June 18, 2009

The Final White Paper: Treasury’s and Obama’s Vision for the Future

Yesterday, the Treasury Department released the final version of the White Paper that Dave blogged about yesterday. In addition, this executive summary was posted. We already have started posting memos on this important development in our “Regulatory Reform” Practice Area.

For a short glossary of the 75+ acronyms in the White Paper, check out Mike O’Sullivan’s “Provided However” Blog.

Microsoft’s Legal Department Enters the Blogosphere

Several months ago, Microsoft launched a new blog – entitled “Microsoft On The Issues” – that includes the company’s “Law and Corporate Affairs” department among the contributors. The company uses the blog as a forum to communicate about issues important to it. For example, here’s a blog about how the company’s board recently recommended amendments to the company’s articles of incorporation that would give shareholders representing 25% or more of outstanding shares the right to call special shareholder meetings.

Hopefully this development will help nudge companies to be more outspoken, including submitting comments during the SEC’s rulemaking process – as well as draw outside counsel into the blogosphere. If in-house lawyers aren’t afraid to blog, I don’t see how law firms can continue to be so reluctant…

Survey Results: Compliance Committees

We recently wrapped up our Quick Survey on Compliance Committees practices. Below are our results:

1. Does your company have a Chief Compliance Officer:
– Yes, and with that title – 57.8%
– Yes, but not with that title – 26.7%
– No – 15.6%

2. Does your board have a Compliance Committee, with that or a similar title:
– Yes – 31.1%
– No – 68.9%

3. If the answer to #2 is “yes,” how old is the compliance committee:
– Less than one year – 14.3%
– 1-2 years – 28.6%
– 3-4 years – 35.7%
– More than 4 years – 21.4%

4. If the answer to #2 is “yes,” how often does the compliance committee meet:

– Once a year – 14.3%
– 2-3x per year – 50.0%
– More than 3x per year – 35.7%
– As needed – 0.0%

Please take a moment to participate in our new “Quick Survey on Audit Committee Oversight and Subsidiaries.”

– Broc Romanek