8 October 2004 LAWFUEL – Law, attorney, legal, law firm newsInternational convergence and co-operation were the themes of the interactive public forum broadcast from the SEC Headquarters in Washington DC and hosted by Allen & Overy in London on 7 October 2004.
“Live from the SEC” is an annual fixture on the SEC’s calendar and one of the principal means by which the SEC delivers its current views on relevant international securities law issues to legal practitioners, law students and members of the financial community throughout the world.
This year saw a dramatic increase in the size and scope of the forum, underlining the SEC’s determination to become more accessible to the international legal and financial communities. Approximately 2000 people at more than 60 sites participated in the broadcast, with significant audiences in London, Frankfurt, Paris, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Bermuda, Toronto, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and New York, and, six of the leading law schools in the United States also took part. Apart from the SEC’s headquarters, Allen & Overy’s London office was the only interactive site .
At “Live from the SEC”, Commissioner Roel Campos emphasised the importance of regulatory convergence in disclosure and accounting standards. He noted that co-operation between U.S. and international regulators would lead to more harmonisation in the field of international financial regulation and, over time, would promote “greater trust” between countries.
Scott Taub, Deputy Chief Accountant (Office of the Chief Accountant) said, in keeping with the theme of convergence, that the SEC may consider revisiting the U.S. GAAP reconciliation requirements. This would follow the expected significant increase in the number of filings with financial statements (prepared in accordance with IFRS) following the required adoption of IFRS for public companies in many parts of the world starting in 2005.
Gay Huey Evans, Director of the Markets Division, the Financial Services Authority, briefed the audience on new European Union initiatives in the financial services sector and called on regulators to continue to promote harmonisation across major jurisdictions.
Jeff Golden, US Law Group partner and co-chair of the International Securities Committee of the ABA Section of International Law and Practice commented:
“The markets attach considerable importance to regular dialogue and consultation by regulators with market participants and their advisers as well as with regulators from other jurisdictions. ‘Live from SEC’ is a helpful example of both approaches”.