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July 2014 Client Alerts

Practice groups throughout Bryan Cave often prepare alerts on issues of interest to our clients and friends. Listed below are the Client Alerts published in July 2014.  Please click on the title to read the full text of the Alert.

Good News for In-House Counsel:  The D.C. Circuit Court Restores Attorney-Client Privilege for Internal Investigations, published by the White Collar Defense and Investigations, Securities Litigation and Enforcement and Government Contracts practice groups on July 2, 2014.

Federal Antitrust Laws:  A New Tool to Prohibit Pre-Petition Coordination Among Creditors?, published by the Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights group on July 14, 2014.

No More Blurred Lines?  Federal Courts Rule That Conditional Discovery Objects are No Longer Proper Under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, published by the Commercial Litigation practice group on July 30, 2014.

Fraud Outweighs Fairness:  Government Contractor Cannot Recover the Value of Its Services, published by the White Collar Defense and Investigations practice on July 16, 2014.

Seventh Circuit Rejects Judge Shuffling in Multidistrict Litigation Cases, published by the Securities Litigation and Enforcement group on July 3, 2014.

No False Claims Act Liability for Claiming Private Money:  Fifth Circuit Rejects Broad FCA Interpretation, published by the While Collar Defense and Investigations practice group on July 8, 2014.

SEC Brings Enforcement Action Under MCDC Initiative, published by the Broker-Dealer Litigation, Arbitration and Regulatory practice on July 16, 2014.

No FCPA Liability or Penalties for Former Noble Executives:  SEC Settles FCPA Claims on Eve of Trial, published by the Global Anti-Corruption/Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Team and the White Collar Defense and Investigations practice on July 7, 2014.

The D.C. Circuit Imposes Some Due Process in the CFIUS Review Procedures But the Impact May be Limited and, in Any Case, Short-Lived, published by the National Security practice on July 18, 2014.

BNP Paribas Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges and Collar Clearing Rights Are Suspended in the Largest U.S. Sanctions Case to Date, published by the White Collar Defense and Investigations Global Anti-Corruption/Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Team and the International Trade practice on July 2, 2014.

Failure To Appear At a Hearing — A Risky Tactic?, published by the International Arbitration Commercial Litigation practice on July 8, 2014.

Arbitration and Competition Law – New Prospects of Recovery for Victims of Antitrust Infringements, published by the Antitrust and Competition and International Arbitration groups on July 16, 2014.

Enforcement of CIS Court Judgments in England, published by the International Arbitration practice on July 4, 2014.

New UK Guidance on coping with Small Bribes and Facilitation Payments, published by the Global Anti-Corruption/Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Team on July 3, 2014.

EU & Competition Law Update – July 2014, published by the European Antitrust and Competition groups on July 7, 2014.

 EU Adds Individuals and Entities to Sanctions List and Expands Grounds for Sanctions (IRB No. 525), published by the International Trade CEE and CIS Team on July 28, 2014.

Interns Can Turn Out to Be Expensive for Companies, published by the Labor and Employment Client Service Group (Hamburg, Frankfurt) on July 21, 2014.

UK Labor and Employment Bulletin – July 2014, published by the London  Labor and Employment group on July 21, 2014.

EU Commission Proposes Radical Reform of EU Merger Regulation, published by the Antitrust and Competition practice group on July 14, 2014.

 

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June 2014 Client Alerts

Practice groups throughout Bryan Cave often prepare alerts on issues of interest to our clients and friends. Listed below are the Client Alerts published in June 2014.  Please click on the title to read the full text of the Alert.

Supreme Court Holds Bare Allegation of Improper Purpose Does Not Entitle a Taxpayer to Examine IRS Officials, published by the Tax Advice and Controversy practice group on June 20, 2014.

District Judge Expands the Reach of Dodd Frank Retaliation Protections, published by the White Collar Defense and Investigations, Securities Litigation and Enforcement, Labor and Employment, Broker-Dealer Litigation, Arbitration and Regulatory practice groups on June 3, 2014.

Breaking News:  Second Circuit Reverses Rakoff Decision Rejecting SEC Settlement, Holds That Requiring Admissions was Abuse of Discretion, published by the White Collar Defense and Investigations, Securities Litigation and Enforcement and Investment Management practice groups on June 4, 2014.

