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National Contract Management Association’s 2017 World Congress 07-23-2017

V&E partner, Dan Graham, will be co-presenting at the National Contract Management Association’s 2017 World Congress in Chicago, IL on Tuesday July 25, 2017. Participants will hear an overview of different ways the government can change its contracts.

V&E and ERM Roundtable: How Best to Deliver Business Outcomes in a Safe and Sustainable Manner 07-20-2017

Technology innovations are driving new production and cost savings in all industries. The impacts on staffing, required training, and complexity of operations are creating new safety issues and putting a premium on risk analysis. 

Sing a Song about the Heartland: Patent Litigation Post-Heartland 07-11-2017

In one of the most anticipated decisions in recent years, the Supreme Court reversed the Federal Circuit’s venue precedent in TC Heartland and reaffirmed its own decades-old interpretation of the patent venue statue. 

Responding Effectively to Environmental Shareholder Activism 07-11-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideJoin us for a discussion of environmental shareholder activism and strategies you should be implementing now for effective engagement in 2018.

BioTaiwan 2017 06-28-2017

The Firm is a Gold Sponsor of BioTaiwan 2017, hosted by the Taiwan Bio Industry Organization. Taking place in Taipei, BioTaiwan is one of the largest biotechnology and life sciences conferences in Asia. 

The Golden State of Governance – 2017 National Conference 06-28-2017

V&E partner Kai Liekefett will be speaking at the “Activists at the Gate? Lessons for Small & Mid-Cap Companies” session on Friday, June 30. This discussion will cover shareholder activism and hostile takeovers as well as leading defense practices.

U.S. Real Estate Opportunity & Private Funds Investing Forum 06-25-2017

IMN is hosting the 18th Annual U.S. Real Estate Opportunity and Private Fund Investing Forum in Newport, RI, June 25-27, 2017. V&E is a Bronze level sponsor to the conference, with attendees from the largest real estate private equity funds, LPs, and an assortment of service providers.

Expat Agreements – The Risks of Taking the Easy Option 06-22-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

There’s a lot to think about when putting together an expat package for an employee who is being sent to work abroad. But when it comes to drafting the employment agreement, employers should think twice before using the company’s standard form agreement for domestic employees.

Conducting Internal Investigations and Avoiding Retaliation Claims 06-22-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideV&E lawyers will discuss investigation planning, fact gathering, ways to reduce costs, interim and final reporting, protecting privilege, and remediation after the investigation.

Young Professionals in Energy NYC - Infrastructure & Innovation 06-21-2017

Join Uncharted Play’s Jessica O. Matthews and Vinson & Elkins' Eliot Cotton as they discuss the challenges that come with implementing clean tech in governments and economies around the world, and the innovation pushing to overcome them.

Tax Reform: Perspectives From Across the Nation - Impact on the Energy Sector 06-21-2017

Join us in Houston for an exciting panel discussion on tax reform and its potential impacts on the energy industry, including oil and gas, power and renewables.

2017 Bench & Bar Conference 06-21-2017

V&E is pleased to be sponsoring the Bench & Bar Conference. The Federal Circuit Bar Association will be hosting its annual Bench & Bar Conference in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho this year.

California on the Hudson? NYC Outlaws Inquiries into Salary History 06-20-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

California has long held the distinction of being the most employee-friendly state when it comes to employment law. In the last year, however, New York City has given the Golden State a run for its money.

Benchmark Women in Litigation Forum - West 06-20-2017

V&E partner Jessica Mussallem is participating in a panel discussion entitled, “Government Investigations and Compliance” at the Benchmark Women in Litigation Forum in Palo Alto. 

EPA Proposes 2-Year Stay on Key Parts of Quad Oa — the 2016 Methane NSPS Rule for the Oil and Gas Industry 06-19-2017

Climate Change Blog

On June 16, 2017, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule that would stay for two years parts of EPA’s June 3, 2016 final rule entitled “Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources,” which amended and established updated new source performance standards (NSPS) for the oil and natural gas sector. This final rule was codified in EPA’s NSPS regulations as Subpart OOOOa to 40 CFR Part 60 or “Quad Oa.” Detailed information about Quad Oa can be found here.

