Three Takeaways from the SEC’s New Proposed Rules on Climate Disclosures

Today, the Securities & Exchange Commission voted 3 to 1 in favor of adopting a long-awaited set of proposed revisions to SEC regulations concerning the disclosure of climate risks and related financial impacts, as well as data on greenhouse gas emissions in certain SEC filings. The recommendation to adopt the new set of rules was not unanimous, with Commissioner Hester Peirce voting against the measure, arguing that the new set of rules is at best unnecessary,… More

Russia and Belarus Sanctions Update – March 17, 2022

Key Takeaways:

  • U.S., UK, and EU impose additional sanctions in response to Russia’s continued escalation of conflict in Ukraine
  • U.S. imposes sanctions on human rights violators and senior Russian defense officials
  • UK sanctions over 370 Russian individuals, including 51 oligarchs and their family members
  • EU imposes investment and trade restrictions and sanctions Russian oligarchs, propagandists, state-owned entities, and defense sector entities

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On March 15,… More

Russia and Belarus Sanctions Update – March 15, 2022

Key Takeaways:

  • New Executive Order prohibits certain imports and exports, and authorizes the Department of the Treasury to impose significant restrictions on U.S. investment in Russia
  • Additional wave of sanctions targeting Russian “elites” close to President Vladimir Putin
  • OFAC guidance clarifies that Russia-related sanctions prohibitions apply to cryptocurrency transactions

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On March 11, 2022, President Biden signed a new Russia-related Executive Order,… More

Russia and Belarus Sanctions Update – March 11, 2022

Key Takeaways:

  • The Biden administration announces ban on import of Russian energy commodities and prohibition on new investment in the Russian energy sector
  • New General License provides wind-down period until April 22, 2022 for certain energy imports from Russia pursuant to agreements entered into before March 8, 2022
  • EU and UK expand their sanctions programs against Russia and Belarus, including additional sanctions on oligarchs
  • FinCEN issued an alert to all financial institutions to be vigilant against efforts to evade the expansive sanctions and other restrictions imposed in connection with the invasion of Ukraine

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I.… More

On the Horizon – What’s Next For SEC Enforcement of ESG Priorities?

This is the eighth post in this year’s series examining important trends in white collar law and investigations. Our previous post discussed trends in False Claims Act enforcement. Up next: trends in Federal Cryptocurrency Enforcement in 2022.

Key Takeaways

  • Sensitive to criticism of regulation through litigation, the SEC’s Enforcement Division has not pursued cases dealing with cutting edge ESG issues before the SEC decides what,…
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Shareholder Activism or Divestment? The Massachusetts Pension Fund Chooses Activism

The Boston Globe reported yesterday that the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board approved investment guidelines that would have the Board vote against directors of companies in which the Board invests where the company does not have a plan to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

As the Globe notes, there is something of a debate among climate activists whether it is better to support divestment or the kind of activism represented by the Board’s action yesterday. … More

Russia and Belarus Sanctions Update – March 7, 2022: U.S. Sanctions, Export Restrictions Escalate as Conflict in Ukraine Continues

Key Takeaways:

  • U.S. imposes additional sanctions on Russian elites, along with their family members, companies, and personal vehicles
  • Actions targeting the defense sector and Russian government-affiliated media outlets signal the expansion of U.S. sanctions to new industries
  • SWIFT access to be denied to seven Russian banks on March 12, 2022
  • New export controls target Belarus and further restrict export of items that use encryption to Russia and Belarus

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I.… More

Russia Sanctions Update – February 28, 2022: U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Central Bank of Russia, Ministry of Finance, and Sovereign Wealth Funds; Switzerland and Monaco Impose Unprecedented Sanctions

Key Takeaways:

  • New Directive 4 prohibits transactions with Russian Central Bank, National Wealth Fund, and Ministry of Finance
  • Full blocking sanctions on Russian Direct Investment Fund and affiliates
  • Multi-lateral response to Russia’s invasion continues with unprecedented imposition of sanctions by Switzerland and Monaco

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On February 28, 2022, the U.S. government announced new sanctions on the Central Bank of Russia,… More

Review of Sanctions and Export Controls Imposed in Response to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Key Takeaways:

  • The initial wave of sanctions targeted Russian banks and the financial industry plus individual “inner circle” elites, with more sanctions likely to follow in the coming weeks as events unfold.
  • Broad restrictions on debt and equity transactions with certain entities in the Russian financial, energy, and infrastructure sectors.
  • Expanded export controls, including foreign-direct product rule restrictions, new license requirements, and Entity List designations impact a wide range of exports to Russia.…
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Possible International Trade Consequences of Further Escalation of Conflict in Ukraine

Key Takeaways:

  • The U.S., EU, and UK are coordinating a significant sanctions and export controls package to be implemented if Russia takes further action in Ukraine.
  • Restrictions are likely to target key Russian industries including finance, energy, and defense and would be far more severe and far-reaching than past sanctions.
  • New export controls could include restrictions on foreign-produced items made using U.S.-origin technology or software,…
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