SEC Settles First Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Case, published by the White Collar Defense and Investigations, Securities Litigation and Enforcement and Labor and Employment practice groups on June 19, 2014.

Small Business Administration Issues Proposed Rule That Would Establish a Safe Harbor From Fraud Penalties for a Business That Acted in Good Faith in Incorrectly Representing the Firm as Being Small,  published by the Government Contracts practice group on June 26, 2014.

Ninth Circuit Issues Two Decisions Upholding Class Action Waivers in Employment Agreements, But Interplay with California Supreme Court Remains an Open Question,  published by the Labor and Employment and Commercial Litigation practice groups on June 27, 2014.

Securities Defendants Will Have New Tool To Use in Opposing Class Certification But Fraud-On-The-Market Theory Survives under Supreme Court Decision,  published by the Class and Derivative Actions and Securities Litigation and Enforcement practice groups on June 23, 2014.

California Supreme Court Affirms Use of Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements, published by the Labor and Employment practice group on June 24, 2014.

Shifting Trends:  Privacy & Security Class Action Litigation, published by the Data Privacy and Security Team on June 11, 2014.

SEC to Give Credit For Self-Reporting Certain Municipal Offering Violations, published by the Broker-Dealer Litigation, Arbitration and Regulatory practice on June 18, 2014.

Whither Demand Response in Wholesale Electric Power Markets?, published by the Energy and Natural Resources practice group on June 2, 2014.

FINRA Cracks Down on Use of Consolidated Reporting,  published by the Broker-Dealer Litigation, Arbitration and Regulatory Practice on June 23, 2014.

Supreme Court Rejects Federal Circuit’s “Insolubly Ambiguous” Standard for Indefiniteness, published by the Intellectual Property practice group on June 3, 2014.

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Private Lanham Act Suits Against Product Labels Otherwise Compliant With Federal Law, published by the Antitrust and Competition practice, Food and Beverage Team and Intellectual Property practice on June 12, 2014.

U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Alice Corp’s Software Patent Claims, published by the Intellectual Property practice group on June 20, 2014.

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Divided Infringement of Method Claims in Limelight v. Akamai, published by the Intellectual Property practice group on June 3, 2014.

IRS Announces Changes to Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, published by the Tax Advice and Controversy practice group on June 20, 2014.

EPA Extends Comment Period For Proposed Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Regulations, published by the Environmental practice group on June 30, 2014.

EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan Regulations:  Structure and Impacts, published by the Environmental group on June 6, 2014.

Missouri Supreme Court Holds That Statutes of Limitations Are Not Tolled by Putative Class Action Lawsuits Filed Outside of Missouri, published by the Class and Derivatives Actions practice group on June 25, 2014.

Reminder:  Increase in California Minimum Wage Effective July 1, 2014, published by the Labor and Employment practice group on June 24, 2014.

EU Proposes Greater Transparency of Beneficial Ownership,  published by the White Collar Defense and Investigations practice group and Global Anti-Corruption/Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Team on June 26, 2014.

Significant Competition/Antitrust Fines in Europe Sound the Alarm for Private Equity Over Liability for Their Portfolio Companies,  published by the Antitrust and Competition and Private Equity groups in London and Frankfurt on June 19, 2014.

Australia Imposes Targeted Ukraine-Related Sanctions on 50 Individuals and 11 Entities, published by the White Collar Defense and Investigations practice group on June 19, 2014.

The French Blocking Statute:  Effective Protection Against Cross-Border Discovery?, published by the Commercial Litigation and Class and Derivative Actions practice groups on June 19, 2014.

Canada Charges 3 Foreign Nationals with Bribery of Foreign Officials, published by the Global Anti-Corruptions/Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Team on June 6, 2014.

EU Makes It Easier for Creditors to Recover Cross-Border Debts in the EU in Civil and Commercial Matters, but Has the UK Missed a Trick?, published by the London Commercial Litigation practice group on June 5, 2014.

EU and Competition Law Update — June 2014, published by the European Antitrust and Competition practice groups on June 9, 2014.

