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13D Monitor's Annual Active-Passive Investor Summit 04-27-2017

13D Monitor's Annual Active-Passive Investor Summit will bring together more than 350 financial professionals for dynamic sessions and a full day of networking.

TowerXchange Meetup Europe 2017 04-04-2017

Vinson & Elkins is pleased to be sponsoring the 2nd annual TowerXchange Meetup Europe. TowerXchange is the primary thought leadership body in the global telecom tower industry.

2017 Harvard Roundtable on Corporate Governance 03-14-2017

The Harvard Roundtable on Corporate Governance will bring together top academics, practitioners and policy-makers for a discussion on current trends and topics in corporate governance. Head of V&E’s Shareholder Activism Response Team Kai Liekefett will take part in the roundtable discussion.

The Center for American and International Law’s 68th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference 02-16-2017

V&E partner Bryan Loocke will be speaking at the 68th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference, at 4:00 p.m. on February 16th. Bryan will be giving an update and review of current trends in U.S. Upstream A&D, with a particular focus on counterparty credit considerations, structuring alternatives and diligence considerations.

ABA Forum on Communications Law 22nd Annual Conference 02-09-2017

V&E counsel, Marc Fuller, will be a panelist at the ABA Forum on Communication Law at a session entitled, “Hot Issues in Libel and Privacy.”

Houston Chapter: 2016 Proxy Review, 2017 Predictions & ISS Voting Policy Updates 02-08-2017

V&E partner Stephen M. Gill is speaking on a lunch panel titled “2016 Proxy Review, 2017 Predictions & ISS Voting Policy Updates” hosted by the Houston Chapter of the Society for Corporate Governance from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Environmental Citizens' Suit Defense: Preparing for "Private Attorneys General" in the Trump Administration 02-07-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideAs the Trump Administration prepares to take office, several environmental NGOs already have pledged to increase their reliance on citizen suit statutes to accomplish their public policy priorities. These groups hope to achieve judicial rulings on environmental theories that may not be endorsed by either the legislative or executive branches, while also being reimbursed for their efforts.

Shareholder Engagement & Communication London: Constructive Strategies for Issuers 02-07-2017

Vinson & Elkins is pleased to be sponsoring Skytop Strategies’ summit on shareholder activism and engagement. The summit will focus on how best to manage institutional investor campaigns for constructive outcomes – with a focus on how US-based activist campaigns affect the nature of engagements in the UK and Europe.

12th Annual Columbia University Energy Symposium 02-02-2017

V&E partner Robert Seber will be speaking on the “Shifting Geopolitics of Petroleum” panel at the 12th Annual CU Energy Symposium, a collaborative student-run event organized across the Business School, Engineering School, Law School, and School of International and Public Affairs.

ACI’s 4th Advanced Forum on False Claims and Qui Tam Enforcement 01-30-2017

ACI’s 4th Advanced Forum on False Claims and Qui Tam Enforcement will take place January 30 & 31. V&E partner, Craig Margolis, will be the panel moderator for the session entitled “Government Prosecutors Panel - How Government Decides to Litigate and Its Approach to Dealing with an Active Realtor Bar."

Shareholder Activism 2: Unlocking Shareholder Value 01-26-2017

The program will bring together industry leaders to provide a broad discussion around the topic of shareholder activism.

An MLP Update: The Final Regulations on Qualifying Income and Recent Delaware Supreme Court Opinions 01-25-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideOn January 19, 2017, the Treasury Department and the IRS released final regulations providing guidance on the treatment of income from natural resource activities of publicly traded partnerships as qualifying income for purposes of section 7704(d)(1)(E) of the Internal Revenue Code.

MLP Qualifying Income Regulations Are Finalized – Not Withdrawn by Trump Administration 01-24-2017

V&E MLP Tax Update E-communication, January 24, 2017

On January 24, 2017, in a surprise to many, the final 7704 regulations were published in the Federal Register. Previously, on January 20, 2017, President Donald J. Trump imposed a government-wide regulatory freeze in a White House memorandum issued by the President’s Chief of Staff. 

Legal Training for the Energy Sector 01-24-2017

V&E partner Christopher Walker and V&E counsel John Zadkovich will present at the Legal Training for the Energy Sector seminar.

Negotiation Ethics: Winning Ethically and Effectively 01-24-2017

Lawyers negotiate every day and negotiating ethically and maintaining their reputations as ethical and professional is critical to the successful practice of law. In this program, Marty Latz will lead a discussion about a series of ethically challenging legal negotiation scenarios and will link our discussion to critical negotiation strategies.

Patent in the High Court: TC Heartland‎, Impression Products, and Other Significant Cases in the 2016-2017 Term 01-24-2017

IP Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this presentation, we will preview TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC and Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International and discuss the issues and potential outcomes.

The Times They Are A-Changin’: Energy Policy in the Trump Administration 01-24-2017

U.S. oil and gas policy may undergo substantial change in the next administration. Federal rules governing methane emissions, the leasing of government lands, exports, and much more could be revised in the coming years. 

