The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently published its Policy Statement on “Enhancing climate-related disclosures by standard listed companies”.[1] This follows a consultation carried out by the FCA in June 2021. The FCA has decided to extend the climate-related disclosure requirements that currently apply to UK premium listed commercial companies to (1) issuers of standard listed shares and (2) issuers of Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs) representing equity shares.[2] We expect this to have particular implications for GDR issuers, which may be required to grapple with climate-related disclosure requirements for the first time as a result of the new rules.
Continue Reading UK’s FCA Extends Climate-related Disclosures to Standard Listed Issuers, Including GDR Issuers

On December 15, 2021, the SEC issued for public comment two separate proposals that will, if adopted, significantly affect how corporate directors, officers and employees trade securities of their companies and how companies repurchase their own shares.

This memorandum walks through the two proposals in turn and concludes with some general takeaways and possible issues

Last week, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) of the Department of the Treasury announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to implement the beneficial ownership reporting requirements of the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”), part of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020.  This legislation requires a range of U.S. legal entities, and non-U.S. legal entities

The UK Government has recently announced that it will introduce mandatory climate-related financial reporting for the first time.[1]

The new rules are likely to have particular implications for UK public companies listed outside the UK (particularly on the NYSE or NASDAQ) or on AIM, large UK subsidiaries of multinational corporate groups and large portfolio companies of financial sponsors that have a UK topco structure, where the new rules may require them to grapple with climate-related financial reporting for the first time.
Continue Reading UK Introduces Mandatory Climate-Related Financial Reporting for Large Public and Private Companies

On November 8, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation to permanently amend provisions of the NY Business Corporation Law to allow companies to use electronic means to document action by written consent by boards and to hold virtual shareholder meetings, unless such action is prohibited by the entity’s articles of organization or by-laws. As discussed in our prior post, Governor Cuomo issued two Executive Orders: the first, March 7 Executive Order No. 202, declared a disaster emergency and ceased operations of all non-essential businesses in New York state; and the second, March 20th Executive Order No. 202.8, temporarily suspended several regulations governing meetings at New York corporations. Absent this relief, New York state still required an in-person shareholder meeting be held, although following an October 2019 rule change, it also permitted a virtual component (subject to certain conditions).
Continue Reading Virtual Shareholder Meetings now Permanently Permitted in NY

On July 27, 2021, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) published a policy statement that includes final rules amending the UK Listing Rules, and new associated guidance, applicable to special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”).  The new rules and guidance came into force on August 10, 2021.

The final requirements are based on the FCA’s earlier consultation

On June 18, 2021, the German Works Council Modernization Act (Betriebsrätemodernisierungsgesetz) entered into force.  This legislation aims at supporting and facilitating the establishment of new works councils in Germany.  In order to achieve this purpose, the new law improves, inter alia, protection against dismissal of employees who are initiating the establishment of a works council, and simplifies works council elections by expanding the possibilities for a simplified election procedure.
Continue Reading Germany Changes the Legal Framework to Increase the Number of Works Councils

Following the celebration of the five-year anniversary of the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2020, Europe stands out as one of the leaders in developing policies that support the goals of the Paris Agreement, providing frameworks for companies and investors alike to redirect capital flows toward environmentally sustainable activities, as well as various mechanisms to alleviate the social impact of the transition to a greener economy.
Continue Reading Progress Since Paris: Sustainable Policy in Europe in 2020 and Beyond

For companies and boards managing crises or cross-border matters, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges that in many ways fundamentally change how we think of crisis management. However, managing through COVID- 19 has illustrated the importance of many of the fundamentals that underpin good crisis planning and management in any environment: preparedness, transparency, engagement with regulators, clear and timely communications and proactivity.
Continue Reading Crisis Management in Unprecedented Times

Over a year ago, on December 29, 2019, the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation entered into force. Just a few months remain before key provisions begin to apply and asset/fund managers and other financial services firms should not delay in preparing for new disclosure requirements.

The SFDR requires European financial firms to consider how sustainability risks