Thailand:  Is a Coup d’etat Force Majeure?published by the Hong Kong Commercial Litigation group on June 6, 2014.

Clarification of the Approach to Non-Arbitrable Claims — Silica Investors v Tomolugen Holdings (Singapore High Court), published by the International Arbitration practice group on June 4, 2014.

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May 2014 Client Alerts

Practice groups throughout Bryan Cave often prepare alerts on issues of interest to our clients and friends. Listed below are the Client Alerts published in May 2014.  Please click on the title to read the full text of the Alert.

SEC Confirms that FINRA May Investigate Non-FINRA Companies Controlled by a FINRA Member, published by the Broker-Dealer Litigation, Arbitration and Regulatory Practice on May 29, 2014.

CFTC Hopes To Attract More Whistleblowers With Issuance of First Award, published by the White Collar Defense and Investigations, Securities Litigation and Enforcement, and Labor and Employment Investment Management practice groups on May 22, 2014.

Court Strengthens Statute of Limitations Defense Against the SEC, published by the White Collar Defense and Investigations, Securities Litigation and Enforcement group on May 15, 2014.

Spreading the Sunshine in Private Equity:  SEC’s Observations from OCIE’s Presence Exams of Private Equity Fund Advisers, published by the Investment Management and Private Equity practice groups on May 14, 2014.

IRS Issues Guidance on Retiree Health Benefits Funded Through Captive Insurance Subsidiary, published by the Tax Advice and Controversy and Captive Insurance practice groups in May 14, 2014.

New Endangered Species Act Rules and Policy Proposedpublished by the Environmental group on May 15, 2014.

Russian Sanctions Creep (IRB No. 523), published by the International Trade CEE and CIS Team on May 13, 2014.

EU Expands Basis for Ukraine-related Sanctions Targets (IRB No. 523), published by the International Trade CEE and CIS Team on May 13, 2014.

At Last:  DoD Codifies Procedures for Addressing Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (“FOCI”) Concerns, published by the National Security practice on May 6, 2014.

International Centre for Dispute Resolution (“ICDR”) Draft Procedures and Rules, published by the International Arbitration practice on May 8, 2014.

EU to Make It Easier to Confiscate Proceeds of Crime, published by the Global Anti-Corruption/Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Team on May 20, 2014.

Who is a Foreign Official Under the FCPA?  U.S. Appeals court Affirms Government’s Broad Reading of Instrumentality, published by the Global Anti-Corruption/Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Team on May 19, 2014.

Imminent Consumer Contracts Regulations Affecting Hotel Operators and Travel Agencies — Summary of Key Changes, published by the London Technology, Entrepreneurial and Commercial Practice and Retail Team on May 23, 2014.

Bankers Beware:  Global Financial Institutions and Regulated Firms Remain in the UK’s Firing Line, published by the Global Anti-Corruption/Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Team on May 19, 2014.

Hedging the Hedge — Are Hedging Losses Recoverable in Commodities Contracts, published by the Singapore Energy and Natural Resources group on May 14, 2014.

Labor and Employment Bulletin – May 2014, published by the London Labor and Employment practice on May 12, 2014.

EU & Competition Law Update – May 2014, published by the European Antitrust and Competition practice group on May 9, 2014.

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April 2014 Client Alerts

Practice groups throughout Bryan Cave often prepare alerts on issues of interest to our clients and friends. Listed below are the Client Alerts published in April 2014.  Please click on the title to read the full text of the Alert.

 U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Test For Standing to Sue Under Federal False Advertising Statute And Rejects Test Used by Several Circuits to Prohibit Suits Brought By Non-Competitor Businessespublished by the Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property and Trademarks practice groups on April 1, 2014.

The Australian Privacy Principles:  They don’t apply to me, do they?, published by the Data Privacy and Security team, April 1, 2014.

SEC Convenes Cybersecurity Roundtable:  Highlights Importance of Cybersecurity for Public Companies and Financial Market Participants, published by the Corporate Finance and Securities practice group and Data Privacy and Security Team, April 4, 2014.

Now It Gets Personal:  Department of Justice Obtains its First Ever Extradition on Antitrust Charges, published by the Antitrust and Competition White Collar Defense and Investigations practice on April 8, 2014.

