In the second edition of our series of mailings on political law issues that take on greater importance during presidential elections, we examine what companies and individuals need to know to avoid violating campaign finance and pay-to-play laws when hosting virtual and in-person fundraisers in the lead-up to the election.
Compliance in a Time of Crisis
April 30, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has companies facing unprecedented financial and operational challenges. Many may consider shifting stretched resources and attention away from key units, including compliance. However, past crises illustrate the importance of maintaining an ethical culture and focusing on heightened areas of risk, because regulators seeking to protect the market, consumers and businesses from misconduct will expect more — not less — from companies in crisis.
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and Division of Corporation Finance Director William Hinman released a joint statement on April 8, 2020, emphasizing the importance of disclosing current and forward-looking financial information to investors and market participants during an uncertain earnings season resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.
In response to coronavirus pandemic-related business challenges, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has issued guidance and several exemptive orders to provide regulatory flexibility to registered open-end funds, registered closed-end funds, business development companies and unit investment trusts, as well as to market participants generally in a manner relevant to these types of funds. Such relief includes measures relating to board and shareholder meetings, delivery of prospectuses, proxy materials and shareholder reports, the timing of certain Investment Company Act and Exchange Act filings, and temporary interfund lending arrangements. Each measure is subject to specific conditions.
Answers to AGM Questions Raised by the COVID-19 Pandemic
March 25, 2020
We answer some of the key questions being asked by U.K. public companies as they prepare for this year’s annual general meeting season while facing a number of unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In light of the impact of COVID-19, the SEC has offered further conditional relief to public companies by extending due dates for filings that would have become due from March 1 to July 1, 2020. The SEC staff also issued related guidance on disclosure and other securities law obligations, as well as no-action relief regarding manual signature and document retention requirements.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, New York state has temporarily amended certain ethics laws, while a range of other jurisdictions have modified their reporting requirements.
March 18, 2020
The question is no longer whether the volatility created by the COVID-19 pandemic will deepen the difficulties businesses and other institutions face in the coming months, but by how much and in what ways. In the past few weeks, we have offered client mailings and webinars on COVID-19-related topics, and we will work to keep you informed of important developments as these issues evolve. Included below are updates to our recent commentary, with answers to questions we have been receiving.
This mailing offers guidance for entities interacting with federal, state and local officials in the context of the unprecedented governmental response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The SEC issued an order on March 4, 2020, that provides certain publicly traded companies with an additional 45 days to file certain disclosure reports that would otherwise have been due between March 1 and April 30, 2020.