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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2021

Russ Ryan, Matthew H. Baughman, Carmen J. Lawrence, Aaron W. Lipson, Richard H. Walker, Jessica Rapoport, Katie Barry and Scott Hiers

To analyze the impact of recent legislation that amended the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to expressly empower the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to seek…

Abstract

Purpose

To analyze the impact of recent legislation that amended the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to expressly empower the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to seek disgorgement in federal district court proceedings and to codify applicable statutes of limitations.

Design/methodology/approach

This article provides an overview of the authors’ prior work analyzing courts’ treatment of SEC disgorgement and summarizes how the scope of the remedy has evolved since Kokesh v. SEC (2017). Then, the article analyzes the changes to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 contained in Section 6501 the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which statutorily empowered the SEC to seek and obtain disgorgement in federal court actions. Finally, the authors discuss the impact of the legislation on the Supreme Court’s decisions in Kokesh and Liu v. SEC (2020).

Findings

The availability and appropriateness of SEC disgorgement have been the subject of vigorous debate. Just as courts began to iron out the contours of SEC disgorgement in the wake of Kokesh and Liu, Congress intervened by granting to the SEC explicit statutory authority to seek a remedy traditionally obtained at equity. In passing this legislation, Congress answered some questions that remained after Liu but also raised many new ones. These new questions will likely take years to resolve through subsequent litigation and potentially additional legislation.

Originality/value

Original, practical analysis and guidance from experienced lawyers in financial services regulatory and enforcement practices, many of whom have previously worked in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

Details

Journal of Investment Compliance, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1528-5812

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2020

M. Alexander Koch, Carmen J. Lawrence, Aaron Lipson, Russ Ryan, Richard H. Walker, Jessica Rapoport and Katie Barry

To analyze the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Liu v. SEC, where the Court confronted the issue of whether the SEC can obtain disgorgement in federal…

Abstract

Purpose

To analyze the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Liu v. SEC, where the Court confronted the issue of whether the SEC can obtain disgorgement in federal district court proceedings.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper provides an overview of the authors’ prior work analyzing courts’ treatment of SEC disgorgement and a summary of the background and opinion in Liu v. SEC. This article then focuses on the practical implications of Liu on SEC disgorgement by considering questions left open by the decision.

Findings

The Court in Liu held that the SEC is authorized to seek disgorgement as “equitable relief” as long as it “does not exceed a wrongdoer’s net profits and is awarded for victims.” But the Court left many unanswered questions, such as whether disgorged funds must always be returned to investors for disgorgement to be a permissible equitable remedy, whether the SEC can obtain joint-and-several disgorgement liability from unrelated co-defendants, what “legitimate expenses” should be deducted in disgorgement calculations, and to what extent the SEC can seek disgorgement in cases when victims are difficult to identify.

Originality/value

Original, practical guidance from experienced lawyers in financial services regulatory and enforcement practices, many of whom have previously worked in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

Details

Journal of Investment Compliance, vol. 21 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1528-5812

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1996

Walter J. Jones

Abstract

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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