Safeco Gets Another Safe-NO From Eleventh Circuit on FCA Scienter Standard 06-16-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

A recent Eleventh Circuit decision joins the chorus of FCA cases struggling to interpret the scienter requirements in situations where there is more than one objectively reasonable interpretation of a statute, regulation, etc. 

CSB Safety Bulletin Focuses on Companies’ Inadequate Procedures During Non-Routine Maintenance 06-15-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (“CSB”) recently issued a safety bulletin  explaining that companies — and refineries in particular — need to be more systematic when preparing equipment for maintenance operations, to prevent injuries and hazardous conditions.

The Ascendance of 2° Celsius Proposals in ESG Activism 06-15-2017

Climate Change Blog

The 2017 proxy season will be remembered as the first proxy season to see “2° Celsius” shareholder proposals succeed at annual meetings of U.S. public companies.

Trade Secrets Protection and Litigation: How to Respond Effectively When A Company Becomes A Victim of Intellectual Property Theft 06-15-2017

Please join Sandpiper Partners LLC, featuring V&E partners Michael Dry and Craig Tyler, for a half-day summit on a variety of topics.

3rd Annual GAR Live Energy Disputes 06-15-2017

Vinson & Elkins is pleased to be sponsoring the 3rd Annual GAR Live Energy Disputes. The event will feature a series of thought provoking panel discussions and a networking lunch, and will conclude with a drinks reception from 5:15 p.m. onwards.

National Contract Management Association’s 2017 World Congress 07-23-2017

V&E partner, Dan Graham, will be co-presenting at the National Contract Management Association’s 2017 World Congress in Chicago, IL on Tuesday July 25, 2017. Participants will hear an overview of different ways the government can change its contracts.

V&E and ERM Roundtable: How Best to Deliver Business Outcomes in a Safe and Sustainable Manner 07-20-2017

Technology innovations are driving new production and cost savings in all industries. The impacts on staffing, required training, and complexity of operations are creating new safety issues and putting a premium on risk analysis. 

Sing a Song about the Heartland: Patent Litigation Post-Heartland 07-11-2017

In one of the most anticipated decisions in recent years, the Supreme Court reversed the Federal Circuit’s venue precedent in TC Heartland and reaffirmed its own decades-old interpretation of the patent venue statue. 

Responding Effectively to Environmental Shareholder Activism 07-11-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideJoin us for a discussion of environmental shareholder activism and strategies you should be implementing now for effective engagement in 2018.

BioTaiwan 2017 06-28-2017

The Firm is a Gold Sponsor of BioTaiwan 2017, hosted by the Taiwan Bio Industry Organization. Taking place in Taipei, BioTaiwan is one of the largest biotechnology and life sciences conferences in Asia. 

The Golden State of Governance – 2017 National Conference 06-28-2017

V&E partner Kai Liekefett will be speaking at the “Activists at the Gate? Lessons for Small & Mid-Cap Companies” session on Friday, June 30. This discussion will cover shareholder activism and hostile takeovers as well as leading defense practices.

U.S. Real Estate Opportunity & Private Funds Investing Forum 06-25-2017

IMN is hosting the 18th Annual U.S. Real Estate Opportunity and Private Fund Investing Forum in Newport, RI, June 25-27, 2017. V&E is a Bronze level sponsor to the conference, with attendees from the largest real estate private equity funds, LPs, and an assortment of service providers.

Conducting Internal Investigations and Avoiding Retaliation Claims 06-22-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideV&E lawyers will discuss investigation planning, fact gathering, ways to reduce costs, interim and final reporting, protecting privilege, and remediation after the investigation.

Young Professionals in Energy NYC - Infrastructure & Innovation 06-21-2017

Join Uncharted Play’s Jessica O. Matthews and Vinson & Elkins' Eliot Cotton as they discuss the challenges that come with implementing clean tech in governments and economies around the world, and the innovation pushing to overcome them.

Tax Reform: Perspectives From Across the Nation - Impact on the Energy Sector 06-21-2017

Join us in Houston for an exciting panel discussion on tax reform and its potential impacts on the energy industry, including oil and gas, power and renewables.

2017 Bench & Bar Conference 06-21-2017

V&E is pleased to be sponsoring the Bench & Bar Conference. The Federal Circuit Bar Association will be hosting its annual Bench & Bar Conference in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho this year.

