Securities Attorneys Must Self-Regulate to Avoid Potential Insider Trading Pitfalls
Attorneys who accept stock as compensation from public companies need to be aware of a vigilant regarding their insider trading obligations. Before analyzing the dynamics of proper compliance in stock compensation scenarios, it is assumed that the stock received by the attorney was issued pursuant to a registration statement or valid exemption and is being resold also pursuant to a registration statement or valid exemption to registration.
Illegal insider trading refers generally to buying or selling a security, in breach of a fiduciary duty or other relationship of trust and confidence, while in possession of material, nonpublic information about the security. Insider trading violations may also include “tipping” such information, securities trading by the person “tipped,” and securities trading by those who misappropriate such information. Securities attorneys are in a unique position as they are often privy to material, non-public information regarding their public company clients.
The SEC prohibits insider trading in Rules 10b-5, 10b5-1 and 10b5-2 or