SEC Touts Monetary Benefits of Whistleblowing, published by the White Collar Defense and Investigations, Securities Litigation and Enforcement and Labor and Employment practice groups, April 10, 2014. 

Paving The Way for Increased Data Litigation, Court Refuses to Dismiss FTC’s Use of Deception or Unfairness Authority in Data Breach Cases, published by the Data Privacy and Security Team, April 11, 2014.

$5.15B Cleanup:  Anadarko Environmental Settlement Reveals New Government Tactics, published by the White collar Defense and Investigations and Environmental practice groups, April 11, 2014.

Court of Appeals Issues Opinion in Conflict Minerals Case:  Portion of Rule Violates First Amendment, published by the Corporate Finance and Securities practice group, April 14, 2014.

SEC Staff Responds to Court of Appeals Opinion in Conflict Minerals Case:  Game On, published by the Corporate Finance and Securities group, April 30, 2014.

Will This Be Enough?  Competitors Sharing Cyber Threat Information Will Not Result in Federal Antitrust Prosecutions — Sometimes, published by the National Security, Antitrust and Competition practice groups and the Data Privacy and Security Team

We Know Who You Are:  Companies’ Ability To Deal Confidentially With The CPSC is Further Eroded, published by the Consumer Protection and Data Privacy groups, April 18, 2014.

OCIE Issues Risk Alert Regarding Cybersecurity Preparednesspublished by the Broker-Dealer, Litigation, Arbitration and Regulatory,  and Investment Management groups, April 21, 2014.

Missouri Supreme Court Deals With Trade Secret Issues, published by the Labor and Employment practice group, April 22, 2014.

Missouri Supreme Court Introduces Drastic Change to Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Law, published by the Labor and Employment practice group, April 29, 2014.

New York’s Non-Profit Revitalization Act of 2013 and Its Impact on Non-Profit Organizations, published by the Non Profit Organizations practice on April 1, 2014.

U.S. Expands Sanctions Against Russia By Freezing More Assets and Restricting Exports (IRB No. 522), published by the International Trade group, April 29, 2014.

Partnership Tax Changes:  New Salaried Member Rules from 6 April 2014published by the Tax Advice and Controversy practice group (London) on April 3, 2014.

New Consumer Regulations – Implications for Retailers doing Business in the UK, published by the London Retail team, April 17, 2014.

Sunday Trading Laws in the UK — Is The Customer Still King?, published by the London Retail team, April 17, 2014.

UK Deferred Prosecution Agreements — Key Considerations For Companies Deciding Whether To Self-Report, published by the White Collar Defense and Investigations, Global Anti-Corruption/Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Team, April 2, 2014.

New Consumer Protection Law:  A Reinforced Framework for Distribution Agreements, published by the Paris Consumer Protection and Data Privacy group, April 9, 2014.

New Consumer Protection Law:  A Stricter Regime for Payment Terms, published by the Consumer Paris Protection and Data Privacy group, April 9, 2014.

EU & Competition Law Update – April 2014, published by the European Antitrust and Competition group, April 10, 2014.

 

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Regulatory Lawyer Selected as Firm Chair-Elect

We are pleased to announce that Bryan Cave LLP has completed the process of naming a successor to Don Lents as Chair of the Firm.  Therese (“Terry”) Pritchard will serve as Chair-Elect until the completion of Don’s term on September 30, 2014.  Don will continue to serve as Chair of the Firm during that time, working closely with Terry in order to assure a smooth and effective transition.

Our community banking lawyers are pleased to have someone with an extensive regulatory background, including bank regulatory experience, as our incoming chair.  Terry joined the firm in 1999, resident in the Washington DC office, having earlier served in several senior positions in government agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Office of Thrift Supervision.  For more than 30 years, she has concentrated her practice on securities and financial institutions enforcement and litigation, representing major public companies, banks, accounting firms, broker-dealers, investment advisors, mutual funds, hedge funds and individuals under investigation by the SEC, DOJ, FINRA and the federal banking agencies.  Terry has held a number of leadership roles at Bryan Cave, including serving on the Executive Committee, as leader of the firm’s White Collar, Securities Enforcement and Litigation Client Service Group, and as Coordinator of our Asia practice.

