September is here. Labor Day has come and gone. Time to put away the swim trunks, parasols, flip flops, bungee cords, ukuleles, sun screen, boomerangs, bongos, snorkels, vorpal blades, and unicycles, and get back to work. Yes, it is time to answer all those emails and return all of those phone messages. And most importantly of all, it is time to catch up on what has been happening in the world of directors’ and officers’ liability and insurance. Here is what happened while you were out.
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Since it first enacted the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act in 2012, Congress has continued to modify the original JOBS Act as part of an ongoing effort to try to boost small businesses and business startups. For example, in 2015, Congress acted to expand a number of the JOBS Act’s provisions. On July 17, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed what has been referred to as the JOBS Act 3.0. By a vote of 406-4, the House passed the JOBS and Investor Confidence Act of 2018, which is designed to further encourage capital formation and market access for small business enterprises. The House Financial Services Committee’s July 17, 2018 statement about the legislation can be found here.
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One of the recurring themes of financial commentators has been the decline in the number of IPOs compared to prior years. Articles about the dearth of IPOs are something of a staple in the financial press. The decline in the number of IPOs has also drawn the attention of Congress. One of the intended purposes of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 was to try to encourage more companies to go public. A number of other initiatives to try to encourage more IPOs are currently circulating through Congress. The premise behind these various legislative initiatives is that if the regulatory burdens can be eliminated and costs reduced, more companies will go public. Columbia Law School Professor John Coffee recently testified before a Congressional committee about these latest initiatives. His testimony is set out in a May 29, 2018 CLS Blue Sky Blog article entitled “The Irrepresssible Myth That SEC Overregulation Has Chilled IPOs” (here),  reflecting his skepticism that further deregulation alone will result in increased numbers of IPOs.
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seclogoEarlier this year, the SEC rules adopted rules amending Regulation A under the Securities Act to provide companies with an intermediate path between, on the one hand, exempt offerings to qualified investors only, and, on the other hand, a full-blown initial public offering of registered securities. Since the amended rules, known as Regulation A+, took effect, a number of companies have initiated offerings taking advantage of the new rules. Perhaps because of unfamiliarity, many D&O insurance underwriters have reacted very cautiously with regard to these new Reg. A+ offerings. The purpose of this post is to briefly review the background regarding these new offerings and to provide links to relevant resources, in the hope of addressing some of the D&O underwriters’ concerns.
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uscapitolThe five-year transportation bill known as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act that a House-Senate conference committee agreed on earlier this week is not something we ordinarily would comment on here. But in that inestimable way that Congress manages to do things, the transportation bill contains so many provisions affecting public company financing and reporting that Broc Romanek of TheCorporateCounsel.net blog described the provisions collectively as “JOBS Act 2.0.” The House and Senate passed the bill on Dec. 3, 2015, and President Obama is expected to sign it into law shortly.
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seclogoOn October 30, 2015, by a 3-1 vote, the SEC adopted final rules to permitting small companies to raise funds by selling shares to the investing public through crowdfunding offerings conducted on Internet fundraising portals. In this long-awaited vote, which represented the last remaining significant rulemaking procedure required by the Jumpstart our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012, the agency finally authorized, in slightly modified form, the rules it had first proposed in October 2013. The agency’s October 30, 2015 press release announcing its action and describing the final rules can be found here. The 686-page adopting release can be found here
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tockertapeAll eyes may be on the record-setting IPO of Chinese Internet firm, Alibaba, but the real IPO story for 2014 may be the significant number of IPOs this year involving smaller companies. The number of companies completing IPOs this year  is on pace for the highest annual level since 2007, a surge in initial public

capitol4The Jumpstart our Business Startups (JOBS) Act is only just two years old but there are already apparently Congressional initiatives to revise one of the centerpieces of the legislation, the much-vaunted crowdfunding provisions that have not yet in fact even gone into effect. According to a May 1, 2014 Wall Street Journal article entitled “Frustration