Obama Administration Conditionally Lifts Sudan Embargo 01-23-2017

V&E Export Controls and Economic Sanctions E-Communication, January 23, 2017

On January 13, 2017, the Obama Administration, reportedly with the assent of the President-Elect, issued Executive Order 13761 entitled “Recognizing Positive Actions by the Government of Sudan and Providing for the Revocation of Certain Sudan-Related Sanctions” (the “Executive Order”).

27th Annual Texas Wetlands Conference 01-23-2017

V&E Environmental & Natural Resources attorneys Andrew Stewart and Brandon Tuck will present at the 27th Annual Texas Wetlands Conference on January 23-24.

Litigation Update: Ninth Circuit to Weigh In on Key Post-Escobar Issues 01-20-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

We have reported previously on an implied false certification case in the Northern District of California, United States ex rel. Rose v. Stephens Institute, in which the court considered whether a university violated the FCA when it obtained funding from the U.S. Department of Education by allegedly falsely certifying compliance with Title IV of the Higher Education Act. The university moved to certify the district court’s order ruling against it on falsity and materiality for immediate appeal to the Ninth Circuit, and as we reported here, the district court in October certified three of the university’s four proposed questions for interlocutory appeal and stayed the case pending resolution of the university’s appeal.

13D Monitor's Annual Active-Passive Investor Summit 04-27-2017

13D Monitor's Annual Active-Passive Investor Summit will bring together more than 350 financial professionals for dynamic sessions and a full day of networking.

TowerXchange Meetup Europe 2017 04-04-2017

Vinson & Elkins is pleased to be sponsoring the 2nd annual TowerXchange Meetup Europe. TowerXchange is the primary thought leadership body in the global telecom tower industry.

2017 Harvard Roundtable on Corporate Governance 03-14-2017

The Harvard Roundtable on Corporate Governance will bring together top academics, practitioners and policy-makers for a discussion on current trends and topics in corporate governance. Head of V&E’s Shareholder Activism Response Team Kai Liekefett will take part in the roundtable discussion.

The Center for American and International Law’s 68th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference 02-16-2017

V&E partner Bryan Loocke will be speaking at the 68th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference, at 4:00 p.m. on February 16th. Bryan will be giving an update and review of current trends in U.S. Upstream A&D, with a particular focus on counterparty credit considerations, structuring alternatives and diligence considerations.

ABA Forum on Communications Law 22nd Annual Conference 02-09-2017

V&E counsel, Marc Fuller, will be a panelist at the ABA Forum on Communication Law at a session entitled, “Hot Issues in Libel and Privacy.”

Houston Chapter: 2016 Proxy Review, 2017 Predictions & ISS Voting Policy Updates 02-08-2017

V&E partner Stephen M. Gill is speaking on a lunch panel titled “2016 Proxy Review, 2017 Predictions & ISS Voting Policy Updates” hosted by the Houston Chapter of the Society for Corporate Governance from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Environmental Citizens' Suit Defense: Preparing for "Private Attorneys General" in the Trump Administration 02-07-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideAs the Trump Administration prepares to take office, several environmental NGOs already have pledged to increase their reliance on citizen suit statutes to accomplish their public policy priorities. These groups hope to achieve judicial rulings on environmental theories that may not be endorsed by either the legislative or executive branches, while also being reimbursed for their efforts.

Shareholder Engagement & Communication London: Constructive Strategies for Issuers 02-07-2017

Vinson & Elkins is pleased to be sponsoring Skytop Strategies’ summit on shareholder activism and engagement. The summit will focus on how best to manage institutional investor campaigns for constructive outcomes – with a focus on how US-based activist campaigns affect the nature of engagements in the UK and Europe.

12th Annual Columbia University Energy Symposium 02-02-2017

V&E partner Robert Seber will be speaking on the “Shifting Geopolitics of Petroleum” panel at the 12th Annual CU Energy Symposium, a collaborative student-run event organized across the Business School, Engineering School, Law School, and School of International and Public Affairs.

ACI’s 4th Advanced Forum on False Claims and Qui Tam Enforcement 01-30-2017

ACI’s 4th Advanced Forum on False Claims and Qui Tam Enforcement will take place January 30 & 31. V&E partner, Craig Margolis, will be the panel moderator for the session entitled “Government Prosecutors Panel - How Government Decides to Litigate and Its Approach to Dealing with an Active Realtor Bar."

Shareholder Activism 2: Unlocking Shareholder Value 01-26-2017

The program will bring together industry leaders to provide a broad discussion around the topic of shareholder activism.

