United States

US tax implications for “hard forks” and “air drops”

The US Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) on October 9, 2019, issued long-anticipated guidance on cryptocurrency transactions and federal tax rules in Revenue Ruling 2019-24, which focuses on “hard forks” and “air drops.” In 2014, the IRS issued a revenue ruling on the capital gains taxation treatment of purchases and sales of cryptocurrency. However, other questions … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether SEC may obtain disgorgement of “ill-gotten gains”

On November 1, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take a case challenging the authority of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to seek and obtain disgorgement of profits from persons who violate the federal securities laws. The case is Charles C. Liu, et al., Petitioners v. Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC has … Continue Reading

LabCFTC importance is elevated and US financial regulators join the FinTech “Global Sandbox”

On October 24, 2019, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Chairman Heath P. Tarbert announced that LabCFTC would become its own independent office within the agency, reporting directly to him. LabCFTC was established in 2017 within the Office of General Counsel to promote financial technology (“FinTech”) innovation and was designed to be a hub for … Continue Reading

New webinar series: Global asset management regulation

To be successful with the launch of an overseas fund, asset managers need to familiarize themselves with legal structures and operational differences as well as an array of regulatory requirements, which can differ between investors and jurisdictions. Our global financial services regulatory team have launched an on-demand webinar series exploring the key issues and requirements … Continue Reading

US banks may soon be able to “SAFEly” serve customers in the cannabis business

On September 25, 2019, the US House of Representatives passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019 (or the SAFE Banking Act). The bill, H.R. 1595, which was first introduced by Congressman Ed Perlmutter on March 7, 2019, generally prohibits US banking regulators from penalizing banks for providing financial services to legitimate cannabis-related … Continue Reading

The European Commission and the UK Government agree the text of a new Brexit deal

On 17 October 2019, the European Commission reached an agreement at negotiator level with the UK on a revised Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland and a revised Political Declaration on the framework of the future EU-UK relationship. The revised Protocol is no longer an insurance policy that applies unless and until the EU and … Continue Reading

Three US Agencies issue joint statement on activities involving digital assets

On October 11, 2019, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the US anti-money laundering (AML) agency, along with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) (collectively, the “Agencies”) issued a joint statement on digital assets activities (“Statement”), reminding the businesses under their jurisdictions that digital assets activities may be … Continue Reading

Can cryptocurrency issuers get “backed” into a corner?

What do cryptocurrency issuers mean when they say their cryptocurrency is “backed” by some other asset, such as fiat currency? In a recent New York Law Journal column, Robert Schwinger, a partner in the New York office of Norton Rose Fulbright, discusses some of the legal issues arising from claims by cryptocurrency issuers that their … Continue Reading

First Data Access Agreement under the CLOUD Act signed by UK and US

On 3 October 2019, the UK and US governments signed the first bilateral Data Access Agreement (the Agreement) under the US Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act 2018 (CLOUD Act) and the UK Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Act 2019. The Agreement seeks to facilitate faster and more direct access by each country’s agencies in criminal … Continue Reading

SEC orders Block.one to pay $24 million penalty for unregistered ICO

On September 30, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced a settlement with Block.one, a blockchain technology company with operations in Virginia and Hong Kong, for conducting an unregistered initial coin offering (“ICO”) that raised several billion dollars’ worth of Ether from June 2017 through June 2018. The SEC alleged that Block.one, a Cayman … Continue Reading

Updated briefing slides: Doing business in the EU

We have recently updated our briefing slides on the measures that Member States are implementing for a no-deal Brexit. In particular, the slides include a new section on Luxembourg and updates to the following jurisdictions: Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Finland and Spain. The briefing slides can be accessed here. Our Brexit Pathfinder hub is a … Continue Reading

New webinar recording – Brexit: the final countdown?

The recording from our latest 40 minute briefing webinar is now available. In this webinar our London team discuss what they are seeing in the market as firms make their preparations for a no deal Brexit. They also cover the PRA and FCA temporary transitional relief powers and ask the question of what legal and … Continue Reading

Recent Volcker Rule changes and non-US banks

The Volcker Rule prohibits “banking entities” (generally, insured banks and their affiliates, and non-US banks with US banking operations) from engaging in proprietary trading or sponsoring or investing in private equity funds. Regulations initially implementing the rule were adopted by the federal banking, commodities and securities regulators (Agencies) in 2014. In 2018, the Agencies proposed … Continue Reading

UK Supreme Court rules that the suspension of Parliament was unlawful

On 24 September 2019, the UK Supreme Court ruled that the Government’s suspension of Parliament was unlawful. The UK Supreme Court judgment can be found here. Key points in the judgment include: Paragraph 52: to the question of whether the Prime Minister’s advice to the Queen concerning the suspension of Parliament was lawful, the Supreme … Continue Reading

German regulator updates its guidance on the EU-US Covered Agreement

The German regulator BaFin has updated its guidance on the conduct of reinsurance business by US insurers in Germany under the provisions of the 2017 EU-US Covered Agreement (“Bilateral Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on prudential measures regarding insurance and reinsurance”). An English language version has also been published, … Continue Reading

FINRA (and selected SEC) regulatory matters at a glance: What compliance officers need to know

Glen Barrentine is Of Counsel in the New York office of Norton Rose Fulbright. His practice focuses broadly on SEC regulated financial service clients, including broker-dealers, securities exchanges, municipal advisors and investment advisers. Glen frequency represents clients in connection with SEC and FINRA enforcement proceedings and other contentious regulatory inquiries, purchases and sales, and the … Continue Reading

Finalization of proposed changes to Volcker Rule begins

On August 20, 2019, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) became the first two of the five agencies required to approve final amendments to the Volcker Rule that were proposed last year. Our blog post on the proposal may be accessed here. Highlights of the final rule include … Continue Reading

Cryptocurrency exchange intends to raise $130 Million through an IPO

On August 19, 2019, INX Limited (together with its affiliates, “INX”) filed a Form F-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) stating their intention to raise up to approximately $130 million through a registered initial public offering (“IPO”). If approved by the SEC, this would be the first security token sale registered with the … Continue Reading

United States imposes additional sanctions involving Russia and Venezuela

The US Government recently imposed additional economic sanctions with respect to Russia and Venezuela. Norton Rose Fulbright has prepared legal updates discussing these developments: US imposes second round of CBW Act sanctions on Russia, authored by Partners Stefan Reisinger and Steven McNabb, Senior Counsel Kimberly Caine, and Associate Wenda Tang in our Washington DC Office. … Continue Reading

FINRA (and selected SEC) regulatory matters at a glance: What compliance officers need to know

Glen Barrentine, who recently joined as Of Counsel in the New York Office of Norton Rose Fulbright, has extensive experience in regulatory, compliance and enforcement issues affecting financial service companies, particularly broker-dealers, investment advisers, municipal advisors, and securities exchanges. He prepares a monthly update on FINRA (and selected SEC) regulatory matters at a glance, focusing … Continue Reading

US bank regulators extend Volcker Rule no-action position for certain non-US funds

On July 17, 2019, the time period for a no-action position with respect to enforcement action under the Volcker Rule for certain non-US funds was extended for two more years. On July 21, 2017, the Federal Reserve Board, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “US Banking Agencies”), issued … Continue Reading
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