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Corporations and securities law brief ~ Morgan Stanley CEO retiring under legal cloud

[JURIST] Leading Monday's corporations and securities law news, embattled Morgan Stanley [corporate website] CEO Philip Purcell [Wikipedia profile], has announced his retirement. Purcell has recently faced criticism from shareholders and former company executives for Morgan Stanley’s financial and legal troubles. His retirement follows a string of high-profile departures from the company. Read the Morgan Stanley press release. Bloomberg has more.

In other corporations and securities law news...

  • Unicredito [corporate website] and troubled German bank HVB Group [corporate website] have announced a merger, with Unicredito paying $23.2bn for HVB and its Eastern European subsidiaries. The merger is expected to cost nearly 9,000 HVB jobs. HVB unions initially hoped the German government would intervene, but the government is not expected to interfere with the merger. Read the Unicredito press release [registration required]. BBC News has more.

  • The SEC [official website] is requesting information from the new CEO of HP [corporate website], Mark Hurd [official biography], regarding his selling stock of his former company NCR [corporate website]. Shortly before he left, he sold about 36,000 shares of NCR stock. Hurd may have committed insider trading if he knew he was under consideration for the HP job at the time. Business Week has more.

  • The US Justice Department [official website] is offering a controversial new option to companies charged with corporate fraud [JURIST news archive]. The companies may now disclose information about discussions between their employees and company lawyers in exchange for more lenient treatment for the corporation. The plan is in response to massive job losses following corporate fraud at companies such as Arthur Andersen [Wikipedia profile]. Conversations between lawyers and employees are generally protected from criminal investigation. By waiving that privilege the companies can escape serious punishment, but will open their employees up to criminal prosecution. The plan is intended to target the primary law-breakers and save jobs. AP has more.

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