An MLP Update: The Final Regulations on Qualifying Income and Recent Delaware Supreme Court Opinions 01-25-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideOn January 19, 2017, the Treasury Department and the IRS released final regulations providing guidance on the treatment of income from natural resource activities of publicly traded partnerships as qualifying income for purposes of section 7704(d)(1)(E) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Legal Training for the Energy Sector 01-24-2017

V&E partner Christopher Walker and V&E counsel John Zadkovich will present at the Legal Training for the Energy Sector seminar.

Negotiation Ethics: Winning Ethically and Effectively 01-24-2017

Lawyers negotiate every day and negotiating ethically and maintaining their reputations as ethical and professional is critical to the successful practice of law. In this program, Marty Latz will lead a discussion about a series of ethically challenging legal negotiation scenarios and will link our discussion to critical negotiation strategies.

Patent in the High Court: TC Heartland‎, Impression Products, and Other Significant Cases in the 2016-2017 Term 01-24-2017

IP Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this presentation, we will preview TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC and Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International and discuss the issues and potential outcomes.

The Times They Are A-Changin’: Energy Policy in the Trump Administration 01-24-2017

U.S. oil and gas policy may undergo substantial change in the next administration. Federal rules governing methane emissions, the leasing of government lands, exports, and much more could be revised in the coming years. 

27th Annual Texas Wetlands Conference 01-23-2017

V&E Environmental & Natural Resources attorneys Andrew Stewart and Brandon Tuck will present at the 27th Annual Texas Wetlands Conference on January 23-24.

Short Attack Activism – A Growing Trend IROs Must Know About 01-20-2017

National Investor Relations Institute DFW Chapter Meeting

V&E partner Robert Kimball is speaking on a lunch panel hosted by the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) DFW Chapter titled “Short Attack Activism – A Growing Trend IROs Must Know About” on January 20th.

ABA Tax Section 2017 Midyear Meeting 01-19-2017

The ABA Tax Section 2017 Midyear Meeting consists of high-level discussions and CLE programs on the latest developments in tax law. Partner Natan Leyva will be speaking on two panels, “Subpart F Income Tax: Its Scope and Application to US Shareholders,” on January 19th and “Foreign Activities of US Taxpayers, Foreign Lawyers Forum, Transfer Pricing, and US Activities of Foreigners and Tax Treaties” on January 20th.

Austin Bar Association Civil Appellate Section CLE 01-19-2017

V&E partner Tom Leatherbury will present “The Texas Citizens’ Participation Act: SLAPP Happy Yet?” at the Austin Bar Association Civil Appellate Section’s January CLE on January 19.

The Return of Shareholder Activism to the Energy Industry 12-14-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, Kai Liekefett, head of V&E’s Shareholder Activism Response Team, financial public relations experts from Sloane, and financial experts from Morgan Stanley discussed the return of shareholder activism to the energy sector and give an overview of advance preparation measures.

Power Shift? Regulatory Change in the First 100 Days of the Trump Administration 12-08-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WidePresident-Elect Donald Trump has promised to revoke or repeal many of the Obama Administration’s signature regulatory and executive actions — from immigration, labor, and employment, to financial services, energy, and the environment. This program offered a high-level overview of the legal landscape facing a new President seeking to deliver immediate regulatory change.

Preparing for an IPO: Market Update, Process and Timeline 11-09-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, V&E attorneys discuss recent IPO activity in the energy space, the IPO timeline and process overview, issues that arise during the IPO process, financial statement and structuring considerations, and governance matters.

China Intellectual Property & Innovation Summit 10-27-2016

V&E partner Chris Kao was invited to deliver an update on the Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International case at the China Intellectual Property & Innovation Summit in Shenzhen, China, on October 28th. Chris' presentation reviewed the impact of the Alice decision in regards to Section 101 issues and patent litigation strategies following revisions to the America Invents Act (AIA).

Defining the Contours of Alice 10-25-2016

IP Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideRecent decisions on Section 101 patent-eligible subject matter have begun to connect the dots, giving additional shape to the Alice analysis.

Hydraulic Fracturing Symposium 10-05-2016

Our Sixth Annual Hydraulic Fracturing Symposium focused on timely topics surrounding unconventional oil and gas development.

Proxy Season 2016 – A Look Back & A Look Ahead 09-29-2016

Kai Liekefett, Head of V&E's Shareholder Activism Response Team, co-hosted the webinar "Proxy Season 2016: A Look Back & A Look Ahead" with RANE Network.

V&E and TPH Host Energy Infrastructure Summit 09-20-2016

Energy infrastructure continues to play a critical role in operational and investment decision-making for participants throughout the energy value chain. The outlook for the space has improved notably since the beginning of 2016 but is still not without its challenges.

MLP Qualifying Income and Market Update 09-14-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis program will cover the status of the proposed qualifying income regulations and 2016 MLP capital markets transactions, with a focus on institutional preferred equity.

Energy REITs and Real Estate MLPs 07-13-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis presentation introduced V&E’s new nationally recognized team of Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) lawyers to the firm’s clients, and explored the corporate and tax similarities between master limited partnerships (MLPs) and REITs.

