SEC Provides Guidance On Sell To Cover Exception In Rule 10b5-1

On December 14, 2022, the SEC adopted amendments to Rule 10b5-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) to enhance disclosure requirements and investor protections against insider trading.  The amendments include updates to Rule 10b5-1(c)(1), which provides an affirmative defense to insider trading liability under Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5. For a review of the Rules see HERE and HERE.

Updated Rule 10b5-1 adds conditions to the affirmative defense to insider trading. The Rule now has cooling-off periods before trading can commence under a Rule 10b5-1 plan and adds a condition that all persons entering into a Rule 10b5-1 plan must act in good faith with respect to the plan. The Rule also requires directors and officers to include representations in their plans certifying at the time of the adoption of a new or modified Rule 10b5-1 plan that: (i) they are not aware of any material nonpublic information about the issuer or its securities; and