Benchmark Women in Litigation Forum - West 06-20-2017

V&E partner Jessica Mussallem is participating in a panel discussion entitled, “Government Investigations and Compliance” at the Benchmark Women in Litigation Forum in Palo Alto. 

Trade Secrets Protection and Litigation: How to Respond Effectively When A Company Becomes A Victim of Intellectual Property Theft 06-15-2017

Please join Sandpiper Partners LLC, featuring V&E partners Michael Dry and Craig Tyler, for a half-day summit on a variety of topics.

3rd Annual GAR Live Energy Disputes 06-15-2017

Vinson & Elkins is pleased to be sponsoring the 3rd Annual GAR Live Energy Disputes. The event will feature a series of thought provoking panel discussions and a networking lunch, and will conclude with a drinks reception from 5:15 p.m. onwards.

33rd Annual Texas Federal Tax Institute 06-14-2017

V&E partner John Lynch will speak on "M&A Transactions with Publicly Traded Partnerships, C Corp IPOs, and Up-C Transactions" on Thursday, June 15 at 4:00 p.m.

Harvard's June 2017 Shareholder Engagement Roundtable 06-14-2017

The Shareholder Engagement Roundtable is a component of Harvard Law School’s Program on Corporate Governance. The roundtable will bring together prominent decision-makers with a range of perspectives – from institutional investors, boards of directors, advisers, public authorities, and academic – for an off-the-record discussion.

M&A Transaction Structures, Corporate, Reporting, and Tax Considerations 06-14-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, V&E attorneys will discuss transaction structures for mergers and acquisitions, including Up-Cs and double-dummy mergers.

Popcorn & Principles XV: More Fun at the Movies 06-13-2017

Nothing is more important to a lawyer's long-term success than a fundamental understanding of the rules of professional conduct. 

UT Law’s 24th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference 06-12-2017

Sean Becker is leading a session entitled, Non-Competes Under Attack at UT Law’s 24th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference.

SuperReturn Energy 2017 – Where Private Equity Investors Meet To Shape the Future of Energy Investment 06-12-2017

V&E partner Kaam Sahely will speak on a panel entitled “Playing the Recovery in Midstream & Natural Gas Markets,” which will address how managers are looking to play the recovery of the market, appropriate risk adjusted returns, and future liquid directed opportunities.

Governance and Disclosure: 2017 Season Lessons, 2018 Season Expectations 05-10-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, we discussed key 2017 governance and disclosure developments and trends, including proxy access developments, proxy advisory firms policy changes, executive compensation trends, conflict minerals developments, shareholder proposal trends and recent SEC guidance.

Hunting Pirates at the ITC: A Cost-Effective Approach to Brand Protection 05-09-2017

IP Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WidePiracy is one of the larger threats to brand owners. Going after pirates can be costly and traditional fines from Customs & Border Patrol do little to deter the brazen pirate.

Cybersecurity Preparedness for the Energy Industry 04-28-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis panel discussion with representatives from the infrastructure, public relations and insurance fields discussed the metes and bounds of being “cyber-secure” in today’s energy business.

V&E Sponsors Inaugural Kayo Women’s Real Estate Investment Summit 2017 04-24-2017

V&E was a gold sponsor of Kayo’s inaugural Women’s Real Estate Investment Summit, which took place Monday, April 24th and Tuesday, April 25th in Brooklyn. With over 60 speakers and approximately 200 attendees from 18 states and four countries, the summit showcased diverse perspectives on trends in the real estate and hospitality sectors, with an exciting focus on the experiences of women professionals in the industry.

Patents in the “Age of Experience”: Valuable Property Right or Useless Relic? 04-11-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIt is not news that technology has permeated and revolutionized practically every industry on the planet. While 25 years ago, the dawn of the internet ushered in the “Information Age,” we now find ourselves at the dawn of what some have dubbed the “Experience Age.”

Resetting the Environmental Enforcement Paradigm 04-05-2017

V&E counsel Andrew Stewart presented “Resetting the Environmental Enforcement Paradigm” at the Environmental, Health, Safety & Sustainability (EHS&S) Roundtable in Washington, DC on April 5, 2017.

