Disgorgement or Accounting for Profits? An Analysis of Liu v. SEC

In Liu v. SEC (June 22, 2020), the Supreme Court of the United States held, in an enforcement action by the Securities and Exchange Commission, that a disgorgement order that did not exceed a wrongdoer’s net profits and was awarded for victims constituted “equitable relief” that was permissible under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78u(d)(5), rather than punitive sanctions, which were historically excluded from the definition of “equitable relief” under the Act.

This episode of Reasonably Speaking will discuss the Supreme Court’s decision, both the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and whether the Court’s reference to “equitable relief” includes the remedy of “disgorgement.” Douglas Laycock (UVA Law), who filed an amiscus brief in support of neither party, will lead Andrew Kull (Texas Law) and Caprice L. Roberts (GW Law) through the discussion.

A transcript of the episode is available here. Please excuse typos due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

The views and opinions expressed on Reasonably Speaking are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of The American Law Institute or the speakers’ organizations. The content presented in this broadcast is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Please be advised that episodes of Reasonably Speaking explore complex and often sensitive legal topics and may contain mature content. 

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Published: 2020


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