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The Fifth Circuit is Asked to Consider the Validity of the “Golden Share”
Haynes and Boone, LLP, February 2018

As we described in ourclient alert dated September 14, 2016, in the aftermath of the real estate downturn from 1989 to 1993, when real estate mortgage lenders began to contemplate making new mortgage loans, they sought to create new legal structures to prevent their prospective borrowers from filing for Chapter 11, and to ameliorate the adverse consequences, if such a filing were to occur. One such structure is a device commonly referred to as the “Golden Share...

HSR Update: Annual Jurisdictional Thresholds Revisions Effective February 28, 2018
Haynes and Boone, LLP, February 2018

Increase in HSR Thresholds.The jurisdictional thresholds for premerger notification filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR Act) will increase February 28, 2018 and will apply to any transaction closing on or after that date. The revised thresholds will remain in effect until the next annual adjustment, expected in the first quarter of 2019. “Size of Transaction” Threshold...

Mexico: Bid Round 2.4 Results
Haynes and Boone, LLP, February 2018

On January 31, 2018 the National Hydrocarbons Commission (“CNH”) conducted the long-awaited event for submission and opening of bids for the Deep Water “Round 2.4” E&P license contracts. The bid round comprised 29 offshore deep waters blocks and the overall result was very successful for Mexico...

On Shaky Ground: How Can Policyholders Prepare for the Predicted Increase of Earthquakes in 2018?
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2018

This year has already been a busy one for seismic activity. In the first weeks of 2018 alone, there have been reports of a 7.9 magnitude quake off the shores of Kodiak, Alaska, a 6.2 magnitude temblor in Japan, and a series of tremors in California. And, few will forget the catastrophic earthquakes that struck Mexico City and the Iraq-Iran border last year...

For Hazardous Air Pollutants, “Once in, Always in,” is Out
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2018

In a major departure from over 20 years of practice, the EPA announced on January 25 that it is withdrawing the “once in, always in” (OIAI) interpretation of the hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) program. The OIAI required sources of HAPs to permanently comply with Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards applicable to major sources of HAPs, even when those sources’ emissions are below major source levels...

Mexico: Round Three – Second Public Bid
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2018

The National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) published the call for the second bid of Round 3 on January 25, 2018. This new bid round (Round 3...

A Comparison of Non-Operator’s Rights Under the Joint Operating Agreement 1982 and 1989 Model Forms
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2018

Companies looking to purchase non-operating working interests will review longstanding operating agreements, or negotiate the terms of new operating agreements, to ensure that appropriate non-operator rights are present and enforceable...

Reality Check – Political and Economic Realities Hamper Efforts to Reopen U.S. Waters to Offshore Drilling
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2018

On January 4, 2018, the U.S. Department of the Interior ("Department") announced its draft proposal of the 2019-2024 Outer Continental Shelf ("OCS") Oil and Gas Leasing Program that would reopen nearly all federal waters to offshore leasing for new oil and gas operations...

Mexico’s Ministry of Energy Issues New Guidelines for the Wholesale Power Market in Mexico
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2018

In January 2018, Mexico’s Ministry of Energy (“SENER”) published several Guidelines as part of the applicable rules for the Wholesale Power Market (“WEM”) in the Federal Gazette. This Haynes and Boone alert is important to all participants of the WEM, including qualified users, suppliers, marketers, non-suppliers and generators. 1...

Changing Outlook, Same Concerns: Key SEC Disclosure Topics in 2018 for E&P Companies
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2018

Comment letters to oil and natural gas exploration and production (E&P) companies by the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicated several major areas of concern for the Division during 2017 regarding companies’ disclosures. Many of the topics addressed were similar to those raised by the Division’s staff in 2015-2016, but some were new, such as the staff’s focus on non-U.S...

Federal Circuit Flips – Wi-Fi One v. Broadcom Holds That PTAB’s Time-Bar Determinations Are Appealable
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2018

On January 8, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued itsen bancdecision inWi-Fi One, LLC v. Broadcom Corp., Appeal 2015-1944 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 8, 2018) (en banc) holding that Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) time-bar determinations under 35 U.S.C. § 315(b) in aninter partesreview (“IPR”) proceeding are appealable. Theen bancdecision overrules a panel’s earlier decision inAchates Reference Publishing Inc. v. Apple Inc.803 F...

Congress Doubles Estate and Gift Tax Exemption
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2018

The tax reform bill passed by Congress at the end of 2017 significantly reduces the number of taxpayers whose families will pay gift tax or estate tax, but it comes with an “expiration date” of December 31, 2025. Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Act), an individual could transfer up to $5,490,000 ($10,980,000 for a married couple) without paying estate, gift, or generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes...