First Impressions Post-Ruling in Universal Health v. United States ex rel. Escobar 06-21-2016

V&E appellate partners John Elwood and Jeremy Marwell, and False Claims Act/Qui Tam Litigation partners Craig Margolis and Tirzah Lollar provided first impressions of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Universal Health v. United States ex rel. Escobar endorsing the implied false certification theory of liability in certain circumstances.

2016 U.S. Pharmaceutical Patent Litigation Seminar 06-14-2016

Vinson & Elkins was invited by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Manufacture and Development Association to speak in Taipei, Taiwan on May 25th, 2016. 

2016 Intellectual Property Symposium in Taiwan 06-10-2016

The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) invited Vinson & Elkins attorneys to speak at its 2016 International Intellectual Property Symposium held in Taipei, Taiwan on May 26th, 2016.

Crisis Planning: Part 2 – The Environmental, Health and Safety Crisis Scenario 06-08-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIt’s a dreaded situation – receiving a phone call that there has been an explosion, leak, or major accident at your facility. In the second part of our crisis planning presentations, we focus on the aftermath of a safety or environmental crisis and response tactics that can prove vital in any resulting litigation or government investigation.

Post McClendon Indictment: What Does This Mean For The Oil & Gas Industry? 05-19-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis program focused on examining the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice’s renewed shift in focus in domestic cartel investigations, specifically in light of the indictment of former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon, and directly with respect to the energy industry.

Crisis Planning: Part 1 – The Financial or Business Crisis Scenario 05-11-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideA sudden financial loss. The loss of a key executive. A business partner turns bad. In the first part of our crisis planning presentations, we concentrate on internal business and financial crisis such as these.

Oil & Gas Distress: Bankruptcy Issues Deep Dive 04-13-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis presentation covers a variety of trending and hot topics in the restructuring and bankruptcy process.

MLP Simplifications, Roll-Ups, and Recapitalizations 03-09-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this presentation, V&E attorneys cover sponsor acquisitions of MLPs, MLP acquisitions of GPs and IDRs, and subordinated unit restructurings.

Current Issues in Energy Storage 03-03-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, V&E partner Mike Tomsu and attorney Becky Diffen, who have worked on some of the first and largest storage projects in the country, will discuss current issues affecting the industry.

Key Considerations in Distressed Upstream M&A 02-17-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, attorneys from V&E’s Corporate and Bankruptcy practices provide strategic and practical issues to consider when acquiring oil and gas properties from distressed, insolvent and bankrupt sellers.

MLP Qualifying Income Regulations Are Finalized – Not Withdrawn by Trump Administration 01-24-2017

V&E MLP Tax Update E-communication, January 24, 2017

On January 24, 2017, in a surprise to many, the final 7704 regulations were published in the Federal Register. Previously, on January 20, 2017, President Donald J. Trump imposed a government-wide regulatory freeze in a White House memorandum issued by the President’s Chief of Staff. 

Obama Administration Conditionally Lifts Sudan Embargo 01-23-2017

V&E Export Controls and Economic Sanctions E-Communication, January 23, 2017

On January 13, 2017, the Obama Administration, reportedly with the assent of the President-Elect, issued Executive Order 13761 entitled “Recognizing Positive Actions by the Government of Sudan and Providing for the Revocation of Certain Sudan-Related Sanctions” (the “Executive Order”).

Treasury Department Issues Final Regulations Establishing New Qualifying Income Rules for Publicly Traded Partnerships 01-19-2017

V&E MLP Tax Update E-communication, January 19, 2017

The Treasury Department (Treasury) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final regulations on January 19, 2017, providing guidance on the treatment of income from natural resource activities of publicly traded partnerships as qualifying income for purposes of section 7704(d)(1)(E) of the Internal Revenue Code.

EPA Expands Risk Management Requirements 01-19-2017

V&E Emergency Response and Crisis Management Update E-communication, January 19, 2017

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has substantially revised its Risk Management Program (RMP) rule aimed at preventing chemical facility accidents, a move that will affect industrial facilities that handle threshold amounts of regulated chemicals. 

Antitrust Agencies Finalize Updates to IP Licensing Guidelines 01-18-2017

V&E Antitrust Update E-communication, January 18, 2017

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division (the “Agencies”) recently released new finalized Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property (the “Guidelines”), which replace a prior edition issued in 1995 and follow the initial update proposal in August 2016. 

BOEM Hits the “Pause” Button on New Financial Assurance for Multi-Party Offshore Leases While Operators of Sole Liability Properties Continue under the Original Timeline 01-11-2017

V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, January 11, 2017

With the arrival of a new year, and with an impending transition in presidential administrations scheduled to occur later this month, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced on January 6, 2017 that it is extending the implementation timeline for providing financial assurance under its recently issued Notice to Lessees (NTL) 2016-N01 by an additional six months. 

