Over the weekend, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law two major climate-related disclosure bills, Senate Bill 253: Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act (SB 253) and Senate Bill 261: Greenhouse Gases: Climate-Related Financial Risk (SB 261), which could have potentially broad application for companies meeting certain revenue thresholds that conduct business in California, whether or not such companies are incorporated or headquartered in California. Continue Reading California Legislature Passes Significant Climate Disclosure Bills With Potential Broad Scope

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) recently closed the comment period for its proposal (the Proposal) to significantly increase the responsibility of audit firms to evaluate and disclose a subject public company’s noncompliance with laws and regulations (commonly referred to as NOCLAR).Continue Reading The PCAOB Closes Comment Period on Controversial Proposal to Expand Auditor Responsibility for Legal Compliance

On June 9, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved proposed amendments of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (Nasdaq) to their respective listing standards to implement the SEC’s previously adopted recoupment rules. These listing standard amendments extended the effective date for the new clawback listing standards to October 2, 2023, meaning that companies listed on either exchange will need to adopt a compliant clawback policy no later than December 1, 2023.Continue Reading Practical Considerations for Adopting a Clawback Policy in Advance of Effective Date of NYSE and Nasdaq Listing Standards

Please join us for a virtual broadcast and replay of our 4th Annual Corporate & Securities Counsel Public Company Forum.

This half-day complimentary program will be broadcast virtually on February 2 and features timely and practical guidance on the latest developments in corporate and securities matters impacting public company in-house counsel.Continue Reading Virtual Broadcast: 4th Annual Corporate & Securities Counsel Public Company Forum

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted 3-2 to take the following actions:

  • Propose new amendments to Rule 14a-8, the shareholder proposal rule.
  • Adopt new amendments to the rules regarding proxy advisory firms, such as ISS and Glass Lewis.

Continue Reading SEC Proposes Amendment to the Shareholder Proposals Rule (14a-8) and Adopts Amendments to Rules Impacting Proxy Advisory Firms

After months of anticipation, on March 21, 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted 3:1 to propose climate change-related disclosure rules that would impact a company’s annual reports and registration statements.   As indicated previously by the Staff, the proposed climate-related disclosure framework is modeled partially on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure’s (TCFD) recommendations and draws upon the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol.  (See our previous blog post discussing the Staff’s consideration of TCFD). The proposed rules, seemingly unprecedented in nature, are significantly more prescriptive rather than “principles-based” disclosure rooted in materiality, and intended to provide stakeholders with “consistent and comparable data.”
Continue Reading The SEC’s Proposed Climate Change Rules Are Out: Making Sense of 500+ Pages

Please join the Bass, Berry & Sims Corporate & Securities Practice Group for a series of complimentary webinars exploring various public company-related securities law issues. These CLE programs will be an extension of our Securities Law Exchange Blog and will feature timely and practical guidance for SEC disclosure counsel on key topics of interest.
Continue Reading [WEBINAR] SEC’s New Universal Proxy Rules: Key Considerations & Next Steps to Prepare

Late last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted amendments to modernize the description of business, legal proceedings, and risk factor disclosures that registrants are required to make according to Regulation S-K.  An important component of these updates was the new requirement in Item 101 (Description of Business) of Regulation S-K to require registrants to make certain human capital disclosures to the extent material to an understanding of its business as a whole.

The new rule amended Item 101(c) to require registrants to provide “a description of the registrant’s human capital resources, including the number of persons employed by the registrant, and any human capital measures or objectives that the registrant focuses on in managing the business.” The disclosure is only required to the extent such information is material to the registrant’s business as a whole, and the SEC in the adopting release stated that each registrant’s disclosure “must be tailored to its unique business, workforce, and facts and circumstances.”

As a result of these amendments, along with disclosing the number of employees, companies must also consider how to comply with the new principle-based rule. The SEC intentionally did not define “human capital,” reasoning that the term “may evolve over time and may be defined by different companies in ways that are industry specific.” The adopted rule states that the required disclosures may include “measures or objectives that address the development, attraction and retention of personnel.” But the SEC made clear that these are just “examples of potentially relevant subjects, not mandates.” Thus, companies have broad discretion in deciding which human capital measures to disclose.Continue Reading A Survey of Recent SEC Comment Letters on Human Capital Disclosures

Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys Kevin Douglas, Eric Knox and Sehrish Siddiqui were co-presenters alongside Stephanie Bignon, Assistant General Counsel, Delta Air Lines and Priya Galante, Vice President, Assistant General Counsel & Assistant Secretary, AutoZone at the Society for Corporate Governance’s Southeastern Chapter webinar earlier this month.

This program, titled, “Preparing for the Upcoming Proxy