New Law: Federal Circuit Finds Ban On Scandalous/Immoral Trademarks Unconstitutional
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2018

As part of a now-infamous 1972 monologue, comedian George Carlin listed the “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” colorfully repeating each throughout his routine. While many of those words remain unacceptable for the airwaves, they may now be suitable for federal trademark registration, thanks to a recent decision from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals...

Three Things Employers Should Know When Seeking EPLI Coverage For Sexual Harassment Claims
Haynes and Boone, LLP, December 2017

At a time when tolerance seems to be an increasingly precious commodity, society can celebrate an awakening intolerance for sexual harassment. For all of the scandal and salacious detail dominating the media in recent months, there is the hope that victims of depravity can find empowerment and healing, if not justice, too...

Fuels Storage Public Policy
Haynes and Boone, LLP, December 2017

Mexico maintains a minimum strategic storage inventory of crude oil and refined oil products, such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, to guarantee market supply for a determined period of time. Under Article 80 Section II of the Hydrocarbons Law, the Ministry of Energy (“SENER”) has the authority to issue public policies to determine the required strategic storage volumes...

Mexico: SENER Announces Major Baja Transmission Line Bidding Process
Haynes and Boone, LLP, December 2017

On December 7, 2017, the Ministry of Energy (“SENER”) announced the first bidding process for the financing, installation, maintenance, management, and operation of the Baja California Electric System interconnection with the National Grid (“National Grid”). This is the first power transmission project allowing private participation in power transmission lines in Mexico. The estimated investment will be US$1.1 billion...

Partners Need to Consider Amending Partnership Agreements to Address New Partnership Audit Rules
Haynes and Boone, LLP, December 2017

New rules found in Internal Revenue Code sections 6221 through 6241, as amended by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, govern IRS tax audits of partnerships, limited liability companies, and other entities and arrangements classified as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The changes made by these rules will significantly impact partners in partnerships and careful attention should be paid to these rules by all partners in partnerships...

Updates and Highlights in the Mexican Energy Sector, November 2017
Haynes and Boone, LLP, December 2017

As part of the implementation of the Mexican energy reform of 2013, several new regulations and administrative guidelines affecting the hydrocarbons and power industries were issued during November 2017. These are of particular importance to oil and gas producers, midstream companies and power generators, traders and others looking to invest or expand operations in Mexico’s dynamic energy sector. I. Hydrocarbons November 8, 2017...

New Guidance from the SEC Incorporates Directors within the Shareholder Proposal Process
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

As registrants prepare for the upcoming proxy season,Staff Legal Bulletin No. 14I(the “Bulletin,” or “SLB 14I”), recently issued by the SEC Division of Corporation Finance (the “Division”), provides helpful interpretations by the Division’s staff and reveal a number of relevant changes in the way certain shareholder proposals will be evaluated...

The Bitter and the Sweet: Potential Split on Constitutionality of Inter Partes Patent Review
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

Is a defeated patentee atInter PartesReview an embittered citizen whose private rights were taken without due process by a government agency lacking requisite Article III guarantees of impartiality? Or is the public getting a sweet deal when the Patent Trials and Appeals Board (PTAB) eliminates or revokes a public right that was wrongfully granted in the first place? The Supreme Court wrestled with the constitutionality ofInter PartesReview during oral argument on Monday morning, and the

Mexico: Outage Scheduling Guidelines
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

On November 13, 2017, the Ministry of Energy (“SENER”) published the Outage Scheduling Guidelines (Manual de Programación de Salidas) (“Guidelines”), establishing the principles of calculation, instructions, rules and procedures that Market Participants, Transporters and Distributors shall observe to schedule their outages and obtain the corresponding authorizations from CENACE; as well as the criteria that CENACE must follow to schedule mid-term outages an

OSHA Quarterly Newsletter, November 2017
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

  OSHA "Injury Tracking Website" Presents Issues as Employer Deadline for Compliance Looms On August 1, 2017, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") launched the "Injury Tracking Application" for Electronic Submission of Injury and Illness Records to OSHA in an effort to comply with its electronic record-keeping rule...

The United States Changes its Cuba Sanctions Rules
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

The Trump Administration has followed up on the President’s June 16, 2017 speech in Miami regarding U.S. policy toward Cuba by announcing new restrictions on trade with Cuba that become effective November 9. At the heart of the new policy is a “Cuba Restricted List” in which the State Department names 180 Cuban entities with which new commercial relations (after June 16, 2017) are to be prohibited...

Health Law Vitals - A Healthcare Newsletter from Haynes and Boone, November 2017
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

View a PDF of the November 2017 edition of the Haynes and Boone Health Law Vitals newsletter. FDA Improving Regulatory Oversight of Stem Cell Therapies and Regenerative Medicine Products Regenerative medicine is a burgeoning interdisciplinary research field aiming to offer new therapies that replace or regenerate human cells, tissues, or organs with the goal of restoring or establishing normal function...