For First Time in 35 Years, Federal Circuit Articulates Legal Standard for Demonstrating Standing in an Agency Appeal 01-11-2017

V&E IP Insights E-Communication, January 11, 2017

On January 9, 2017, the Federal Circuit dismissed an appeal of the final decision of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) for lack of standing.  

Delaware Supreme Court Reverses a $171 Million Judgment in an MLP Unitholder Lawsuit On Standing Grounds 01-09-2017

V&E MLP Litigation Update E-communication, January 9, 2017

The Delaware Supreme Court recently reversed a $171 million damages award in El Paso Pipeline GP Co., L.L.C. v. Brinckerhoff, ___ A.3d ___, 2016 WL 7380418 (Del. Dec. 20, 2016) (en banc), concluding that an MLP unitholder plaintiff lacked standing to pursue a derivative claim that an MLP overpaid for assets it acquired from its parent in a dropdown transaction.

NDAA for FY2017 Changes DoD Contracting Policies in Key Areas 12-28-2016

V&E Government Contracts Update E-communication, December 28, 2016

On December 23, 2016, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) for Fiscal Year 2017, S. 2943.

The CFTC’s Proposed Position Limits: What Energy Private Equity Sponsors Should Know 12-21-2016

V&E Private Equity Update E-communication, December 21, 2016

On December 5, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) adopted final rules concerning aggregation under the CFTC’s position limits trading regime. 

U.S. Department of Justice Stakes its Claim in Export Controls, Embargoes, and Sanctions Investigations 12-21-2016

V&E Export Controls and Economic Sanctions E-Communication, December 21, 2016

In October 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), National Security Division (“NSD”) published “Guidance Regarding Voluntary Self-Disclosure, Cooperation, and Remediation in Export Control and Sanctions Investigations Involving Business Organizations” (the “Guidance”).

Finance Act 2016 Notes 12-15-2016

First published in British Tax Review, Issue 5, 2016

In response to demands to help the struggling UK oil and gas industry, the Finance Act 2016 (FA 2016) includes measures to reduce tax rates and expand the categories of income to activate investment and cluster allowances. 

U.S. Supreme Court in Salman Says “Personal Benefit” Does Not Have to be Tangible 12-12-2016

V&E Shareholder Litigation and Enforcement Update E-communication, December 12, 2016 

Last Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its first decision on insider trading liability in nearly 20 years, and made it easier for the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Department of Justice to win insider trading cases where a person trades on confidential information provided by an insider. 

Think Twice Before Settling With An Activist 12-09-2016

First published by Law360, December 9, 2016

The tide of shareholder activism keeps rising in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world. At the beginning of this era of shareholder activism, target companies fought back. 

Supreme Court Holds that Design-Patent Damages May Be Based on a Component of a Product, Rather than Entire Product 12-07-2016

V&E IP Insights E-Communication, December 7, 2016

On December 6, 2016, the Supreme Court unanimously reversed the Federal Circuit’s decision requiring Samsung to pay Apple its complete profits from sales of Samsung products that were found to infringe three of Apple’s design patents.

In Light of Recent FTC Actions, Review Your Privacy Policy 12-06-2016

First published in Corporate Counsel, December 6, 2016

Every day billions of mobile and internet-enabled computers, smartphones, watches, drones and even coffee machines are collecting vast amounts of geolocation data about their users.

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari to Review Patent Exhaustion Doctrine in Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc. 12-06-2016

V&E IP Insights E-Communication, December 6, 2016

On December 2, 2016, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc., to review a February 2016 Federal Circuit en banc decision holding that post-sale restrictions can be used to avoid patent exhaustion and that foreign sales do not exhaust U.S. patent rights.

President Obama Blocks Chinese Acquisition of German Semiconductor Firm 12-06-2016

V&E CFIUS Update E-communication, December 6, 2016

On Friday, December 2, 2016, President Obama exercised his authority under Section 721 of the Defense Procurement Act of 1950, as amended, and issued an Executive Order prohibiting Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund, LP from acquiring the U.S. business operations of Aixtron SE, a German company involved in semiconductor manufacturing.

Anatomy of a Non-Performing Loan Portfolio Sale 11-30-2016

First published in Investing in Distressed Debt in Europe: The TMA Handbook for Practitioners

The European market for loan portfolio transactions continues to be very active, with 2015 seeing over €100 billion in completed loan disposals across Europe. 

Election Impact on REIT Industry 11-30-2016

V&E REIT Update E-communication, November 30, 2016

Following the news of Donald Trump’s election, the capital markets, including participants in the real estate investment trust (REIT) industry, scrambled to assess the likely impact of a Trump Presidency and a Republican-controlled Congress.

Litigation Update: Ninth Circuit to Weigh In on Key Post-Escobar Issues 01-20-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

We have reported previously on an implied false certification case in the Northern District of California, United States ex rel. Rose v. Stephens Institute, in which the court considered whether a university violated the FCA when it obtained funding from the U.S. Department of Education by allegedly falsely certifying compliance with Title IV of the Higher Education Act. The university moved to certify the district court’s order ruling against it on falsity and materiality for immediate appeal to the Ninth Circuit, and as we reported here, the district court in October certified three of the university’s four proposed questions for interlocutory appeal and stayed the case pending resolution of the university’s appeal.

