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News & Publications >> Press & Media >> Ethical Obligations May Prevent Voluntary SEC Reporting

Ethical Obligations May Prevent Voluntary SEC Reporting

Keith P. Bishop in The American Lawyer

A nine-year-old Securities and Exchange Commission rule that allows—but does not compel—attorneys to share confidential client information with the agency has troubled some lawyers since it was adopted. But Keith Paul Bishop, a partner at Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis, says a single line contained in a recent SEC court filing may make those lawyers feel better. The SEC filed an amicus brief last week in a whistleblower case, Liu Meng-Lin v. Siemens AG, in which it argued that public companies should report material violations of securities laws or any breach of fiduciary duty. But Bishop points to the agency's acknowledgement that voluntary reporting to the SEC may be precluded by attorneys’ “ethical obligations to their clients.”