Cleary Gottlieb Discusses How Court Allowed Securities Liability for Slack’s Direct Listing

Over the last two years, direct listings – in which companies list their stock on an exchange to enable insiders and early investors to sell their holdings to the public without issuing new shares – have received considerable attention as an alternative to traditional initial public offerings.[1]  Until now it has been assumed that claims under Section 11 of the Securities Act, which generally require plaintiffs to “trace” their purchases to a registration statement, would be difficult to pursue because many shares in a direct listing may be sold without using a registration statement.

On April 21, 2020, however, … Read more

Cleary Gottlieb explains SEC’s New Guidance on Non-GAAP Financial Measures

On May 17, 2016, the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) released new and updated Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (“C&DIs”) on the use of non-GAAP financial measures (“NGFMs”).  The release of the C&DIs follows a series of recent speeches by SEC Chair Mary Jo White, Chief Accountant James Schnurr and other staff that expressed concerns over prevalent and liberal use of NGFMs.  The C&DIs signal a tightening of the SEC’s policy toward NGFMs and renewed SEC focus on their use.

One new C&DI deserves special attention.

Among the new and updated C&DIs, Question 100.04 … Read more

Cleary Gottlieb discusses Framework for Treatment of Prepaid Variable Forward Contracts

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2014 ruling in Chechele v. Sperling[1], which addressed an issue of first impression among the Courts of Appeals regarding the application of Section 16 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), to prepaid variable forward contracts (“PVFCs”), is the most recent attempt by the courts to fill in gaps in the analytical framework governing the application of Section 16 to complex derivatives. The Sperling case, which has received scant attention from commentators, is an important decision that should mitigate concern over the risk of … Read more