The annual ALI-CLE Accountants’ Liability Conference occurred in Washington, D.C. on May 16 and 17, 2024 and was co-hosted by Junaid A. Zubairi, Chair of Vedder Price’s Government Investigations and White Collar Defense group, and Veronica Callahan of Arnold & Porter LLP. The conference featured a wide variety of speakers, including regulators from the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”), in-house counsel, outside counsel, and consultants.Continue Reading Highlights from 2024 ALI-CLE Accountants’ Liability Conference

On May 1, 2024, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) proposed a new series of rules—FINRA Rule 6500 Series—regarding reporting of securities lending transactions pursuant to the requirements under new Rule 10c-1a under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 which the SEC adopted on October 13, 2023. Rule 10c-1a requires “covered persons” to report specified information about “covered securities loans” (as these terms are defined in Rule 10c-1a) to FINRA by the end of the day on which a loan is made or modified, in accordance with rules that FINRA is required to adopt by May 2, 2024 and that detail the format and manner by which the loan information is reported. Continue Reading FINRA Proposes Rules Regarding SEC-Mandated Reporting of Securities Lending Transactions

On May 13, 2024, the SEC and FinCEN jointly proposed a new rule under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) that would impose new customer identification program (CIP) requirements on registered investment advisers and exempt reporting advisers.Continue Reading SEC and FinCEN Propose Customer Identification Program Requirements for Investment Advisers

On May 16, 2024, the SEC adopted amendments to Regulation S-P to enhance and modernize consumer privacy protections in light of technological developments in how individuals’ personal information is collected, shared and maintained. Regulation S-P applies to broker-dealers (including funding portals), investment companies, registered investment advisers and transfer agents (“covered institutions”) and currently requires (1) covered institutions (excluding transfer agents) to adopt written policies and procedures that address administrative, technical and physical safeguards for the protection of customer records and information (the “safeguards rule”), and (2) covered institutions (including transfer agents) to properly dispose of consumer report information (the “disposal rule”). The amendments are described below.Continue Reading SEC Adopts Regulation S-P Amendments to Enhance Protection of Customer Information

In a 3-0 decision, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the SEC’s private fund adviser rules (“Final Rule”). Each component of the Final Rule was vacated, including the Private Fund Audit Rule, Private Fund Quarterly Statement Rule, Private Fund Adviser Restricted Activities Rule, Adviser-Led Secondaries Rule, Preferential Treatment Rule and Books and Records Rule Amendments. The original lawsuit was brought by several trade associations who sued the SEC over the Final Rule in imposition of undue regulatory burdens and costs.Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Vacates Private Fund Adviser Rules

On April 17, 2024, the SEC’s Division of Examinations issued its latest risk alert regarding Rule 206(4)-1 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, known as the Marketing Rule. Following the examinations staff’s June 2023 and September 2022 risk alerts regarding areas of emphasis in examinations focused on compliance with the Marketing Rule, the latest risk alert highlighted initial observations from examinations of investment advisers’ compliance with the Marketing Rule and related rules under the Advisers Act. The risk alert focused on compliance with the Marketing Rule’s general prohibitions, Rule 206(4)-7 (the Compliance Rule), Rule 204-2 (the Books and Records Rule), and Form ADV disclosure requirements.Continue Reading SEC Staff’s Latest Marketing Rule Risk Alert Highlights Initial Observations from Examinations

On May 9, 2024, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced the formation of the Antitrust Division’s Task Force on Health Care Monopolies and Collusion (“HCMC”). The HCMC “will guide the division’s enforcement strategy and policy approach in health care, including by facilitating policy advocacy, investigations and, where warranted, civil and criminal enforcement in health care markets.” Continue Reading DOJ Focus on Health Care Marches Forward with Formation of Task Force

On May 7, 2024, in Ryan, LLC v. FTC et al., Judge Ada Brown of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas set a briefing schedule on Ryan’s Motion for Stay of Effective Date and Preliminary Injunction (the “Motion”) attacking the FTC Final Rule banning employer-employee non‑compete restrictions, and ordered that she would rule on the merits of the Motion on or before July 3, 2024—two months before the FTC Final Rule is scheduled to become effective on September 4, 2024. Continue Reading Motion Seeking to Stay or Enjoin FTC Final Rule Banning Employer-Employee Non‑Competes Set for Ruling by July 3, 2024

After much anticipation, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) unveiled its Final Rule on April 23, 2024, increasing the salary that an employee must earn in order to qualify for the executive, administrative, professional and highly compensated employee “white collar” exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Although the Final Rule will almost certainly face legal challenges and could be struck down, employers should still take the opportunity to evaluate and audit their employee exemption classifications in the event the new rule takes hold in July.Continue Reading DOL’s Final Rule to Increase Salary Thresholds for Overtime Exemptions

On Tuesday, April 23, 2024, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) voted 3-2 to adopt a Final Rule banning virtually all non-compete agreements between employers and employees.  The Final Rule will not go into effect until 120 days after its publication in the Federal Register (the “Effective Date”), and its enforcement could be further delayed or barred by court challenge or Congressional intervention. Continue Reading The FTC Adopts Final Rule Banning Employee Non-Compete Agreements