Developments around the COVID-19 pandemic continue to move fast and significant changes in the relevant laws continue to evolve. This Client Alert covers three recent developments, including the passage by the United States Senate of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, California’s temporary suspension of the California WARN Act, and significant softening of the Orange County Public Health shelter-in-place regulations. As always, we encourage you to reach out to any member of team listed at the end of this Alert with any questions you may have on these fast moving topics.
How can California public companies prepare for new requirements for diversity on boards of directors and the growing emphasis on transparency in disclosing diversity considerations when selecting board members? We briefly summarize the current board diversity landscape and offer several recommendations for next steps.
Ryan Wilkins, chair of Stradling’s Corporate and Securities
department and leader of the firm’s Public Company
practice group, was quoted in an article published by Law360
on February 15th, “SEC Nudges Cos. Toward More Robust Diversity Disclosures.” The SEC recently updated disclosure guidelines that call upon companies to explain how certain “self-identified diversity characteristics” of directors influence nomination decisions.
Compliance Week interviewed shareholder Ryan Wilkins for a story regarding the steady decline in public offerings. In response to this trend and in an effort to encourage participation in the public markets, incoming SEC chair, Jay Clayton, announced that the Division of Corporate Finance will permit all companies to submit draft registration statements relating to IPOs for review on a non-public basis. Wilkins commented that control is always an issue when companies consider going public. However, he mentioned that “we have seen dual-class stocks come back to an extent in recent years. Issuers continue to have takeover defense provisions in their governing documents.
Stradling shareholder Ryan Wilkins was published in Smart Business in the article "Going Public: How to Prepare Your Company for an Initial Public Offering."