V&E / Risk Assistance Network + Exchange (RANE) Energy Investment Roundtable 03-02-2017

The energy sector’s recovery from a historic decline in oil prices in 2016 has driven renewed interest in the sector’s investment opportunities. Further fueling this interest is rising demand and advances in technology that are yielding significant cost reductions in the way oil and gas are developed and produced.

Energy Technology Roundtable 02-23-2017

This program addressed technology’s growing impact on the oil and gas industry. The panel discussed cutting edge technologies that are currently impacting the oil and gas industry, the origins and the future of oil and gas technology as well as certain legal and commercial issues to consider when investing in, working with, and/or acquiring energy technology companies.

Alternative Capital: 144A Equity Offerings and Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) 02-22-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis program covered alternatives to traditional forms of capital raising, including 144A Equity Offerings and Special Purposes Acquisition Companies (SPACs). The presentation looked at recent market trends and precedents in such financings.

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 advances its agenda, several environmental NGOs will look to make good on their pledge to rely 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.

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.

Patent in the High Court 2016-2017 01-24-2017

IP Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this presentation, we previewed TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC and Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International and discussed the issues and potential outcomes. We also took one additional step and discussed what these cases may mean to the business of law.

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. 

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 gave an overview of advance preparation measures.

Privcap Media’s 2016 Energy Game Change Conference 12-08-2016

V&E partner Mark Proctor moderated the panel entitled “LP Second Thoughts?” as limited partners discussed co-investing and direct investing in energy deals.

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.

Supreme Court Curbs SEC’s Disgorgement Power: Holds That the SEC Can’t Escape the SOL 06-14-2017

V&E FCPA & Global Anti-Corruption Update E-communication, June 14, 2017

On June 5, 2017, in Kokesh v. SEC, the Supreme Court held that disgorgement by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is subject to the five-year limitations period of 18 U.S.C. § 2462, severely restricting the Commission’s ability to force companies to disgorge profits prior to five years before an action is brought.

Responding to the Inevitable: Common Mistakes in Cyberattack Planning and Responses 06-14-2017

V&E Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Insights E-communication, June 14, 2017

It is not a question of whether your company will experience a cyberattack; rather it is a question of when and how effectively your company responds.

To Dance or Not to Dance: Supreme Court Held Patent Dance Under BPCIA Not Enforceable By Injunction Under Federal Law 06-13-2017

V&E IP Insights E-communication, June 13, 2017

On June 12, 2017, the Supreme Court held that a biosimilar applicant cannot be enjoined under federal law to provide its application and manufacturing information to the reference product sponsor (“RPS”) under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (“BPCIA”).

Two District Court Rulings Are Cautionary Tales About Protecting Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Immunity 06-13-2017

V&E Internal Investigations Update E-communication, June 13, 2017

In twin rulings last month, district courts in Washington D.C. and the Western District of Arkansas ordered the production of memoranda and reports created during corporate internal investigations over the investigating parties’ privilege objections. 

In Rare Reversal, Federal Circuit Says District Court Abused Its Discretion in Failing to Award Attorneys’ Fees 06-06-2017

V&E IP Insights E-communication, June 6, 2017

In a rare reversal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that a district court abused its discretion in denying attorneys’ fees and failing to find a patent owner’s conduct to be “exceptional” under 35 U.S.C. § 285. 

New Cases Test The Patent Venue Waters After TC Heartland 06-02-2017

First published by Law360, June 2, 2017

The first post-TC Heartland patent cases were filed in the Eastern District of Texas on May 26, 2017, providing the first look at the types of cases that are likely to be filed there following the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 22 decision on venue in patent cases. 

New IRS Campaign Targets Non-U.S. Companies That Have Not Filed U.S. Tax Returns 06-01-2017

V&E Tax Update E-communication, June 1, 2017

The IRS has identified non-U.S. companies doing business in the United States and not filing U.S. tax returns as targets for one of its new, issue-driven “campaigns.”

Supreme Court Finds Patent Law Exhausting 05-30-2017

V&E IP Insights E-communication, May 30, 2017

On May 30, 2017, in Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc., No. 15-1189, the Supreme Court reversed the Federal Circuit’s en banc decision on patent exhaustion, holding that a patentee may not rely on a patent infringement claim to restrict a purchaser from using or reselling a product purchased from a patentee or an authorized seller.

