Public Companies

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Yesterday, the SEC voluntarily stayed its new ESG disclosure rules for public companies pending the outcome of several lawsuits that have been filed, which are now consolidated in the 8th Circuit US Court of Appeals. We blogged earlier about the emergence of several lawsuits filed in different federal circuits. What does this mean? We believe that it means that the SEC wanted to avoid the delay that could result from extensive briefing on a potential court injunction staying the effectiveness of the rules, and move immediately to the merits, in hopes of resolving the litigation a reasonable period before the first effective date for many companies to begin compliance for their 2025 fiscal years. If the SEC prevails and the matter is resolved on a speedy basis, then the SEC has a chance to move forward with the rules on its original schedule, but the odds of that seem 50-50 at best. 

Version 2.0 following publication of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Climate-Related Disclosure Rules

A wave of new legislation and regulation in the U.S. and Europe has the potential to significantly impact the non-financial reporting obligations of U.S. companies.  With the myriad of requirements overlaid with varying timelines, it can be challenging to understand

Multiple legal challenges have already been launched against the SEC’s new climate change disclosure rules. Plaintiffs include Attorneys General from several states, a large business trade organization and a private energy company. To date, these suits span across six different federal courts, and the array of these challenges is expected to trigger a lottery process in which one court would handle a consolidated case addressing all the claims.

Two years after proposing rules on climate change disclosure, the SEC has adopted new rules, predictably by a split 3-2 vote. The adopted rules maintain the core of the original proposals, requiring that both domestic companies and foreign private issuers disclose the actual and potential impacts of climate change as well as management and governance processes to address those impacts. In the face of public comments highlighting the costs, burdens, and practicality of some aspects of the proposals, and political opposition, the SEC materially paired back the proposals, most significantly dropping the requirement to disclose Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) omissions data relating to downstream and upstream sources, such as by vendors and customers. However, as described in our recent report, California’s new rules will require Scope 3 information for companies doing business in California if implemented in their current form.

On March 1, 2024, Judge Liles C. Burke of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama ruled that the Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”) is unconstitutional[1], leaving its future uncertain. The CTA requires reporting companies to report to FinCEN information about their beneficial owners and company applicants and is intended to help prevent and combat money laundering, terrorist financing, tax fraud and other illicit activity.  The ruling enjoined U.S. Department of the Treasury, FinCEN and any other federal agency from enforcing the CTA against the plaintiffs but introduces uncertainty as to the applicability to other reporting companies. 

As set out in our Proskauer Special Report  “Primarily Non-financial corporate reporting for U.S. companies – where to start?”, it may be complex to determine the applicability of the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (“CSRD”).  The following provides a more in-depth analysis regarding the applicability of CSRD.  Non-EU companies, including those

On January 24, 2024, the SEC adopted new rules that apply to SPAC transactions and the adopted rules largely track the agency’s proposals with some notable exceptions.  The new rules will become effective 125 days after publication in the Federal Register and will apply to transactions that are ongoing at that time, even if they

On January 12, 2024, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) released additional FAQs[1] in response to questions received regarding compliance with various aspects of the Corporate Transparency Act’s Beneficial Ownership Reporting Rule (the “BOI Rule”), which came into effect on January 1, 2024.[2]  One such question