Akin Gump has issued an alert detailing the background, key provisions, enforcement and penalties of the recently passed California Consumer Privacy Act. In addition, we outline proactive steps for businesses to take to protect themselves from the likely effects of the act.
On Thursday, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Director of Corporate Finance William Hinman provided some long-desired clarity on the SEC’s approach to cryptocurrency regulation, announcing during Yahoo Finance’s All Market Summit: Crypto that the SEC would not be classifying Ether (ETH) or Bitcoin (BTC) as securities. Director Hinman’s remarks ended long-standing speculation over whether the SEC would assert jurisdiction over these distributed ledger coins, a move that would likely require a change in the definition of “security.” His comments suggest that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will continue to focus on fraud in the BTC and so-called “alt coin” markets, with the SEC concentrating on initial coin offerings and other digital rights offerings that behave like securities (whether backed by cryptocurrencies or otherwise).
Akin Gump labor and employment partner Richard Rabin has been quoted in an article series by The Hedge Fund Law Report on the importance of employee handbooks for fund managers. The articles cover the policies that an investment advisor will want to have in place and who is in the best position to administer the handbook’s policies.
On May 21, 2018, President Trump issued an Executive Order titled “Prohibiting Certain Additional Transactions with Respect to Venezuela” (hereinafter, the “May 21 Executive Order”). The May 21 Executive Order imposes new restrictions on transactions involving debt owed to the Government of Venezuela and its related entities, including accounts receivable, and certain transactions involving the Government of Venezuela with respect to equity interests in any entity in which the Government of Venezuela has a 50 percent or greater ownership interest.
On May 21, 2018, a closely divided United States Supreme Court held in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis that employers may require employees to resolve employment disputes with an employer through individual arbitration even if the arbitration agreements waive the right to proceed by class or collective action.
Beginning May 11, 2018, the new Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) customer due diligence rule (the “CDD Rule”) will require covered financial institutions to identify, and verify the identity of, the beneficial owners of all legal entity customers (i.e., corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships or other business entities) at the time a new account is opened, subject to certain exceptions, including limited exceptions allowing reliance on previously collected information from a customer who certifies or confirms that the information is current and accurate. Covered financial institutions include federally regulated banks and federally insured credit unions, mutual funds, brokers or dealers in securities, futures commission merchants, and introducing brokers in commodities. Significantly for underwritten securities offerings, the CDD Rule has been interpreted to require beneficial owner identification and verification each time a new account is opened, including establishment of a formal relationship with a broker or dealer in securities to effect transactions in securities.
This week, we highlight a report by the EY Center for Board Matters that analyzes independent directors who were elected by shareholders to the board of a Fortune 100 company for the first time in 2017. The research shows that companies are continuing to bring fresh and diverse perspectives into the boardroom, and enhancing the alignment of board composition with their forward-looking strategies.