The One Policy I Must Have 01-19-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

A small client recently told me that they did not like to have a lot of written policies because they believe that every policy is one more opportunity for disputes to arise. When I started to argue the contrary, the client asked me: “what is the one policy I must have?” My immediate answer was that if I had to pick one, it would be a complaint and anti-retaliation policy. Here’s why.

GAO Recommends Incorporating Forward-Looking Climate Information into Design Standards and Building Codes 01-17-2017

Climate Change Blog

On January 3, 2017, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) released a report concluding that better coordination among — and the sharing of forward-looking climate information between — federal agencies could result in significant government cost savings. Forward-looking climate information includes weather models constructed using anticipated trends in climate change and other plausible projections of what might happen under a given set of assumptions, such as projected rainfall rates.

Mixed Messages on Independent Contractor and Employee Background Checks 01-12-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

On January 6th, Massachusetts will implement what its governor touts as “the most stringent ride-for-hire background check system” in the U.S. Uber and Lyft drivers will now be required to pass criminal background checks overseen by a state agency as a condition to picking up passengers in the Bay State. The requirement, which may become a model for other states, raises interesting questions in an era in which independent contractors are becoming subject to increased scrutiny but it is becoming more challenging for employers to elicit information on their prospective employees.

Too Little and Too Late: First Circuit Rejects Relator's Claims of Possible Fraud and Refuses Unduly Delayed Leave to Amend 01-12-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

Again reiterating that Rule 9(b) is a formidable hurdle for relators, the First Circuit rebuffed a relator’s attempt to allege FCA violations based on broad inferences of fraudulent activity, without any specific facts or statistical evidence tying that conduct to false claims to the government. In United States ex rel. Hagerty v. Cyberonics, Inc., No. 16-1304, 2016 WL 7321224 (1st Cir. Dec. 16, 2016), a former sales representative for defendant Cyberonics, Inc. turned relator alleged that employees of Cyberonics had used fraudulent sales tactics to encourage medical providers to prematurely and unnecessarily replace batteries in medical devices used to treat patients with epilepsy, giving rise to false claims based on his presumption that providers that performed the unnecessary replacements then submitted reimbursement claims to the government for the procedures.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Issues 2017 Nationwide Permits for Streamlined Permitting 01-10-2017

Water Blog

On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) issued a new set of nationwide permits to replace existing permits that expire on March 18, 2017. Congress authorized the Corps to issue these types of nationwide permits to streamline the permitting process for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, under Clean Water Act Section 404 or work in or affecting navigable waterways, under Rivers and Harbors Act Section 10, in either case when it has no more than a minimal individual or cumulative adverse effect on the environment.

False Claims Act Cert. Monitor: Six FCA Cert. Petitions Bite the Dust, Five Remain 01-10-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

Denied petitions for certiorari are a dime a dozen. So it should not come as a surprise that most FCA cert. petitions that we write about fail. But still, we hate to see ’em go. Yet, here we are, in this first Cert. Monitor post of 2017, saying bon voyage to six FCA cert. petitions from our mid-term review, leaving just five more that remain pending.

Government Contracts: Be Careful What You Wish For 01-10-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

In what may be the last gasp of the Obama-era Department of Labor (DOL), the DOL filed suit against Google to force the company to divulge certain compensation data for EEO compliance purposes. The DOL’s complaint goes nuclear and seeks to cancel all of Google’s existing federal contracts and bar Google and its officers from receiving any such contracts in the future. Google has refused the DOL’s requests over the past year, and claims they are overbroad and seek information that is confidential. This is an important case to watch but, in the meantime, the dispute highlights important issues employers should be aware of when entering into government contracts and subcontracts.

Say Goodbye to 2016 and Hello to New OSHA Requirements 01-05-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

Although the standard New Year’s commitment of going to the gym is usually forsaken within a week, two new OSHA rules taking effect in January 2017 are resolutions that employers will want to make sure they keep. The first rule, which takes effect January 1, requires certain employers to electronically submit illness and injury records to OSHA annually. The second rule, which takes effect January 18, makes clear that an employer’s duty to maintain accurate records of injuries and illnesses continues beyond the initial reported incident.

Early Tremors: Commerce Department Increases FCA Penalties, DOJ Likely to Follow 01-05-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

As we have written about previously, in November 2015, Congress instructed federal agencies to adjust civil penalties within the agencies’ respective “jurisdiction[s]” to account for inflation. 28 U.S.C. § 2461 note. As directed by Congress, in the middle of 2016, DOJ, the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), and the Department of Commerce (DOC) issued “catch up adjustment[s].” The adjustments each doubled FCA penalties from between $5,500 and $11,000 per false claim to between $10,781 and $21,563 per false claim, but they varied as to retroactivity: DOJ’s increased penalties applied only to FCA violations occurring after November 2, 2015, RRB’s were not retroactive, and DOC’s were fully retroactive. 28 C.F.R. § 85.3 (DOJ); 20 C.F.R. § 356.3 (RRB); 15 C.F.R. § 6.4 (DOC).

