Public companies now have the option to resolve disputes with their auditors more quickly and with less expense if they agree to a new “accelerated adjudication” process recently established in New York—and if auditors agree to it as well. The new dispute resolution process offers elements of litigation and arbitration. “This is going to become very popular if it’s implemented as intended,” says Tammy Bieber, a partner at law firm Thompson Hine. More inside.
With yet another anniversary in the rear-view mirror, Dodd-Frank Act rulemaking has slowed to a trickle. Rules on executive compensation disclosures, clawback policies, derivatives trading, and several other issues are still on the drawing board, with no certainty when they will be finished. On the eve of elections that could change the balance of power in Washington, some experts are wondering if they will ever come. Details inside.
The National Labor Relations Board is looking to broaden decades-old standards and tests for what constitutes joint employer status, a review that may bring sweeping changes to the franchise model and pose new risks and compliance obligations on businesses that sub-contract labor and services. “It calls into question a number of fairly widespread employment practices that before now were relatively well understood,” says Joel Buckberg, a shareholder at law firm Baker Donelson.
For the first time in 75 years, Mexico has opened up its energy market to the private sector and to foreign companies. U.S. oil and gas companies looking to enter this new market, however, will need to take steps to reduce their corruption and bribery risks even before signing the first contract. “Those opportunities come with a high degree of corruption risk,” says Joan Meyer, a partner with law firm Baker & McKenzie.
Ever since the Dodd-Frank Act gave shareholders an advisory vote on executive pay, more companies have adopted mechanisms to tie pay to performance, especially those in danger of failing “say-on-pay” votes. Now, even companies that have comfortable levels of shareholder support for executive pay plans are implementing reforms. They are also cutting CEO perks and communicating more to shareholders on executive pay. Details inside.
Most companies have put more emphasis recently on managing strategic, compliance, and cyber-security risks, and yet there’s a consensus that in today’s world exposure to these risks is only increasing. Inside, columnist Richard Steinberg provides some of the lessons he’s learned by observing up close the risk-management successes and failures of several big companies, including the importance of culture and the role of enterprise risk management and the board.
This summer the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral, raising awareness and funds to fight ALS. What does the phenomena have to do with corporate governance? A lot, it turns out. Inside, columnists Stephen Davis and Jon Lukomnik explore the elements of viral social media campaigns and how companies can guard against viral criticism that, like the Ice Bucket Challenge, can spread fast and wide.