintz.

  • A Closer Look At Novel Jury Instruction In Forex Rigging Case

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    After the recent commodities fraud conviction of a U.K.-based hedge fund executive in U.S. v. Phillips, post-trial briefing has focused on whether the New York federal court’s jury instruction incorrectly defined the requisite level of intent, which should inform defense counsel in future open market manipulation cases, say attorneys at Lankler Siffert.

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