EPA Concludes Fracking Activities Can Impact Drinking Water in U.S. 01-04-2017

Water Blog

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released its Final Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources on December 13, 2016. The final report concludes that “hydraulic fracturing activities can impact drinking water resources in the United States under some circumstances.”

Starting off the New Year Right: A Good Time for Self-Auditing I-9 Compliance 01-04-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

As we are on the cusp of a new administration that has identified immigration enforcement to be a primary focus, now is an ideal time to ensure that verification of employees’ legal authorization to work in the United States is timely performed and documented. By a recent Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision, we were reminded to complete Forms I-9 within three days of each employee’s date of hire. Also, those forms must be retained after an employee’s termination for the later of: three years after the date of hire or one year after the date of termination. If an employer does not comply with those requirements, it may face civil penalties between $110 and $1,100 per individual violation.

Keep Your Friends Close and Your Subcontractors Even Closer: Prime and Sub Mostly Win Motion to Dismiss Against Second-Tier Sub 01-03-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

The D.C. District Court recently dove headfirst into the complexities of government contracting (and subcontracting) and dismissed most of a hydra-headed 77-page FCA complaint against a prime contractor and first-tier subcontractor brought by executives of a second-tier subcontractor. United State ex rel. Keaveney v. SRA Int’l, Inc., No. 13-855, 2016 WL 6988787 (D.D.C. Nov. 29, 2016). That a subcontractor’s executives brought an FCA action against the contractors that hired them is by itself worth noting. But the opinion, too, offers a mixed bag of assuaging certain worries for government contractors while highlighting new ones.

Human Resources New Year’s Resolutions for the Donald, Ivanka, Andrew, and Carl Era 12-29-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

If you’re an HR manager, director, or vice president, you’ve probably not only got a pretty long holiday wish list, but also a fairly sizable list of New Year’s resolutions. It probably includes some of those pesky tasks that build up over the year—reorganizing and digitizing personnel files, compiling information for performance reviews, reviewing and updating software for third-party payroll platforms, and the like. Your to-do list probably also includes some new things, like preparing IRS filings under the Affordable Care Act for plan-year 2016 (due in March 2017).

Happy Holidays 12-22-2016

Water Blog

The contributors to the Water Blog wish you a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year. We will be taking some time away from the blog, but will return in early 2017.

Happy Holidays 12-22-2016

Climate Change Blog

The contributors to the Climate Change Blog wish you a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year. We will be taking some time away from the blog, but will return in early 2017.

Happy Holidays 12-22-2016

Lincoln's Law Blog

LLB is taking next week off for the holidays. We will return refreshed and ready to continue sharing with you all the FCA statistics and FCA law you can handle. Until then, happy holidays and safe travels, LLB readers!

HR Directors – What’s On Your Holiday Wish List? 12-21-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

At this time of year, everyone makes lists. Gift wish lists and New Years’ resolutions are pretty common. But what about HR directors—what’s on your holiday wish list? From a people management perspective, you might want to have front-line supervisors that are given sufficient time to actually manage the people they’re in charge of. You might want better communication and integration between long-term business goals and the pressure to cut workforce-related costs. From a legal perspective, you might want better guidance from regulatory agencies, or perhaps even more tools from the government to help you understand the rules and how to apply them to your workforce.

Fifth Circuit Reaffirms that Speculative Penalty Exposure Does Not a "Reverse False Claim" Make 12-21-2016

Lincoln's Law Blog

In the context of an environmentally-based FCA case, the Fifth Circuit held last week that a contingent penalty cannot create reverse false claim liability because it is not an “obligation” to pay the government. This holding marks at least the third time in as many months that a circuit court has addressed the FCA’s reverse false claim provision and is the second of those decisions construing the definition of “obligation” under the FCA as amended by the 2009 Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (“FERA”). The two decisions resulted in different outcomes, however: one handed the defendant a resounding victory, and the other breathed life back into the relator’s case. Is this yet another circuit-split and potential fodder for Supreme Court review? Not so fast.

False Claims Act Cert. Monitor: Mid-Term Review of Pending FCA Cert. Petitions 12-21-2016

Lincoln's Law Blog

With the Supreme Court’s last conference before the holidays past us, we wanted to catch up with the many FCA petitions for certiorari that remain pending.

V&E Launches Redesigned Shale & Fracking Tracker 10-18-2016

We welcome you to visit the V&E Shale & Fracking Tracker, a one-stop resource for the latest news, events, and materials related to legal, government, and industry developments in shale and hydraulic fracturing operations.

EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives for Fiscal Years 2017–2019 10-01-2016

On October 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) for fiscal years 2017-2019 took effect.

Controlling Costs in International Arbitration 09-21-2016

Arbitration is always said to have been cheaper, quicker and more confidential than the equivalent court proceedings.  More often than not, however, many arbitration users have discovered this is not always the case. In this video, V&E partner Mark Beeley, will share how you can reverse this trend with careful planning up front.

Why Private Equity’s Wait for Distressed Energy Deals Might be Over 09-20-2016

As prices for oil and gas have fluctuated in the past two years, so have private equity’s expectations to buy distressed energy assets. V&E partner Mark Proctor speaks to Privcap about why private equity might finally be able to seize on these opportunities.

Implementing a Dispute Resolution Framework in Construction Projects 09-12-2016

Scott Stiegler, a senior associate in V&E’s International Construction Disputes practice, outlines some important considerations when implementing an efficient and effective dispute resolution framework in your construction contract.

The Shareholder Activist Playbook 09-09-2016

Kai Liekefett, head of V&E’s Shareholder Activism Response Team, describes the typical shareholder activist’s playbook.

A Profile of V&E’s Energy Appellate Practice 08-31-2016

Marie Yeates, co-chair of V&E's Appellate practice, is a veteran appellate practitioner with deep experience handling energy appeals, particularly in Texas and Louisiana. She explains what legal issues we have handled in this industry, many of which have resulted in landmark decisions, and what makes this niche practice invaluable to clients.

Kayo Conference: Perspectives on the Impact of the Recent Drop in Commodity Prices 08-01-2016

V&E senior associate Brittany Sakowitz shares perspectives on the impact of the drop in commodity prices on companies and investors involved in the energy industry.

TV Interview with The Street on Shareholder Activism 07-19-2016

V&E partner Kai Liekefett spoke to The Street on the topic “Over-Eager Activist Investors Are Partly to Blame for Mega-Deal Failures.” 

An Illustration of Nationality Planning 07-08-2016

When making a significant investment in a new jurisdiction, companies should consider nationality planning, or investment treaty protection, as a tool to help protect against political risk.

A Closer Look at EPA's New Methane Rules for the Oil and Gas Industry 06-22-2016

On May 12, 2016, EPA issued a slate of final rules and an information request under the Clean Air Act directed at the oil and gas industry. This is the first time EPA is directly regulating methane as a greenhouse gas. These rules will have widespread application to the oil and gas industry, including production, processing, transmission, and storage. 

Safety Minute: Environmental Considerations when Acquiring Distressed Assets 06-14-2016

What should companies look for when looking to acquire distressed assets in a down market environment? Brandon Tuck, member of V&E’s Environmental & Natural Resources practice, highlights components of due diligence reviews prior to engaging in a transaction that can help protect against unwanted environmental risk.

Safety Minute: Managing Environmental Programs in a Down Market 06-14-2016

There are certain environmental issues companies should consider before downsizing environmental and safety programs.

Brandon Tuck, member of V&E’s Environmental & Natural Resources Practice, talks through several items companies should consider when trying to manage costs in a down market. 


Safety Minute: Safety Considerations When Downsizing 06-14-2016

Tom Wilson, head of V&E’s OSHA practice, highlights the importance of cross referencing emergency response plan documents when considering downsizing operations and conducting layoffs.

Understanding the Impact of Public International Law 06-06-2016

Public international law, while abstract, does have meaning for international businesses. George Burn, a partner in V&E’s International Dispute Resolution & Arbitration practice, explains public international law and some key areas of commercial application – specifically regarding borders (both maritime and territorial) and the authority of international organizations, such as INTERPOL.

Enforcing International Law – A Powerful Tool for Investors 06-06-2016

George Burn, a partner in V&E’s International Dispute Resolution & Arbitration practice, explains the development of international law’s enforcement mechanism – investor-state arbitration.

Employment Consideration in International Asset Transactions 06-03-2016

Martin Luff, counsel in V&E’s International Employment practice, highlights some of the differences between U.S. and international transactions with regards to the transfer of employment and employee benefits. Buyers and sellers must consider all potential issues that may arise in the different jurisdictions where business deals occur.

Global Reductions in Force 06-03-2016

Martin Luff, counsel in V&E’s International Employment practice, highlights the issues employers must consider when implementing global layoffs or reductions in force.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Do You Have the Coverage You Think You Do? 06-03-2016

There are several benefits to workers’ compensation insurance. For example, it provides benefits to an employee in the event of a workplace injury and provides an exclusive remedy protecting the employer from most types of negligence claims.

V&E Safety Minute: Internal Audits 04-07-2016

Conducting an internal safety audit to determine areas of potential risk is a common practice for businesses in various industries. Christopher Bacon, member of the Employment, Labor & OSHA practice and Emergency Response and Crisis Management Team, addresses internal safety audits and what should be done with the findings.

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