Another Seven Year Wait is Over! SEC Finalizes Regulations on Clawback of Incentive Compensation for Restated Financial Statements

As we recently noted (see our Corporate & Securities Law blog from October 26, 2022, “SEC Adopts New Executive Compensation Clawback and Disclosure Rule”), in accordance with Section 954 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Reform Act”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued a press release and published final regulations (Release No. 34-96159) (the “Final Rules”) regarding so-called “Clawback Policies”. The Final Rules require specified publicly-held companies to adopt, disclose and maintain a policy to recover incentive compensation which was previously paid to specified company executive officers based on financial statements that were subsequently restated by the company such that the overpaid incentive compensation needs to be repaid back to the company by the executive officers. In our September 6, 2022 blog, “The Seven Year Wait is Over! SEC Finalizes New Pay Versus Performance Disclosure Regulations”, we had commented that there had been a seven year duration between SEC proposed regulations and final regulations with respect to pay versus performance disclosure rules and now for Clawback Rules there has also been a similar seven year waiting period between proposed and final rules which has finally come to a conclusion. This blog provides further details on the new SEC Clawback Policy regulations although we note that there are many nuances within the Final Rules that go beyond the scope of this blog article.

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The Seven Year Wait is Over! SEC Finalizes New Pay Versus Performance Disclosure Regulations

As we previously commented more than seven years ago (see our blog from May 4, 2015, “Finally! SEC Proposes New Pay for Performance Disclosure Regulations”), on April 29, 2015, in accordance with Section 953(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Reform Act”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued a press release and published proposed regulations (Release No. 34-74835) (the “Proposed Rules”) to require specified publicly-held companies to disclose the relationship between their financial performance and the compensation that is actually paid to their named executive officers (”NEOs”).

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Reminder to Perform Annual ISO/ESPP Reporting in January 2022

As discussed in our December 16, 2010 blog article, the IRS issued final regulations in 2009 under Section 6039 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) that require employers to annually furnish each employee who exercised incentive stock options (“ISOs”) or sold or otherwise transferred shares acquired under an employee stock purchase plan (“ESPP”) during a year with a detailed information statement by January 31 of the following year.  In addition, employers must generally file an information return with the IRS by February 28 of the following year, or by March 31 for employers filing electronically.  These due dates are delayed until the next business day if they otherwise fall on a weekend.

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Reminder to Perform Annual ISO/ESPP Reporting in January 2021

As discussed in our December 16, 2010 blog article, the IRS issued final regulations in 2009 under Section 6039 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) that require employers to annually furnish each employee who exercised incentive stock options (“ISOs”) or sold or otherwise transferred shares acquired under an employee stock purchase plan (“ESPP”) during a year with a detailed information statement by January 31 of the following year.  In addition, employers must generally file an information return with the IRS by February 28 of the following year, or by March 31 for employers filing electronically.  These due dates are delayed until the next business day if they otherwise fall on a weekend. Continue Reading

The Results Are In – California State and Local Tax Ballot Measures

On November 3, 2020, California voters decided a number of state and local tax-related ballot measures.[1]  The most significant tax increase, the property tax “split roll” initiative, and some other local tax increases were defeated.  However, overall voters were willing to approve a number of meaningful tax increases—especially San Francisco voters.  Following is an overview of statewide and notable local tax measures and referrals decided by the voters. Continue Reading

Reminder to Perform Annual ISO/ESPP Reporting in January 2020

As discussed in our December 16, 2010 blog article, the IRS issued final regulations in 2009 under Section 6039 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) that require employers to annually furnish each employee who exercised incentive stock options (“ISOs”) or sold or otherwise transferred shares acquired under an employee stock purchase plan (“ESPP”) during a year with a detailed information statement by January 31 of the following year. In addition, employers must generally file an information return with the IRS by February 28 of the following year, or by March 31 for employers filing electronically. Continue Reading

Reminder to Perform Annual ISO/ESPP Reporting in January 2019

As discussed in our December 16, 2010 blog article, the IRS issued final regulations in 2009 under Section 6039 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) that require employers to annually furnish each employee who exercised incentive stock options (“ISOs”) or sold or otherwise transferred shares acquired under an employee stock purchase plan (“ESPP”) during a year with a detailed information statement by January 31 of the following year. In addition, employers must generally file an information return with the IRS by February 28 of the following year, or by March 31 for employers filing electronically. Continue Reading

“Airing Out the Denny Crane Room”: Recent SEC Action Emphasizes Need for Effective Disclosure Controls and Procedures for Executive Perquisites

Last month, Energy XXI, Ltd. (“EXXI”), a publicly-traded oil and gas exploration company, saw its former Chief Executive Officer charged with various securities law violations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The SEC seeks to have the CEO pay civil money penalties and be barred from any officer or director role with any issuer of registered securities. Continue Reading

Reminder to Perform Annual ISO/ESPP Reporting in January 2018

As discussed in our December 16, 2010 blog article, the IRS issued final regulations in 2009 under Section 6039 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) that require Employers to annually furnish each employee who exercised incentive stock options (“ISOs”) or sold or otherwise transferred shares acquired under an employee stock purchase plan (“ESPP”) during a year with a detailed information statement by January 31 of the following year. In addition, Employers must generally file an information return with the IRS by February 28 of the following year, or by March 31 for Employers filing electronically. Continue Reading

Delaware Supreme Court Imposes New Limits on Stockholder Ratification Defense In Connection With Equity Incentive Plans

In In re Investors Bancorp, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, No. 169, 2017, 2017 WL 6374741 (Del. Dec. 13, 2017), the Delaware Supreme Court limited the ability of directors to assert the stockholder ratification defense when facing a challenge to their implementation of equity incentive plans (“EIP”). When properly invoked, the stockholder ratification defense entitles directors to have a court review their conduct under the more deferential business judgment rule standard, rather than the more stringent “entire fairness” standard. The Delaware Supreme Court held that where stockholders approve an EIP containing general parameters that afford directors discretion to determine specific awards, and their exercise of discretion is properly challenged as a breach of fiduciary duty due to alleged self-dealing, a board must prove that its actions were entirely fair to the corporation and its stockholders. This ruling has the important effect of shifting the burden from complainant stockholders to defending directors and subjects their awards of grants to stricter scrutiny. Continue Reading

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