Philadelphia Doug Raymond was quoted in an article titled, “Going All In: Drinker Biddle's Finance Practice Gives Clients Full Backing,” in The Legal Intelligencer.
The article discussed how word got out last month of a settlement between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a former executive of GSI Commerce over charges the executive encouraged insider trading in advance of GSI's sale to eBay was an example of dozens of insider trading cases the SEC brings every year.
For the mergers and acquisitions attorneys working on public company deals, the policing of insider trading is something that has to fall largely on the shoulders of the SEC and the public companies themselves.
Doug said he views his role as one of not just ensuring his clients don't break the laws on insider trading that many executives are already aware of, but also making sure they don't do anything that could cause the SEC to open an investigation regardless of whether charges are ultimately filed.
“The people who are involved in transactions like this are very sophisticated and they do know basically what's going on, but I also think that it is incredibly important to remind them ... you're not necessarily trying to help them win the lawsuit when it's filed ... you are trying to avoid ever getting that call in the first instance. So it just requires being more sensitive to these issues than just staying on the right side of the law.”
That might mean not just advising against trading their own stock, but as was the issue in the GSI matter, advising them not to have any family or friends trade the stock or even mention the deal they are working on to a family or friend who may on their own determine to make a trade based on that information, Doug said.
To view the entire article in The Legal Intelligencer, click here.