Bryan Cave’s full press release about the appointment of Terry as Chair-Elect is available here.

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July 2012 Client Alerts

Two Key Rulings of the Supreme Court

A “Common Sense” Approach to Overtime Exemptions.  The Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., DBA GlaxoSmithKline established that when classifying employees as exempt or nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers should not abandon common sense and industry practice.  The Christopher case puts the Department of Labor and potential plaintiffs on notice that unreasoned and overly narrow interpretations of the exemptions should be rejected by courts, especially when such interpretations would subject business to unfair surprise.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Much of Arizona Immigration Law.  Arizona enacted the Support our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act in 2010 in an attempt to address immigration concerns within its borders.  In a 5-3 decision, the Supreme Court struck down a significant part of the Arizona law.

For summaries of these two important rulings of the Supreme Court, please click here for the Labor and Employment Client Service Group’s Alert published July 16, 201.

New York Appeals Court Decision Highlights Defenses for Financial Institution Defendants Against Structured Product Claims.

A recent decision from the New York Court of Appeals highlights some of the winning arguments financial-institution defendants can make in state-court litigation brought by investors in structured financial products.  In Oddo Asset Management v. Barclays Bank PLC, the Court of Appeals affirmed the dismission of claims for aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference with contract.  Although the Court did not define any new legal principles, its decision illustrates the ways existing law can be applied to defeat claims against defendants alleged to have played an important role in the distribution of failed investments.  To learn more about the decision in this case, please click here to read the Securities Litigation and Enforcement Client Service Group’s Alert published July 9, 2012.

Employee Testimonials Can be Risky Business

Online retailers often permit (and encourage) consumers to review their products.  Reviews — whether done on the retailer’s website or on a third-party website — serve a dual purpose of engaging consumers to interact with the retailer and providing a ready source of testimonials that can be used in future marketing.  Over the past several years the FTC has warned that consumers can be deceived when a testimonial is written by a person that has a material connection with the retailer.  The FTC has launched at least a half-dozen investigations involving deceptive testimonials, and, in early July, the FTC announced its largest testimonial related settlement to date — $800,000.  To read more about how retailers can avoid liability, please click here to read the Alert published by the Retailer & Consumer Products Group on July 10, 2012.

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February 2012 Client Alerts

FINRA Issues Guidance on Protection of Customer Accounts

A recent alert from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) is encouraging broker-dealers to reexamine their policies and procedures relating to protection of customer assets and accounts.  FINRA Regulatory Notice 12-05 advises broker-dealers that FINRA has received an increasing number of reports of customer funds being stolen as a result of instructions e-mailed to firms from customer e-mail accounts that have been compromised.  With that notice, FINRA also issued an Investor Alert advising the public about the reported incidents.  To learn more about the Notice and Alert, please click here to read the Alert published by the White Collar Defense & Investigations and Securities Litigation & Enforcement Client Service Groups and Data Privacy & Security Team on February 6, 2012.

Reporting Cybersecurity Risks — New Obligations for Publicly Traded Companies 

Most companies are aware that they may be required to report data security breaches to consumers and, in some instances, state attorneys general, the FTC, or HHS.  Publicly traded companies should bear in mind that they have to notify another group — their investors.  The SEC last year offered  first-of-its kind guidance on when companies should report cybersecurity incidents in their disclosure statements.  To learn more about the new requirements, please click here to read the Alert published by the Data Privacy & Security Team on February 14, 2012.

DOL Issues Final Fee Disclosure Rule

Earlier this year, the Department of Labor issued a final rule on the disclosure requirements for a contract or arrangement for services to a covered plan to be deemed “reasonable” under Section 408(b)(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1973 (“ERISA”).  These disclosure requirements become effective July 1, 2012 and apply to service contracts and arrangements entered into both before and after that date.  To learn more about the disclosures required and what plans or contracts may be excluded from the rule, please  Click here to read the Alert published by the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Client Service Group on February 7, 2012. 