Business Work Visas, Two Developments that Affect Employers
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

The current Administration continues to be active in the area of immigration law and policy, and has promulgated several Executive Orders (“EO”), mostly directed to immigration enforcement and national and public security. The exception is the April 2017 Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, which extends to and impacts professional work visas...

E&P Companies and the OCC’s Leverage Test – October 2017 Update
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

In August 2016, we reviewed publicly available data for a group of 58 E&P companies and predicted how they would fare under the leverage test that had, at the time, recently been introduced by the OCC.Based on that review, we predicted that, in 2016, over 91 percent of the companies reviewed would be non-passing credits under the OCC’s leverage test. The average leverage ratio of the E&P companies reviewed in 2016 was 6.0x...

Updates and Highlights in the Mexican Energy Sector, September-October 2017
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

During the months of September and October 2017, new regulations and administrative guidelines in the Mexican energy sector were issued. These are of particular importance to oil and gas producers, midstream companies, power generators, traders, developers and others looking to invest or expand operations in Mexico’s dynamic energy sector. I. Hydrocarbons September 5, 2017. NOM-167-SEMARNAT-2017...

Take Action by December 31st or Lose DMCA Safe Harbor Protection for User-Generated Content
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the “DMCA”) provided a safe harbor to shield website owners, ISP’s, and other online service providers from certain claims for copyright infringement based on user generated content. This safe harbor has been very successful...

A Checklist for Victims of Napa/Sonoma Fires: Recovering from Your Insurance
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

The purpose of this alert is to provide victims of the Napa/Sonoma fires a checklist to use when seeking recovery from their insurance companies. Property Insurance policies may provide coverage for damage to both your property and your business. Business losses can result from a variety of causes, all of which may be covered under a property policy...

Design Risk: What Have You Agreed?
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

Contractual negotiations for ships and offshore units commonly involve commercial, legal, and technical teams negotiating different parts of the contract. It is however crucial that before the contract is signed, it is read as a whole to ensure consistency in a party’s obligations throughout the contract. The English Supreme Court’s judgment in MT Højgaard A/S v. E...

Applying Blockchain Tech to Medical Records for Improved Security and Access
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

  The technology that forms the foundation for digital currencies like Bitcoin could be the technology that provides unprecedented security for and access to medical records. The Blockchain For years, online communities sought increased freedom and autonomy by shielding their economic activities from the government and corporate intermediaries...

Nobilis-Maximino - Fifth Pemex Farmout Public Bid
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

On September 18, 2017, the National Hydrocarbons Commission (Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos) (“CNH”) called an international public bid for the selection of a partner for Pemex Exploración y Producción (“Pemex”) to pursue exploration and production activities in the Nobilis-Maximino field, located in deep waters in the Perdido Belt in the Gulf of Mexico...

Mexico: Round Three – First Public Bid
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

The Mexican government announced on September 28, 2017 the first bid of Round 3. This will be the sixteenth upstream bid round in Mexico since the enactment of the energy reform in mid-2014. The new bid round (named Round 3...

ILPA Calls on GPs for Subscription Line Transparency
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

ILPA’s Paper Earlier this year the International Limited Partner's Association (ILPA) published its paper "Subscription Lines of Credit and Alignment of Interests: Considerations and Best Practices for Limited and General Partners." Since then there''s been a lack of on the record industry commentary from general partners (GPs) on this paper, but it has not gone unnoticed and has triggered much discussion behind closed doors...

Media, Entertainment, and First Amendment
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

  The Libel Suit Strikes Back Much has changed since 1972 when reporters Woodward and Bernstein exposed President Nixon of wrongdoing. Through their extraordinary reporting, the public learned of “dirty tricks,” criminal actions and a cover-up led by this country’s leaders inside the White House. All resources available to these reporters including unnamed sources of information provided details that fueled these stories...

Tenth Circuit Dismisses Litigation Over Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Rule
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

Earlier this year, the Tenth Circuit dismissed two appeals in connection with the Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) Final Rule implementing its regulations imposing new standards and obligations on hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands (“Fracking Rule”). The appeals had been filed challenging the district court’s prior ruling that struck down the rule in the face of industry, state, and tribal challenges...

SEC Announces New Cyber and Retail Investor Initiatives
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

After weeks of headlines dominated by Equifax’s cyber breach affecting 143 million consumers and the breach of the SEC’s own EDGAR system, the SEC recently announced the creation of (i) a Cyber Unit to target cyber-related misconduct and (ii) a Retail Strategy Task Force to strengthen its protection of retail investors...

SEC Issues Additional CEO Pay Ratio Disclosure Guidance, Affording Companies More Flexibility to Reduce Compliance Costs
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

On September 21, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued new guidance on compliance with pay ratio disclosure requirements, including an SEC release (“Interpretative Release”), commentary from the SEC staff in question and answer format (“Q&A”) and updated Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (“C&DIs”)...

