Debevoise & Plimpton Discusses The SEC’s Robare Decision

On November 7, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) overturned an Administrative Law Judge’s (the “ALJ”) initial decision[1] and issued an opinion In re The Robare Group, Ltd., Advisers Act Rel. No. 4566 (Nov. 7, 2016), finding that investment adviser The Robare Group, Ltd. (“TRG”) and its principals, Mark Robare and Jack Jones (collectively, the “Respondents”), negligently failed to fully and fairly disclose potential conflicts of interest arising from an arrangement with a mutual fund manager (the “Fund Manager”) pursuant to which the Fund Manager paid Robare for maintaining client assets in certain mutual funds … Read more

Debevoise & Plimpton Discusses SEC Anti-Retaliation Enforcement

Last week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) announced its second whistleblower retaliation case since the enactment of Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provisions in 2011. The In the Matter of International Game Technology [1] case is also the first enforcement action to allege retaliation based on whistleblower activity that did not lead to a settlement of a substantive violation of the securities laws. The case is a stark reminder of the importance of implementing robust anti-retaliation policies that are consistently applied to alleged whistleblowers, even in those cases where the claims raised by the whistleblowers turn out … Read more

Debevoise & Plimpton Discusses Disclosure of Government Investigations

Registrants, particularly those involved in highly regulated industries, frequently must determine whether and when a government investigation and related pending or threatened litigation must be disclosed in its periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).  On September 9, 2016, the SEC filed a complaint against a company and its general counsel that should serve as a reminder for any registrant subject to a government investigation to ensure that it has robust procedures in place to review disclosure requirements in connection with government investigations in light of the facts uncovered by any internal investigation and the course of … Read more

Debevoise & Plimpton discusses SEC’s Guidance on Supervisory Liability for a Broker-Dealer’s Compliance and Legal Personnel

On September 30, the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (the “SEC”) Division of Trading and Markets addressed an issue of great interest to the compliance and legal community concerning the circumstances under which the compliance and legal staffs of broker-dealers may be viewed as “supervisors” and thus face liability under the securities laws for failing to supervise firm employees.[1] The guidance, which appears in the form of responses to frequently asked questions (the “FAQs”), seems to confirm the industry’s long-held view that supervisory liability does not attach unless a compliance or legal employee truly functions in a supervisory

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