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September 2011 Client Alerts

Social Media and the National Labor Relations Act:  A Trap for Unwary Employers

The use of social media has become one of the most rapidly-changing areas in employment law today.  What most employers do not realize is that the National Labor Relations Board has become very active in policing both the substance of social media policies and the actions of employers in addressing social media concerns.  Please click here to read an overview of NLRB activity in the area of employee use of social media published by the Labor & Employment and Internet & New Media Client Service Groups on September 23, 2011.

Check It Out and Check It Off:  2012 Group Health Plan Checklist

While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended (“PPACA”), required significant design changes for group health plans in 2010 or 2011, some additional requirements must be implemented for 2012.  Please click here to read the Alert published by the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Client Service Group on September 7, 2011. 

IRS Establishes a Voluntary Classification Settlement Program

The IRS recently announced a new settlement program for employers with misclassified workers.  Under the new program, employers can get a significant reduction in their federal employment tax liability associated with past nonemployment treatment by agreeing to properly classify their workers for future tax period.  The announcement came on the heels of recent announcements that the IRS, Department of Labor and various state agencies are collaborating on examining worker misclassification issues.  To learn more about the new program, please click here to read the Alert published by the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Client Service Group on September 30, 2011.

Department of Labor Issues Final Rule Requiring Follow-On Contractors to Hire Their Predecessor’s Employees

The Department of Labor issued a final rule just before Labor Day that, in effect, will given certain employees now performing under Federal government service contracts employment for life or at least for as long as the government continues to contract for those services.  Although the rule does not take effect until the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council issues its complementary regulations, matters are sufficiently final that contractors should begin planning for how they are going to comply.  To learn more about this new regulation, click here to read the Alert published by the Government Contracts Team on September 8, 2011.

U.S. House Panel Hears Divergent Opinions on SRO Oversight of Investment Advisers

Fund managers and other investment advisers should be aware that Congress is now considering legislation that would significantly alter regulation of the nation’s registered investment advisers.  A key House subcommittee has heard widely divergent views on the proposed legislation entitled the “Investment Adviser Oversight Act of 2011.”  To learn more about the draft legislation, click here to read the Alert published by the White Collar Defense and Investigations Securities Litigation and Enforcement Client Service Groups on September 20, 2011.

New Patent Reform Bill Poised to Significantly Change U.S. Patent Law

On September 8, 2011, Congress approved the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011.  The Act materially alters a long history of patent law in the United States.   Among the provisions addressed by the Act are who is entitled to a patent (“first to file” versus “first to invent”) and who may file a “false marking” lawsuit.  To read more about how the Act alters patent law, please click here to read the Bulletin published by the Intellectual Property Client Service Group on September 12, 2011. 

FinCEN Issues Final Rule on Prepaid Access; Extends Compliance Date for Many Aspects of the Final Rule

New anti-money laundering regulations that directly impact retail business that issue or sell gift cards or other prepaid cards were issued by the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN),  The regulations require the collection and verification of customer information when certain prepaid cards are sold or reloaded.  To read an overview of the Final Rule, please click here for the Alert published by the Financial Institutions Client Service Group on September 6, 2011. The Final Rule was set to go into effect on September 27, but FinCEN announced that it has extended the compliance date for most aspects of the regulations.  For information on how the compliance dates changed, please click here to read the Alert published on September 12, 2011.

New Dual/Third Country National Rule Continues to Present Challenges

A new rule took effect in August which amended the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to include a new license exemption for the transfer of defense articles to dual/third country national employees of approved non-U.S. licensees under ITAR agreements.  To read about the new rule, please click here for International Regulatory Bulletin published September 28, 2011.

DDTC Updates its “Guidelines for Preparing Electronic Agreements” to Implement New Dual/Third Country National Rule

In August, DDTC updated its “Guidelines for Preparing Electronic Agreements” (the “Guidelines”) to reflect implementation of the new rule and provide guidance to exporters preparing ITAR agreements.  To learn more, please click here to read the International Regulatory Bulletin published September 28, 2011.

 Electronic Payment of Registration Fees

The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) issued an amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) that requires a change in the method of payment for registration fees.  Effective September 26, 2011, all registration fees must be paid electronically via Automated Clearing House.  To read about the amendment, please click here for the International Regulatory Bulletin published September 15, 2011.

