Paul R. Bessette
Chris Crawford

As I have documented on this site, along with the rapid rise of SPAC-related transaction activity has come a surge in SPAC-related litigation. In the following guest post, Paul R. Bessette and Chris Crawford consider the likelihood for even further litigation relating to SPAC transactions and review the steps that well advised companies involved in SPAC transactions can take to try to reduce their litigation risks. Paul is co-chair of the King & Spalding law firm’s Corporate & Securities Litigation Practice and Chris is a Senior Vice President and Client Executive with Marsh in Los Angeles. A version of this article was previously published in Westlaw Today, 2021 WL 1990398. I would like to thank Paul and Chris for allowing me to publish their article on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Paul and Chris’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: SPACs and SPAC-Related Litigation: A Primer on Reducing Litigation and Enforcement Risk

In the latest sign that COVID-19 related securities litigation is on track to continue into 2021, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a securities class action lawsuit against Tyson Foods, Inc. relating to the company’s disclosures and actions in its facilities pertaining to the coronavirus outbreak. The plaintiff’s February 2, 2021 complaint can be found here. As noted below, I have some concerns about the complaint.
Continue Reading Tyson Foods Hit with COVID-19-Related Securities Suit

If you have not yet seen SEC Commissioner Allison Herren Lee’s speech delivered last week to the PLI’s annual Institute on Securities Litigation, you should take a few minutes and read what she had to say. In her November 5, 2020 speech, which can be found here, Lee warns that climate change represents a “systemic risk” to markets, the financial system, and our economy. After noting that climate change presents an even greater risk of “grave human and economic costs” than we experienced in the pandemic — and urging that we should learn the lessons that the pandemic presents — she calls for a coordinated effort to create uniform climate change reporting and disclosure standards to ensure that investors and markets are better informed about the risks that climate change represents.
Continue Reading Climate Change as a “Systemic Risk”: Markets, Regulation, and Disclosure

As the coronavirus outbreak has spread, the COVID-19 disease has struck millions across the globe. The demographics and geographic distribution of the disease will make for interesting study when the current outbreak has ended, but clearly the disease has struck both the mighty and modest. The high-profile victims include the Prince of Wales and the U.K. Prime Minister. Other victims have included (and likely will continue to include) senior corporate executives. When key execs contract the disease, their companies face the question whether the executives’ illness must be disclosed.  As discussed in Judy Greenwald’s April 21, 2020 Business Insurance article (here), there are no bright line answers to this question.
Continue Reading If Top Exec Has Covid-19, Does the Company Have to Disclose It?

Francis Kean

One of the more interesting 21st century corporate disclosure developments has been the increased expectation by legislators and regulators that companies should examine their supply chains in order to determine whether chain participants are engaged in illegal or improper activities, and then report on their examination to investors and to regulators. One U.S. example of these kinds of disclosure developments is the Dodd-Frank Act conflicts minerals disclosure requirements. At the beginning of this year another example of supply chain disclosure requirements went into effect in Australia, with the effectiveness on January 1, 2019 of the Australian law regarding modern slavery. As discussed in the following guest post from Francis Kean, the U.K.’s modern slavery disclosure law his been in effect for four years.  In his guest post, Francis takes a look at the U.K. experience under this law. Francis is Executive Director FINEX Willis Towers Watson. A version of this article was previously published on the Willis Towers Watson website. I would like to thank Francis for allowing me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Francis’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Modern Slavery Report Recommends Tougher Disclosure Rules for U.K. Companies