Public Companies

On July 8, 2024, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) released additional FAQs[1] with respect to the beneficial ownership reporting requirements of dissolved entities.  The Corporate Transparency Act requires reporting companies to report to FinCEN information about their beneficial owners and company applicants (a “BOI Report”) and is intended to help prevent and combat money laundering, terrorist financing, tax fraud and other illicit activity. The Beneficial Ownership Reporting Rule (the “BOI Rule”), promulgated by FinCEN in September 2022, establishes the types of entities that are reporting companies and how beneficial owners and company applicants are determined, as well as what information is required to be reported about these entities and individuals.

On June 28, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling overturning “Chevron deference,” a tool for interpreting ambiguous statutes administered by administrative agencies.  The 40-year-old Chevron doctrine held that, where a court finds a statute to be silent or ambiguous on a particular matter, the court must defer to the relevant agency’s construction of the statute if that construction is “permissible.”  The Supreme Court’s decision in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo now rejects any such deference to the agency and requires courts to apply their own construction of the silent or ambiguous law, even if the agency’s contrary view is reasonable and “permissible.”

Proskauer’s Hedge Fund Trading Guide offers a concise, easy-to-read overview of the trading issues and questions we commonly encounter when advising hedge funds and their managers. It is written not only for lawyers, but also for investment professionals, support staff and others interested in gaining a quick understanding of the recurring trading issues we tackle for clients, along with the solutions and analyses we have developed over our decades-long representation of hedge funds and their managers.

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