• On November 2, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) amended Rules 605 and 606 under Regulation NMS to require additional disclosures by broker-dealers to customers regarding the handling of their orders.   The Commission stated that the amended rules would provide more detailed information to customers—with a focus on institutional customers—thereby allowing a more effective assessment of how broker-dealers are carrying out their best execution obligations and the impact of a broker-dealer’s order routing decisions on the quality of their executions.  The Commission noted its particular concern with regard to information leakage and potential conflicts of interest in order routing decisions.

  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton recently reminded us that corporate culture and the “tone from the top” remain important to regulators, even in this enforcement-lite environment. Speaking about financial firm culture before the New York Fed, Clayton predicted pain for firms whose cultural compass diverges from the commission’s.

  • The Supreme Court held on June 21, 2018 in Lucia v. SEC that Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) are “inferior officers” subject to the Appointments Clause of Article II of the U.S. Constitution rather than regular federal employees.  Such inferior officers must be appointed to their positions by the President, a court of law, or a head of department.  At issue in Lucia was that SEC ALJs had been appointed by SEC staff members, not the Commission.

  • Arbitration in the cryptocurrency world promises to be very different from traditional “securities” arbitrations against broker-dealers. The latter are conducted pursuant to the strict rules and procedures of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. In contrast, the parties likely to be involved in cryptocurrency disputes have far greater freedom in determining which disputes are arbitrable, the particular arbitration forum and venue for resolving the disputes, and the applicable procedures and remedies. The article attached, which appeared in Law360 on May 30, examines the predispute arbitration clauses that certain major digital asset exchanges require customers to agree to as a condition of opening an account, and considers how arbitrations in the cryptocurrency world will differ from traditional securities arbitration and the ramifications for industry participants.

  • Did your company prepare for GDPR, Europe’s sweeping new data privacy law? Joseph Facciponti and Katherine McGrail’s Cybersecurity Law360 article details how companies can show momentum toward GDPR compliance by moving quickly and prioritizing their compliance efforts.

  • The CFTC's Division of Market Oversight and Division of Clearing and Risk recently issued an advisory providing guidance to exchanges and clearinghouses regarding virtual currency derivatives to be listed or cleared.  Entities already listing or clearing virtual currency derivatives, as well as those considering doing so, should be aware of the compliance and enforcement implications stemming from the advisory.

  • Our newly published report, Cryptocurrency Regulatory Developments, is authored by five lawyers in our FinTech & Blockchain Practice.