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office Successfully Chips Away Privilege Protections in the Investigations Context 05-24-2017

V&E FCPA & Global Anti-Corruption Update E-communication, May 24, 2017

The General Director of the UK’s principal corruption enforcer, the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”), David Green, previously warned companies that the SFO would challenge privilege claims it considers unfounded.

Home Is Where the Heart(land) Is 05-22-2017

V&E IP Insights E-communication, May 22, 2017

On May 22, 2017, in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Grp. Brands LLC, No. 16-341 (May 22, 2017), the Supreme Court disrupted decades of Federal Circuit precedent interpreting the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b).

Trump Administration Aims to Modernize Federal IT Infrastructure and Articulates New Cybersecurity Priorities 05-18-2017

V&E Government Contracts Update E-communication, May 18, 2017

On May 11, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure (the “EO”), an important step in centralizing the government’s strategy for cyber defense and modernizing federal information technology (“IT”) architecture.

Loose Lips Sink Ships . . . And Patents 05-17-2017

V&E IP Insights E-communication, May 17, 2017

On May 11, 2017, in Aylus Networks, Inc. v. Apple Inc., the Federal Circuit ruled that statements made by a patent owner during an inter partes review (“IPR”) proceeding before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) can support a finding of prosecution disclaimer during a district court claim construction proceeding, resolving an issue of first impression.

Welcome Certainty For Investors From 27 OIC Member States 05-09-2017

First published by Law 360, May 9, 2017

Until recently, investors in the 27 states that ratified the Agreement on Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investments of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (the “OIC agreement”) have only had theoretical access to the guarantees of investment protection set out in that agreement.

New Pressure for Energy Over Environment? 05-03-2017

First published by The National Law Journal , May 3, 2017

A well-worn stereotype portrays American corporations and particularly the energy industry as ambivalent at best about the environment.

Another “Operation Car Wash” FCPA Settlement: Federal Court Orders Odebrecht to Pay $2.6 Billion, but Amount Could Have Been Higher 04-21-2017

V&E FCPA & Global Anti-Corruption Update E-communication, April 21, 2017

On Monday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ordered Odebrecht SA, a Brazilian engineering and construction conglomerate, to pay a $93 million criminal penalty to the United States for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).

Qualcomm Strikes Back: Claims Apple “Induced” South Korean Investigation and Fine 04-21-2017

V&E Hi-Tech Update E-communication, April 21, 2017

Qualcomm Inc. recently filed a 139-page answer and counterclaims in Apple Inc. v. Qualcomm Inc., 17-cv-108 (S.D. Cal.), a high-profile case in which Apple alleges that Qualcomm failed to offer fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) licensing terms for essential patents.

NPE Licensee Now, Reluctant ITC Discovery Participant Later: Satisfying Domestic Industry Activity Through Licensees 04-19-2017

V&E Hi-Tech Update E-communication, April 19, 2017

In a decision issued on February 8, 2017, an administrative law judge (“ALJ”) of the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) confirmed that a patent owner can rely on its licensee’s activities to satisfy the “domestic industry” requirement of a Section 337 Investigation (the “Investigation”). 

Buyer Beware: How Violation of a Consent Order Resulted in a $6.2 Million Penalty 04-06-2017

V&E IP Insights E-communication, April 6, 2017

On April 4, 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) upheld its civil penalty of $6.2 million against DeLorme Publishing Company, Inc. and DeLorme InReach LLC (collectively, “DeLorme”), now known as DBN Holding, Inc. and BDN LLC (collectively, “DBN”), for DeLorme’s violation of a consent order. 

Permanent Court of Arbitration Steps in to Appoint an Arbitrator on Behalf of Libya 04-04-2017

V&E International Dispute Resolution Update E-communication, April 4, 2017

Until last week, investors in the 27 States that ratified the Agreement on Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investments of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (the “OIC Agreement”) have only had theoretical access to the guarantees of investment protection set out in that agreement.

D.C. Circuit Throws Out an FCC Junk Fax Prevention Act Rule 04-04-2017

V&E Hi-Tech Update E-communication, April 4, 2017

On March 31, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invalidated a Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) rule requiring advertisers to place opt-out notices on solicited faxes, subject to penalties for noncompliance.

Expat Agreements – The Risks of Taking the Easy Option 06-22-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

There’s a lot to think about when putting together an expat package for an employee who is being sent to work abroad. But when it comes to drafting the employment agreement, employers should think twice before using the company’s standard form agreement for domestic employees.

