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Haynes and Boone | January 2016

As part of its effort to eliminate the risk of taxpayer-funded bail-outs of European banks, the European Union undertook a new “bail-in” regime beginning on January 1, 2016, implementing rules which require banks and some other market participants in EU member states to write-down, cancel, convert into equity or otherwise modify certain unsecured liabilities if such steps are required to recapitalize the institution.To red the full alert, click here ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

If 2015 is considered to be the “Year to Amend and Extend,” then 2016 is setting up to be the “Year of Reckoning.” Last year began with high hopes for a reset to the oilfield activity levels of mid-2014, which did not materialize. Market conditions appeared to stabilize in the middle of 2015 at an activity level to support an oil price of $60 per barrel, but that stability did not last long since 2015 concluded with oil below $40 per barrel ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”), in In re Simon Shiao Tam, held the seventy-year old disparagement clause of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act unconstitutional on December 22, 2015. Under Section 2(a), a trademark shall be refused registration if it consists of “matter which may disparage…persons, living or dead… or bring them into contempt, or disrepute ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

The recent Memorandum of Understanding (the “MOU”) between the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Department of Labor (“DOL”) reinvigorated the Worker Endangerment Initiative by “redoubling” the agencies’ cooperative “efforts to hold accountable those who unlawfully jeopardize workers’ health and safety,” Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates announced on December 17, 2015. An accompanying memorandum sent to all 93 U.S ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) adopted the final rules to Regulation Crowdfunding on October 30, 2015, which implemented Title III of the JOBS Act to allow companies to raise capital through crowdfunding. The final rules are codified as Regulation Crowdfunding in furtherance of Section 4(a)(6) of the Securities Act of 1933 ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

On December 15, 2015, the National Hydrocarbons Commission (Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos or, “CNH”) in a successful public bid for Mexico, awarded all of the 25 available blocks of License Agreements for the Production of Hydrocarbons in on-shore contract areas. A total of 41 formal bidders submitted effective proposals ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

On December 11, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC,” or the “Commission”) issued re-proposed rules (the “Proposed Rules”), as authorized under Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

The filing window for Fiscal Year 2017 for Cap-Subject H-1B petitions – those subject to the annual numerical limit (the “Cap”) – will open on April 1, 2016. Given recent trends, the number of filed petitions is expected to again exceed the Cap. Over the last three years, the Cap has been reached within the first week of the April filing period ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

loration and production (“E&P”) companies are confronting the harshest industry environment in decades. E&P companies experienced a drastic deterioration in prices for their oil and natural gas production during the second half of 2014, which remained at depressed levels throughout 2015. The velocity and steepness of the decline has resulted in deteriorating operating cash flows, results of operations and financial condition for many E&P companies ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

As part of the nuclear arrangement reached with Iran, the United States rescinded its nuclear-related sanctions imposed on entities outside the United States on January 16, 2016, which is the so-called “Implementation Day” under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”). At the same time, the United States also lifted sanctions on foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies. Apart from a few specific exceptions, however, including new exceptions for U.S ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

Yesterday the Supreme Court issued its decision in the closely-watched case of Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, 577 U.S. __ (2016) ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

2015 was an eventful year for government contractors as the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) finalized several key rules related to contractors’ relationships with employees and job applicants. With more rules expected to be finalized in 2016, the OFCCP will exercise increasing oversight over contractors’ activities ...

Haynes and Boone | February 2016

Times are tough, very tough, for many mid-cap and small-cap exploration and production (“E&P”) companies. Crude oil prices have fallen from more than $100/barrel in July 2014 to a twelve-year low of less than $30/barrel in January 2016. Natural gas prices are at a three-year low. The growing consensus is that depressed prices will experience a slow recovery that may continue into the 2020s ...

Haynes and Boone | February 2016

Less than two days after an enforcement moratorium expired, U.S. and EU officials in transatlantic data transfer talks have reached a new “Privacy Shield” framework to replace the Safe Harbor regime struck down in the Schrems case last year. The new framework, also known as Safe Harbor 2.0, is expected to increase obligations on U.S. companies that handle the personal data of Europeans, while bringing stronger privacy enforcement by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) ...

Haynes and Boone | February 2016

The jurisdictional thresholds for premerger notification filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (“HSR Act”) will increase February 25, 2016, 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 2017.To read the full alert, click here ...

Haynes and Boone | February 2016

On January 27, 2016, the Obama Administration took the latest in its continuing steps to ease restrictions on trade and travel between the United States and Cuba. Amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (“CACR”) administered by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) and the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) will authorize additional U.S ...

Haynes and Boone | February 2016

After a long wait, on February 12, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for HHS (“CMS”) issued a final rule that clarified the obligations of Medicare providers and suppliers to report and return overpayments within 60 days (the “Rule”).1 The Rule becomes effective on March 14, 2016. The Rule, which applies only to Medicare Part A and B providers and suppliers, enforces a statutory requirement from 2010 implemented by the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) ...

Haynes and Boone | February 2016

The United States has announced that it has signed with Cuba a new agreement covering air services between the two countries.  The new agreement, which replaces a suspended accord dating back to the 1950s, authorizes up to 110 daily round trip scheduled flights between the two countries by airlines of each respective country. The agreement permits twenty (20) scheduled non-stop flights between the U.S ...

Haynes and Boone | February 2016

In a third and final round of settlements with underwriters, the SEC announced on February 2, 2016 enforcement actions against 14 firms for alleged misstatements and omissions in municipal bond offerings ...

Haynes and Boone | February 2016

On February 23, 2016 the Secretariat of Energy (SENER) published a notice in the Federal Gazette by means of which as of April 1, 2016 such authority can grant import permits of gasoline and diesel into Mexico to any interested party that complies with the applicable legal provisions, including those set forth in the Administrative Resolution published in the Federal Gazette on December 29, 2014 and amended by publication in the same Gazette on December 30, 2015 that establi

Haynes and Boone | March 2016

With the steep collapse of oil and gas prices in the last eighteen months, dozens of exploration and production companies have declared bankruptcy and many more companies are expected to file for bankruptcy protection unless prices rebound dramatically ...

Haynes and Boone | March 2016

On February 12, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued 18 no-action letters concerning requests to exclude proxy access shareholder proposals from proxy materials pursuant to Rule 14a-8(i)(10) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Rule 14a-8(i)(10) permits a company to exclude shareholder proposals from its proxy materials if the company has already “substantially implemented” such proposals ...

Haynes and Boone | March 2016

The Second Circuit issued an important decision recently in In re Sanofi Securities Litigation applying the Supreme Court’s landmark Omnicare decision. In Omnicare, the Supreme Court held that a statement of opinion, even if honestly believed, could be actionable if the issuer failed to disclose material facts that conflict with what a reasonable investor would, in context, expect about the issuer’s basis for the opinion ...

Haynes and Boone | March 2016

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) recently announced a settlement with Dwolla, Inc., an online payment processor, for allegedly deceptive statements Dwolla made to consumers regarding the company’s data security practices. In the settlement, Dwolla agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty and take specific actions to improve its data security ...

Haynes and Boone | March 2016

On March 14, 2016 the Mexican Ministry of Economy published in Official Gazette of the Federation a decree amending the General Corporations Law (Ley General de Sociedades Mercantiles) which will allow the incorporation of Mexican simplified commercial corporations or “SAS” (sociedad por acciones simplificada) within a 24-hour time frame.To read the full alert, click here ...

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