Category: Corporate Law

Corporate Law: The corporate and securities law firm of Legal & Compliance, LLC counsels both public and private companies, as joint ventures, partnerships, other business entities and individuals. We assist both public and private entities with commercial transactions and act as corporate and securities counsel to start-up ventures as well…

Jun302014

Section 16 Insider Reporting and Potential Liability for Short-Swing Trading Practices

A public company with a class of securities registered under Section 12 or which is subject to Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”) must file reports with the SEC (“Reporting Requirements”).  The required reports include an annual Form 10-K, quarterly Form 10Q’s and current periodic Form 8-K as well as proxy reports and certain shareholder and affiliate reporting requirements.

Last week, I wrote about the “certain shareholder” filing requirements under Sections 13d and 13g of the Exchange Act, Regulation 13D-G beneficial ownership reporting and related Schedules 13D and 13G.  This blog is a summary of the “certain shareholder and affiliate” reporting and related requirements under Section 16 of the Exchange Act.  In particular, all directors, executive officers and 10% stockholders (“Insiders”) of reporting companies are subject to the reporting and insider trading provisions of Section 16 of the Exchange Act.  At the end of the blog is a reference chart related to the

Apr292014

SEC Issues New Guidance on Use of Twitter and Other Social Media Communications

On April 21, 2014, the SEC updated its Division of Corporation Finance Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (C&DI) to provide guidance as to the use of Twitter and other social media communications in conjunction with a public offering or business combination transaction.

Background

Previously, on April 2, 2013, in response to a Facebook post made by Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a report confirming that companies can use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to make company announcements in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) as long as investors are alerted as to which social media outlet is being used by the company.

Regulation FD requires that companies take steps to ensure that material information is disclosed to the general public in a fair and fully accessible manner such that the public as a whole has simultaneous access to the information.  Regulation FD ended the era of invitation-only conference calls between company management

Apr082014

Concurrent Public and Private Offerings

Background

Conducting concurrent private and public offerings has historically been very tricky and limited, mainly as a result of the SEC’s position that the filing of an S-1 registration statement and unlimited ability to view such registration statement on the SEC EDGAR database in and of itself acted as a general solicitation and advertisement negating the availability of most private placement exemptions.  In addition to the impediment of finding a private exemption to rely on, concurrent private and public offerings raised concerns of gun jumping by offering securities for sale prior to the filing of a registration statement, as prohibited by Section 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.  However, with the enactment of the JOBS Act including its Rule 506(c) allowing general solicitation and advertising in an exempt offering, rules allowing the confidential submittal of registration statements for emerging growth companies (EGC) and rules permitting testing the waters communications prior to and after the filing of a

Oct312009

Contracting Away Fiduciary Obligations In Delaware LLCs And Limited Partnerships

Delaware corporate and alternative entity law has long been the model for other states in drafting statutes and for practitioners in advising clients and preparing limited partnership agreements and limited liability company membership agreements.

In 2005 the Delaware legislature amended its Limited Liability Company Act and Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act to provide drafters of LP and LLC agreements with broad flexibility to modify default fiduciary duties. Both Acts now provide that default fiduciary obligations mat be restricted or eliminated, provided that the implied covenant of fair dealing and good faith may not be eliminated. Many states have followed suit.

Delaware Corporate Law

Under Delaware law, the purpose of the implied covenant of fair dealing and good faith is to enforce the reasonable expectations of parties to a contract where situations arise that are not expressly contemplated and provided for in the language of the contract itself. Although the covenant of good faith and fair dealing itself cannot be waived,

Oct292009

The Federalism of State Corporate Law

Historically the regulation of corporate law has been firmly within the power and authority of the states. However, over the past few decades the federal government has become increasingly active in matters of corporate governance. Typically this occurs in waves as a response to periods of scandal in specific business sectors or in the financial markets. Traditionally, when the federal government intervenes in these situations, they enact regulation either directly or indirectly by imposing upon state corporate regulations.

Specifically, the predominant method of federal regulation of corporate governance is through the enactment of mandatory terms that either reverse or preempt state laws on the same point. The most recently prominent example is the passing of the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX).

Sarbanes Oxley (SOX)

SOX regulates corporate governance in five matters: (i) SOX prevents corporations from engaging the same accounting firm to provide both audit and specified non-audit services; (ii) SOX requires that audit committees of listed companies be