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Financial Services

  • A Hat Tip to the Manufacturing, R&D and Electric Power Industries: California Bill Would Provide Income Tax Credits for Sales and Use and District Taxes Paid on Certain “Qualified Tangible Personal Property”

    On May 22, 2023, the California Assembly unanimously passed a bill that, if enacted, would provide a significant benefit to California businesses that make capital investments in manufacturing, research and development (R&D), and electric power machinery and equipment in California. The bill, Assembly Bill 52 (AB 52), would provide income tax credits in an amount equal to the sales and use and district taxes paid on qualified tangible personal property primarily used in manufacturing, R&D, and electric power generation or production, or storage and distribution. The credit would complement the existing partial sales and use tax exemption under California Revenue and Taxation Code (RTC) section 6377.1, effectively giving taxpayers with sufficient California income tax liability a full sales and use tax exemption on such qualified tangible personal property.

  • Florida’s Response to ESG Investing

    As many financial institutions and investment managers move towards integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their decision making, Governor DeSantis signed a new law that prohibits reliance on ESG when it comes to Florida’s funds.

  • No Cutting the (Priority) Line!: Incidental Beneficiaries to Assumed Contracts and Leases Cannot Assert Cure Claims Against Debtors

    The Second Circuit held that a creditor seeking to assert a cure claim must have a contractual right to payment under the assumed contract or lease, and accordingly, a creditor with only a tangential or incidental interest in a contract or lease cannot assert a cure claim. (See In re George Washington Bridge Bus Station Development Venture LLC, No. 21-2050-bk, 2023 WL 2847175, 2d Cir. Apr. 10, 2023.) To allow otherwise would subvert Congress’s intent in creating a priority scheme for bankruptcy cases and contradict the language of section 365 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, because parties with no legal rights would get paid before creditors with legal rights to payment. The Second Circuit left unanswered whether intended beneficiaries can assert cure claims, but hinted that intended beneficiaries should be entitled to the protections afforded to counterparties to assumed contracts because they have a right to performance.

  • Los Angeles Initiative Seeks to Impose $450,000 Cap on Annual Compensation of Executives in Health Care Facilities

    An initiative submitted by the Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) seeks to limit the annual compensation of health care executives in the city of Los Angeles to $450,000 per year. Entitled the “Limit Excessive Healthcare Executive Compensation Ordinance,” the initiative argues that health care executives should not receive higher compensation than the U.S. President, whose compensation is set by federal statute in 3 U.S.C. § 102 (Compensation of the President). Employing a similar legislative strategy, the initiative proposes a cap on the compensation of health care administrative professionals with executive, managerial or administrative duties, i.e., CEOs, CFOs, executive vice presidents and similar administrators, at privately owned health care facilities located in the city of Los Angeles. Covered health care facilities would include licensed general acute care hospitals, acute psychiatric hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and even residential care facilities for the elderly. Notably, medical professionals that provide medical services, research, patient care or other non-administrative services are excluded from the compensation cap.

  • Court of Appeals Finds That Insurers May Not Participate in Bankruptcy Negotiations by Invoking an Insured’s Duty to Cooperate

    In Truck Ins. Exch. v. Kaiser Gypsum Co. (In re Kaiser Gypsum Co.), 60 F.4th 73 (4th Cir. 2023), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit found that an insured’s duty to cooperate under its general liability insurance policies, which require the insured to assist and cooperate with litigation-related defense, does not give its insurer the right to negotiate the terms of a chapter 11 plan in the insured’s asbestos bankruptcy because the duty to cooperate is limited to “traditional litigation activities.” The Fourth Circuit also found that the insurer was not a “party in interest” and lacked standing to object to the plan because, by leaving the insurer’s rights and obligations under the policy intact, the plan was “insurance neutral.”

  • New DOJ Clawback Policy Brings Compensation and Employment Questions Front and Center for Companies

    On March 2, 2023, Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Lisa Monaco announced a new Criminal Division policy for Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors to consider the implementation of compensation clawback policies as an important factor in corporate criminal resolutions. This policy is aimed at incentivizing both public and private companies to incorporate clawback clauses into contracts and compensation policies for employees, officers and directors.

  • Alternating Current Yields Alternating Decisions on Bankruptcy Priority Treatment

    Scientists have been puzzling over the nature of electricity since as early as 565 B.C., when the Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus experimented by rubbing amber on fur to attract feathers. Thales, however, did not have to ponder the legal nature of the static electricity he observed.

  • The SEC’s Fast-Approaching Cybersecurity Overhaul for Public Companies and Regulated Entities

    In remarks last year, Gary Gensler, Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made clear that the SEC “has a role to play” in regulating cybersecurity in the name of “maintaining orderly markets.” That role cannot be overstated.

  • What to Expect from the New York Department of Financial Services in 2023

    The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) is responsible for the supervision of financial services companies operating in New York, including all New York state-chartered banks, insurance companies and producers, companies engaged in virtual currency activity, money services businesses, mortgage lenders and servicers, other non-depository lenders, credit reporting agencies and student loan servicers. According to its most recent annual report, NYDFS supervises approximately 3,000 financial institutions with assets exceeding $8.8 trillion.

  • SEC Enforcement: 2022 Year in Review

    The SEC’s Enforcement Division had a banner year in 2022—Chair Gary Gensler’s first full year on the job—validating predictions that Chair Gensler’s tenure would usher in a new era of aggressive enforcement. We expect the Enforcement Division to continue its aggressive approach in 2023, as the staff pursues the Chair’s priorities including ESG, digital assets, cybersecurity and insider trading.

  • New York Department of Financial Services Rule Will Require Banks to Collect Demographic Data with Commercial Credit Applications

    On October 26, 2022, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) issued a revised proposed rule that, when finalized, will require New York banks to collect detailed demographic and financial data, including whether the applicant is a minority- or women-owned business (NYDFS Rule), when accepting business credit applications. Although the NYDFS is proposing this rule to fulfill a recent legislative amendment to the New York Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), it will have a broad impact on the commercial lending operations of New York banks that will extend far beyond the scope of their CRA obligations.

  • Prepare for Arrival: Aviation Finance Transitions to SOFR

    Term SOFR emerges as the new market standard for aviation financing and leasing transactions.

  • New York Bankers Must Consider Forbearance, Other Consumer Protection in Response to COVID-19

    With the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the country, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.9 (“EO 202.9”), dated March 21, 2020, containing a broad requirement for forbearance and relief from banking fees for those experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. EO 202.9 is operative until April 20, 2020.