Changing How Products Get From the Manufacturer to the Customer: Common Questions and Risks
Haynes and Boone, LLP, September 2017

  It starts with the best of intentions: A startup medical device company has just sold to a larger enterprise with an established sales team and customer base and no longer needs distributors. A consumer packaged goods company has just bought a brand and needs to transition to a new team of brokers. A growing company is finally ready to take its supply chain captive, including the distribution of products to customers, and no longer needs small distributors or sales representatives...

Summary of Updates and Highlights in the Mexican Energy Sector, July-August 2017
Haynes and Boone, LLP, September 2017

As part of the implementation of the Mexican energy reform of 2013, several new regulations and administrative guidelines affecting the hydrocarbons and power industries were issued during July-August 2017. These are of particular importance to oil and gas producers, midstream companies and power generators, traders and others looking to invest or expand operations in Mexico’s dynamic energy sector...

BIVA – The New Mexican Stock Exchange
Haynes and Boone, LLP, September 2017

On August 29, 2017, the Mexican Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público) grantedCentral de Corretajes(“CENCOR”) a new concession to operate a new stock exchange in Mexico. This new stock exchange will be calledBolsa Institucional de Valores(“BIVA”). It is anticipated that BIVA will initiate operations in early 2018...

Hurricane Harvey: Checklist for Corporate Insurance Claims
Haynes and Boone, LLP, September 2017

In the days following Hurricane Harvey, tremendous attention has been appropriately placed on individual safety and rescue for the millions affected by the storm’s devastating winds and catastrophic flooding. Now the immediate emphasis for many corporate policyholders has turned to the practical challenge of repairing damaged property and restoring business operations suspended by the storm...

Mexican Ministry of the Environment Publishes Guidelines for Protection and Conservation of Waters in Unconventional Blocks
Haynes and Boone, LLP, September 2017

The Ministry of Energy has announced that before the end of the Peña Nieto Administration on December, 2018, the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) will call the fifth bid of Round 2 (commonly known as Bid 2.5) for the award of exploration and production contracts for onshore blocks, which will include unconventional or shale blocks...

Force Majeure in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
Haynes and Boone, LLP, September 2017

As Hurricane Harvey continues to cause far-reaching disruptions, it is important to understand how to effectively assert or respond to assertions of force majeure. This summary outlines the steps to take to assert force majeure, and initial considerations for those who have received several notices of force majeure from counterparties...

Amendments to the Mexican Securities Markets Regulations
Haynes and Boone, LLP, September 2017

On August 11, 2017, the Mexican Securities and Exchange Commission (Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores, the “CNBV”) published amendments to the Mexican Securities Markets Regulations. The amendments cover a number of topics, including: 1. Changes to Disclosures by Issuers...

Resources for Healthcare Providers in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
Haynes and Boone, LLP, September 2017

Hurricane Harvey has radically impacted every industry in southeastern Texas, including healthcare providers, who continue to analyze potential next steps in ensuring operations can resume so that they can further assist those in need of healthcare services. Below are several links to resources that may be helpful for healthcare providers attempting to navigate through their options...

Hurricane Harvey: TCEQ Guidance for Hurricane Harvey
Haynes and Boone, LLP, August 2017

By August 23, 2017 Proclamation, the Governor of the State of Texas declared that Tropical Depression (now Hurricane) Harvey poses a threat of imminent disaster in 30 counties in and around the Texas coast beginning August 23, 2017. In response, the Executive Director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), in a press release, directed regulated entities to its guidance at https://www.tceq.texas.gov/response/hurricanes...

Hurricane Harvey: Employer Considerations in Office Closures and Reopenings
Haynes and Boone, LLP, August 2017

Whenever emergency situations such as Hurricane Harvey cause office closures and such offices are subsequently reopened, Texas employers must remember several points to stay compliant with employment laws. In general, employees who are classified as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions must be paid a salary each week...

Hurricane Harvey and Price Gouging: Considerations for Franchisors
Haynes and Boone, LLP, August 2017

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, franchisors should take action to avoid potential liability for price gouging committed by franchisees in affected areas. Price gouging occurs when a seller increases prices of goods, services or commodities to a level that is exploitive and unethical. Texas law explicitly prohibits price gouging following a natural disaster, and fines for price gouging can be up to $20,000 per violation...

Special Edition Benefits Alert: Hurricane Harvey
Haynes and Boone, LLP, August 2017

IRS provides Retirement Plan Loan and Hardship Distribution Relief for Harvey Victims The IRS has released Announcement 2017-11 providing relief from some of the loan and hardship distribution requirements under qualified retirement plans (including Code Section 401(a) and 403(b) plans) for the period of August 23, 2017 through January 31, 2018. The relief applies to employees or former employees either (i) whose principal residence on Aug...

 

 

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