California on the Hudson? NYC Outlaws Inquiries into Salary History 06-20-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

California has long held the distinction of being the most employee-friendly state when it comes to employment law. In the last year, however, New York City has given the Golden State a run for its money.

EPA Proposes 2-Year Stay on Key Parts of Quad Oa — the 2016 Methane NSPS Rule for the Oil and Gas Industry 06-19-2017

Climate Change Blog

On June 16, 2017, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule that would stay for two years parts of EPA’s June 3, 2016 final rule entitled “Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources,” which amended and established updated new source performance standards (NSPS) for the oil and natural gas sector. This final rule was codified in EPA’s NSPS regulations as Subpart OOOOa to 40 CFR Part 60 or “Quad Oa.” Detailed information about Quad Oa can be found here.

Safeco Gets Another Safe-NO From Eleventh Circuit on FCA Scienter Standard 06-16-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

A recent Eleventh Circuit decision joins the chorus of FCA cases struggling to interpret the scienter requirements in situations where there is more than one objectively reasonable interpretation of a statute, regulation, etc. 

CSB Safety Bulletin Focuses on Companies’ Inadequate Procedures During Non-Routine Maintenance 06-15-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (“CSB”) recently issued a safety bulletin  explaining that companies — and refineries in particular — need to be more systematic when preparing equipment for maintenance operations, to prevent injuries and hazardous conditions.

The Ascendance of 2° Celsius Proposals in ESG Activism 06-15-2017

Climate Change Blog

The 2017 proxy season will be remembered as the first proxy season to see “2° Celsius” shareholder proposals succeed at annual meetings of U.S. public companies.

Is My Employee Recording Me? – Part 2 06-13-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

recently talked about the increasing incidence of employees surreptitiously recording their supervisors or managers during meetings where performance issues or discipline are being discussed, and how some employers had adopted policies prohibiting such recordings in the workplace.

District Court Shreds Defendant's Hopes of Summary Judgment on Materiality Due to Government's "Mixed Signals" 06-13-2017

In a decision earlier this Spring, the D.C. District Court denied cross-motions for summary judgment in a government-intervened implied false certification suit alleging that defendant Capitol Supply sold document shredders through the General Services Administration (“GSA”) website that did not comply with the Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”) because they were manufactured in China.

Investigating Yourself Into Her Majesty’s Doghouse 06-09-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

Last month, the English High Court issued a ruling suggesting that many of the documents generated during a company’s internal investigation of employee misconduct might be discovered and used against the company in criminal prosecutions or civil litigation in England. 

Pro Bono Hero: Zach Howe 06-06-2017

Pro Bono Blog

V&E associate Zach Howe shares his experience in a Texas appeals court representing a client in a case arising out of a divorce proceeding.

President Trump Announces U.S. Exit From the Paris Agreement 06-06-2017

Climate Change Blog

President Trump announced on Thursday, June 1, 2017 that he will pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement. This decision is hugely controversial. Indeed, even Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips, the world’s two largest oil producers, opposed withdrawal. Moreover, nearly every country in the world (including North Korea) has signed onto the Agreement. By withdrawing, the U.S. has become one of only three countries to abstain from participation, joining ranks with Nicaragua and Syria.

Workers' Rights - The UK Election Battleground 06-06-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

You’d be forgiven for tuning out politics at the moment, but we cannot escape the fact that there is a general election just around the corner in the UK, and employment laws are high on the agenda. As we get close to polling day, the Conservative’s lead in the polls remains, but it is looking a lot slimmer than it was a few weeks ago. So what does it mean for workers’ rights if the Conservatives remain in power or if Labour pulls off a shock win? The manifestos of the two leading parties are, perhaps unsurprisingly, vague on the details, but both are trumpeting their commitments to protect workers.

False Claims Act Cert. Monitor: Defendant Asks Court to Resolve Asserted Rule 9(b) Split and Reverse FCA Liability for "Contingent" Obligations 06-02-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

Victaulic, a manufacturer of pipe fittings, asked the Supreme Court in late May to review a Third Circuit decision we have written about twice before in a petition captioned Victaulic Co. v. U.S. ex rel. Customs Fraud Investigations, LLC, No. 16-1398. Victaulic asks the Court to take up two issues: (1) whether Rule 9(b)’s pleading standard requires allegations of an “opportunity for fraud,” of “actual false claims,” or of “particular details of a scheme paired with reliable indicia of fraud,” and (2) whether an alleged failure to pay a “contingent” obligation that arises only after the exercise of discretion by the government is actionable as a reverse FCA claim.

