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MF Global Sues PwC Over Off-Balance-Sheet Advice

March 30, 2014

MF Global's bankruptcy administrator has filed a $1 billion malpractice suit against PwC, accusing the firm of "flatly erroneous" accounting and auditing connected with billions invested in European sovereign debt that led to MF Global's demise in 2011. PwC says it is "disappointed that this meritless claim has been brought."

Delaware Chancery Court Upholds Forum Selection Bylaws

August 06, 2013

The Delaware Chancery Court recently gave corporations home-court advantage in disputes with shareholders—a home court that, to no surprise, is usually Delaware. The court ruled that companies can indeed enforce bylaws dictating where litigation with shareholders is heard, a big victory for Corporate America tired of unhappy shareholders "forum shopping" to jurisdictions more advantageous to them. More inside.

Ruling Finds Communication With Federal Regulators Not Privileged Information

April 23, 2013

A recent district court ruling could push banks and other companies to be more careful with what they share with regulators, including the information they provide on compliance with certain regulations. A judge ordered Bank of China to provide plaintiffs in a lawsuit with information, including internal-analyses of its compliance systems, proposed actions, and changes to its compliance procedures that generally have been considered privileged in the past. More inside.

SEC's Social Media Guidance Raises as Many Questions as it Answers

April 09, 2013

Last week the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to make company announcements. While some criticized the agency for taking so long to embrace modern communication technology, others quickly pointed out that the guidance raises lots of new questions on using social media to disclose material information. Details inside.

Legal Departments Struggle With Technology Shifts

April 02, 2013

Cloud-based storage and the ubiquity of smart phones and tablets are pushing legal teams in charge of e-discovery to the limit. Two separate surveys released in March indicate that the legal department is falling behind on managing electronic discovery. The studies also reveal a significant lack of communication and collaboration among legal, IT, records management, and other business units.

Judge Balks at SEC Settlement With IBM, Wants More Reporting

January 23, 2013

A U.S. district court judge is challenging an SEC settlement, claiming that it lets the defendant, IBM, off too easy. The move is the latest in a series of contested settlement agreements that could change the way that the SEC resolves civil cases. Judge Richard Leon says he wants IBM to submit regular reports on its compliance efforts. "This is not a rubber stamp court," he stressed. "I'm not just going to roll over like the SEC has."

Delaware Ruling Could Complicate Class-Action Settlements

January 08, 2013

Delaware's highest court ruled last month that major investors can opt out of a class-action settlement to pursue a separate legal action related to a faulty merger deal. The decision could make closing the books on merger-related shareholder class-action litigation more complicated. Details inside.

Lawsuit Exposes Gaps in Loss Contingency Disclosures

December 18, 2012

Yahoo announced in late November that it was facing a $2.7 billion penalty as a result of a lawsuit in Mexico it lost against a phone directory company. The verdict surprised investors, since Yahoo hadn't reported the potential outcome as part of its loss contingency disclosure. The Financial Accounting Standards Board and the SEC have made such disclosures a top priority in recent years, after complaints about too many litigation surprises. Details inside.

Banks Face First Prosecutions of Mortgage Crisis Task Force

October 16, 2012

Four years after the financial crisis began, few financial companies have faced prosecution for their role in the meltdown. That could be set to change. A nine-month-old task force comprised of federal and state agencies filed its first civil lawsuit against Bear Stearns acquirer, JP Morgan, for abuses by Bear Stearns in the sale of mortgage-backed securities. More lawsuits are expected to follow. Details inside.

Dodd-Frank Opponents Consider New Legal Challenges

October 16, 2012

After successful legal challenges to Dodd-Frank Act provisions such as the proxy access rule and limits to commodities contracts, some are wondering what will be challenged next. An answer came last week with a lawsuit challenging the requirement for oil, gas, and mining companies to disclose payments to governments. Is the conflict minerals rule also on the hit list? We look at the potential for a legal challenge inside.

EEOC Enforcement Plan Signals Shift to Systemic Cases

October 10, 2012

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's revamped strategic enforcement plan, released last month, indicates a shift by the agency to focus more on systemic cases—those that indicate widespread abuses of EEOC rules, the agency says, rather than focusing on specific individual complaints. "Those systemic cases bring with them much litigation risk to employers," says Steven Gutierrez, a partner with law firm Holland & Hart.

Supreme Court to Weigh Slate of Hefty Business Cases

October 02, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court will rule on a several cases this term that could have big implications for companies, including decisions on class-action certification standards, securities fraud, corporate liability in the United States for events that occurred abroad, and more. Inside, we run down the most important corporate litigation matters on the docket and what the outcomes could mean to you.

Court Expands Scope of Third-Party Liability for Securities Fraud

September 11, 2012

A recent federal district court decision cleared a path for the SEC to charge more executives as accomplices to securities fraud when it ruled that those associated with a fraud can face liability even if their actions didn't directly cause the wrongdoing. The decision "will embolden the SEC to test the limits of its expanded authority to pursue aiding and abetting liability," says Edward O'Callaghan, a partner with law firm Clifford Chance.

Dodd-Frank Legal Challenge Contests CFPB's Authority

July 03, 2012

Conservative activists are asking a court to invalidate the Dodd-Frank Act based on an argument that the powers it grants to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are unconstitutional. Some lawyers say don't dismiss the move as political wrangling just yet. "Certainly, on the whole, it is not frivolous," says Stephen Quinlivan, partner at law firm Leonard, Street, and Deinard.

SciClone Raises Standards, and Eyebrows, With FCPA Deal

November 29, 2011

SciClone Pharmaceuticals, a middle-weight drug development business with only 260 employees, struck a memorable blow for corporate compliance this month: The company agreed to profound changes in its anti-corruption program solely to settle a shareholder lawsuit. "I'm not aware of any other case, certainly in the FCPA area, where this sort of result has occurred," says Lucinda Low of the law firm Steptoe & Johnson.

Say-on-Pay Failures; Say-on-Pay Strategies

June 14, 2011

Companies that fail to win say-on-pay votes with shareholders this year—31 of them out of thousands at last count—now face another problem: shareholders suing the directors for disregarding their will. In truth, the lawsuits probably have little merit, experts say. But they do point to how companies might better deal with unhappy shareholders. More inside.

BofA Sued for "1,784 Billion, Trillion Dollars"

September 25, 2009

Bank of America is under seige from all sides right now for its disclosures prior to the Merrill Lynch acquisition (SEC, NY AG, DOJ, FBI, Congress), but its "biggest" problem yet (at least in terms of the number of zeroes involved) may have come in a lawsuit filed against in...

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