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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Implementation Issues Abound For The SEC’s Proposed Clawback Rules

When adopted, the incentive compensation clawback rules recently proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission are likely to present issuers with a number of implementation challenges.  Some of these challenges have been discussed in prior posts.  Below is a brief outline of just a few of the many and multifarious headaches that I foresee for…

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Can The SEC Ignore Congress’ Plain Language?

In proposing executive incentive compensation clawback rules, the Securities and Exchange Commission departs materially from the plain words of Section 954 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  Section 954 (codified at Section 10D of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) states that an issuer will recover incentive-based compensation received during the…

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The SEC’s Unconvincing Case Against Indemnification

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed rules take a hard line against issuers indemnifying executives against clawbacks: We believe that indemnification arrangements may not be used to avoid or nullify the recovery required by Section 10(D).  Section 10D’s listing standard requirement that “the issuer will recover” is inconsistent with indemnification because a listed issuer does not…

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SEC Clawback Proposal Overlooks Contract Law Fundamentals

In proposing the clawback rules for stock exchanges mandated by Section 954 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission evinces little regard for contrary provisions in existing contracts: Further, we do not view inconsistency between the proposed rule and rule amendments and existing compensation contracts,…

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The SEC’s Clawback Proposal – An Unconstitutional Taking?

In proposing incentive compensation clawback rules, the Securities and Exchange Commission studiously ignored any constitutional restraints on its actions.  Buried in the 198-page proposal is this chilling assertion: Issuer compliance would be required whether such incentive-based compensation is received pursuant to a pre-existing contract or arrangement, or one that is entered into after the effective…

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What The SEC Pretermitted In Proposing A Clawback Policy Rule

The Securities and Exchange Commission began the month by issuing proposed rules that would direct national securities exchanges and associations to establish listing standards requiring companies to adopt policies that require executive officers to pay back incentive-based compensation that was awarded erroneously.  Five years ago, Congress ordered the SEC to adopt these rules in Section 954 of the…

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Why The WSJ Is Wrong About SEC Rulemaking On Claw backs

As noted by Broc Romanek, The Wall Street Journal yesterday announced: The Securities and Exchange Commission will soon propose long-awaited rules forcing companies to claw back, or revoke, some of their top officials’ incentive pay if they have to restate the financial results that led to it, according to people familiar with the agency’s internal…

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