French Working Time for Executives:  Lump-Sum Remuneration Agreements Based on a Fixed Number of Working Days Per Year (so-called Forfaits-Jours)

The legal duration of work for employees in France is 35 hours per week, meaning that any hours required to be worked above this limit would normally be considered overtime.  Executives are, however, most often not subject to this limit.  For an outline of how the French Labor Code distinguishes between three types of executives, please click here to read the September 2011 Briefing published by the Paris Labor & Employment Client Service Group.

 The Agency Workers Regulations 2010

UK’s new Agency Workers Regulations come into force on 1 October 2011.  The regulations are intended to give agency workers the same basic employment rights and conditions as permanent staff employed directly by the relevant company.  To learn about the new regulations, please click here for the September 2011 Briefing published by the London Labour and Employment Client Service Group.

China Announces Legal Changes That May Broaden Power to Investigate Bribery

In August the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China released the draft Criminal Procedure Law Amendment to the public for comment.  If passed, the amendment is expected to provide additional protection to the civil rights of accused parties.  However, critics say that the amendment would also provide authorities legal cover to utilize secret locations to detain subjects suspected of engaging in acts involving national security, terrorism, or other serious crimes which may include serious bribery.  To read about the amendment, please click here for the International Regulatory Bulletin published September 27, 2011.

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June 2011 Client Alerts

The Implications for FCPA Enforcement of the SEC’s New Whistleblower Rules

The SEC’s recent adoption of rules to implement the whistleblower program mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act has particular significance for enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  For a discussion of the overall SEC enforcement context for the new whistleblower rules, a summary of the rules,  and a discussion of the key issues for FCPA enforcement, including recommendations that companies should take now, please click here to read the Alert published by the Global Anti-Corruption Team of the Securities Litigation and Enforcement  and International Trade Groups on June 22, 2011.

Supreme Court De-Certifies Largest Employment Discrimination Class Action In History

In Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, the Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s decision to certify a nationwide class pursuing employment discrimination claims against the nation’s largest employer.  A 5-4 majority of the Court concluded that the class of 1.5 million current and former female employees could not satisfy the commonality requirement.  For a discussion of the decision, please click here to read the Alert published by the Class and Derivative Actions section of the Labor & Employment Client Service Group on June 21, 2011.

Supreme Court Draws Bright Line Barring Securities Fraud Claims Against Advisers to Companies Who Do Not “Make” Statements At Issue

In June the U.S. Supreme Court issued a significant decision restricting the ability of plaintiffs to bring securities fraud actions against adviser defendants who play a role in preparing statements actually made by companies they are advising.  In Janus Group, et al. v. First Derivative Traders, the court held that an investment adviser to a mutual fund could not be sued in a private securities fraud action for false statements made in mutual fund prospectuses.  To read more, please click here for the Alert published by the Securities Litigation and Enforcement practice group on June 16, 2011.

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May 2011 Client Alerts

Federal Judge in Missouri Dismisses Legal Challenge to Health Care Reform

The Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Southeastern Division, entered an order dismissing a lawsuit filed by Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder that challenged the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Kinder et al v. Geithner et al. was filed in July 2010 by Kinder, joined in by six other Missouri residents, as a private citizen after the state’s attorney general declined to join other states in challenging the health care law.  To read more about the order in this case, please click here to see the Alert published by the Life Sciences and Health Care Client Service Group on May 3, 2011.

FTC Cracking Down on Affiliate Advertisers

In April the FTC filed 10 lawsuits against companies and individuals that run affiliate advertising websites.  These lawsuits come within two months of an earlier round of lawsuits targeting affiliate advertising programs.  The most recent targets are fake news websites that promote weight loss products.  To learn more, please click here to read the Alert published by the Retail Team on May 5, 2011.

Arbitration Clauses May Waive Class Proceedings

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act does not allow state law to invalidate class action waivers in arbitration agreements on the basis of unconscionability.  While AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion involved consumer claims, the language of the ruling will bolster enforceability of class action waivers in employment related arbitration agreements.  To read more about the ruling, click here for the Alert published by the Labor & Employment Client Service Group on May 18, 2011.

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