IHS Markit Challenges Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures 06-01-2017

Climate Change Blog

In another chapter in the ongoing debate regarding the future of public company disclosures concerning the environment, the London-based consulting firm IHS Markit Ltd. has issued a lengthy report critiquing the Draft Recommendations published in December 2016 by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). A handful of energy company supermajors provided financial support for the report, entitled Climate-Related Financial Risk and the Oil and Gas Sector.

The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures Calls for Never-Before-Used Scenario Analysis in Public Disclosures 06-01-2017

Climate Change Blog

In December 2016, the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) published Draft Recommendations purporting to set forth “widely adoptable recommendations on climate-related financial disclosures that are applicable to organizations across sectors and jurisdictions.”  Appended to these Draft Recommendations is a Technical Supplement, explaining that the TCFD is calling for companies to analyze and disclose risks related to climate change using a “scenario” analysis. Whether the TCFD’s Draft Recommendations become, in fact, “widely adoptable” will depend in part on how the recommendations square with the current regulatory framework for public company disclosures and how ready companies and the SEC are to support the new methods of analysis and standards for disclosure advocated by the recommendations.

When the Employee Says, "I Want My Lawyer!" 05-30-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

Maybe it’s “Law and Order” but employers are increasingly encountering employees who are unwilling to talk to a human resources manager during investigations unless they can have a lawyer present. I have been asked, “Does an employee have a right to have a lawyer present when he is being questioned about something?” The answer is “No.” While employees in union workplaces do have a right to have a representative present during investigative interviews that could result in discipline, employees – even those represented by unions – do not have a right to have a lawyer present when being questioned by human resources.

Project Spotlight: Part 2 – V&E Guardianship Project 05-25-2017

Pro Bono Blog

Pro Bono projects take different paths – some are short moments in time, some last for years, and still others continue and adjust to different needs in the community. The V&E guardianship project falls into that last category. While we still handle traditional guardianships, for families with wholly incapacitated children, thanks to the hard work of another wonderful legal services organization, our program was able to grow and add another dimension.

Specific Representations and Half-Truths Need Not Apply: D.C. District Court Finds Knowingly Billing at "Significantly Higher than Reasonable" Costs Sufficient for Implied False Certification 05-25-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

In a decision many in the defense bar will argue was wrongly decided, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in U.S. v. DynCorp Int’l LLC ruled that knowingly billing for unreasonable costs can serve as the basis for an implied certification claim under the FCA. The court took an expansive view of implied certification that departs from the Supreme Court’s guidance in Escobar and, we would argue, sidesteps the rigorous materiality requirements emphasized by the Court.

Accommodating Nursing Mothers and Pregnant Employees 05-25-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

Last week, several newspapers ran stories about the Frontier Airlines flight attendants and pilots who filed charges of discrimination with the EEOC in which they complained that the airline had failed to provide accommodations to them so that they could pump breast milk.

Project Spotlight: Part 1 – V&E Guardianship Project 05-23-2017

Pro Bono Blog

V&E Pro Bono Projects come to be in many different ways – from the keen interest of a V&E lawyer, as a result of an inquiring call from a legal service provider or because of a national or international crisis. This project came to be because a former legal services lawyer, now BigLaw Pro Bono Counsel, was just being a parent in the waiting room of a children’s hospital.

Intellectual Property Rights in Complex Cross-Border Operations 05-11-2017

A common problem that arises in complex cross-border operations involving intellectual property is something referred to as the coordination problem. Rights under the law in one country may be exploited under the laws of another country. These problems can be addressed contractually if proper forethought is given.

Interview with Bloomberg Markets on Shareholder Activism 01-30-2017

Bloomberg interviews V&E partner Kai Liekefett on "Why the Fireworks Go Off During Proxy Season."

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, and Appellate partner Michael Heidler have deep experience handling energy appeals, particularly in Texas and Louisiana.

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.

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