Helping Clients Access the Capital Markets and Stay Apprised of Regulatory Developments

SEC Issues Year-End Guidance for Audit Committees

On December 30, 2019, the SEC issued a Statement of the Chairman, the Director of the ‎Division of Corporation Finance and the Chief Accountant to remind audit committees, in ‎anticipation of the year-end financial reporting season, of their responsibilities and to assist them ‎by identifying some specific areas of focus.‎

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SEC Proposes to Broaden and Update Accredited Investor Definition

On December 18, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission, on a 3 to 2 vote, proposed ‎amendments to the definition of “accredited investor” in order to update that definition and ‎expand the investors that would qualify as accredited investors able to participate in private ‎offerings.‎ ‎ The definition of “accredited investor” is important principally for determining who ‎can invest in private offerings under Rule 506(b) without limitation as to number and without ‎any information required as a condition of the exemption and as to who is eligible to invest in an ‎offering with general solicitation under Rule 506(c).‎

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Locke Lord QuickStudy: New York’s Blue Sky Law (Martin Act) Statute of Limitations Extended to 6 Years

On August 26, 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a significant change affecting New York’s blue sky law (the Martin Act),extending the period during which the Attorney General of New York can take action for violations of the Act to 6 years from the 3 year statute of limitations that the New York Court of Appeals determined was applicable in 2018 in People v. Credit Suisse Sec. (USA) LLC. This change restores the longer period the Attorney General thought it had to investigate and bring actions.

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Third Circuit Clarifies Board Observers Are Not Subject to Section 11 Liability

It is common for investors in venture capital and private equity transactions, and in other ‎investment arrangements, as a condition to their investment, to have rights to appoint board ‎observers when director representation is not available. An unanswered question has been the ‎extent to which a board observer has liability exposure under Section 11 of the Securities Act of ‎‎1933, for example, when a company goes public.‎

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