Yesterday, William Donaldson was confirmed by the Senate Banking Committee as next chair of the SEC – full Senate approval is expected shortly – and Mr. Donaldson should be in office by next tuesday…
From the Division of Corporation Finance, Dennis Garris will be leaving as head of the Office of Mergers & Acquisitions to join Alston & Bird – Associate Director Bill Tolbert is also leaving to go back to Ohio.
On GreatGovernance.com, we have posted a lengthy annotated corporate governance guidelines – graciously donated by Cynthia Krus of Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan.
As some board committees are exercising their soon-to-be “right” to hire advisors – or if the governance committee hires a new outside law firm to conduct a one-time governance “gut-check” – the question remains: who does the advisor/law firm work for?
This question must be resolved right away when a retainer letter is drafted. The best answer we have heard so far is “individual directors on behalf of the board.” If you have a different conclusion or a sample retainer letter for a board committee, contact email@example.com.
William Donaldson had his Senate confirmation hearing yesterday – and sounds like the SEC will continue to not be a “kinder, gentler” place…the NY Times headline captures the essence of his testimony – “SEC Choice Says He’s No Harvey Pitt.”
The FEI is wrapping up a study on the compliance costs of Sarbanes-Oxley…could be an eye-opener…going private anyone?
For TheCorporateCounsel.net subscribers, we have posted our first interview – Lou Rorimer on Proxy Season Disclosure.
At a recent conference, Corp Fin Director Alan Beller stressed that the SRO listing standard proposals would be out by the end of February – and that the SEC staff was still trying to “harmonize” the NYSE and Nasdaq proposals.
At its open meeting yesterday, the SEC proposed a self-regulatory organization for mutual funds – and postponed final rules on analyst certifications until today’s open meeting.
For TheCorporateCounsel.net subscribers, we have posted sample codes of ethics!
In analyzing the new attorney conduct rules, the application to chief legal officers remains murky if that person uncovers the problem – as that person then must report to him/herself and get back to him/herself, etc. There are other issues like this that undoubtably will become grist for a staff legal bulletin.
On TheCorporateCounsel.net, we are putting the finishing touches on our final redesign of the site – let us know if further tweaks are needed – send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have also posted our February E-Minders at http://www.thecorporatecounsel.net/E-minders/.