Author: Christopher L. Doerksen

Christopher L. Doerksen

Partner, Corporate
Columbia Center
701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 6100
Seattle, Washington 98104-7043
+1 (206) 903-8856
doerksen.christopher@dorsey.com

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Reviewing Compensation Arrangements for Employees Subject to U.S. Income Tax Before Year-End Could Avoid Costly Tax Penalties

We have written about this in the past [here], but the message bears repeating each year. It is easy to overlook that employment agreements, change-in-control agreements, and severance agreements with U.S. taxpayers frequently contain provisions that subject them to U.S. Internal Revenue Code Section 409A (“Section 409A”), and failure to comply can result in onerous tax...

Canadians Involved in Cannabis Industry Should be Careful Crossing the U.S. Border

With the legalization of marijuana going into effect in Canada tomorrow, October 17, we encourage our Canadian contacts to be careful when crossing the U.S. Border. For more information, see the recent article authored by Dorsey’s Immigration Practice Group posted on our Cannabis Blog here: dorseycann.com/at-the-intersection-of-cannabis-and-u-s-immigration-law-issues-that-canadians-and-other-non-citizens-should-be-aware-of/.

The SEC’s Recent Settlement with Tesla and Elon Musk Teaches Us a Valuable Corporate Governance Lesson

The SEC’s settlement with Tesla and Elon Musk teaches us some important corporate governance lessons on monitoring and vetting executive use of social media. As background, on August 7, 2018, the markets were surprised by a series of tweets initiated by Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, Inc., in which Musk mused about taking Tesla...

What if You Miss the Deadline to File a Form D?

As a continuation of our August 9 post regarding the deadline for Canadian companies to file a Form D for a private placement in the United States, we now address the questions, “What if our company missed the deadline to file a Form D with the SEC?” And, more importantly, “Have we lost our ability to...

Analysis of the 60 Most Recent SEC Comment Letters Issued to Canadian Form 40-F Filers

Since January 1, 2016, the SEC has publicly released its correspondence relating to 60 comment letters sent to Canadian issuers with respect to annual reports filed on Form 40-F pursuant to the Canada-U.S. Multi-Jurisdictional Disclosure System (MJDS). We have analyzed the content and key takeaways from these letters, including: The SEC’s most common areas of...

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Requires More Than a Policy

The recent settlement agreement between Kinross Gold Company and the Securities and Exchange Commission is a reminder to Canadian cross-listed companies that it is not enough to adopt a parent-company level anti-corruption policy designed to promote compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Effective implementation and monitoring at the operating level is also needed....

A Reminder to Track Rule 701 Equity Awards to U.S. Residents

Canadian companies relying on Rule 701 under the Securities Act of 1933 to exempt their U.S. awards of stock options and other types of compensatory equity (such as RSUs and PSUs), need to track on an ongoing basis the amount of grants being made in the United States. If they anticipate that the aggregate dollar...

Common U.S. Securities Problems with Canadian Stock-Based Compensation Plans

We are frequently asked to review Canadian companies’ stock option, restricted share unit (RSU), performance share unit (PSU), deferred share unit (DSU), and other stock-based compensation plans for U.S. securities law purposes, because awards are expected to be made to U.S. residents. For companies that are cross-listed and file reports with the Securities and Exchange...

SEC Issues New Cybersecurity Guidance

On February 26, the SEC published interpretive guidance to assist public companies in preparing disclosures about cybersecurity risks and incidents. The SEC’s new guidance reinforces and expands on its October 2011 guidance, emphasizing the importance of adopting sound cybersecurity policies and procedures and safeguards against insider trading in the event of a potentially material cybersecurity breach....