SEC’s Co-Chief of Enforcement Talks Remedies and Relief

My remarks today come a little over a year after Stephanie Avakian and I were appointed Co-Directors of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement and just a few days after the close of the first full fiscal year in which we have held our positions.  So this is a fitting time to look back on the work of the Division of Enforcement over the past year and to discuss the Division’s priorities over the next year.  Before I begin, I am required to give a standard disclaimer that the views I express here today are my own, and do not necessarily

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Enforcement Co-Chief Offers Tips on Meeting with the SEC

I’m delighted to be here today among so many friends and colleagues, and I extend my thanks to the New York City Bar for hosting this important event. Because New York plays such a pivotal role in our financial system, members of the New York City Bar have long taken a leading role in many of the most significant securities and white collar matters. And the City Bar has been a key forum for education and dialogue about these important issues. I am honored to join today’s distinguished group of speakers, panelists, and attendees.

This afternoon, I would like to … Read more

Sullivan & Cromwell discusses SEC Guidance on Approach to Forum Selection in Contested Actions

The SEC’s Division of Enforcement has issued guidelines explaining the factors it will consider in determining whether to bring enforcement actions as administrative or judicial proceedings. The SEC recently has been criticized for its increased use of administrative proceedings to resolve novel applications of the securities laws. In the newly issued guidance, the Division identified a non-exhaustive list of four factors that the Division may consider in determining the proper forum for an enforcement action, but the Division also made clear that the circumstances of each particular case will ultimately govern where the case is brought. The Division reiterated its … Read more

Sullivan & Cromwell discusses Investigations into Potential Violation of the STOCK Act

SUMMARY

A recent SEC court filing confirmed the existence of enforcement investigations into a potential violation of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act. In a subpoena enforcement action filed against the House Ways and Means Committee and the staff director of its Health Subcommittee, the SEC revealed details of criminal and civil insider trading investigations arising from a potential leak of reimbursement rates announced by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) after the close of the stock market on April 1, 2013. News of the rates, which were more favorable than expected, lifted certain healthcare … Read more

Sullivan & Cromwell discusses Potential Expansion of Liability Theories Under the Martin Act

New York State Attorney General and BlackRock Settle Investigation into BlackRock’s Analyst Survey Program, Signaling Potential Expansion of Martin Act Liability Under “Insider Trading 2.0” Theory 

SUMMARY

On January 8, 2014, the New York State Attorney General and BlackRock, Inc. entered into a settlement agreement by which BlackRock agreed to end its Wall Street research analyst survey program. The Attorney General alleged that BlackRock’s practice of systematically surveying and aggregating information from analysts gave BlackRock an unfair advantage in predicting future analyst opinions, in violation of the Martin Act and the New York Executive Law. Because the Attorney General did

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