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Hawke Discusses Recent Challenges to SEC’s Climate-Related Disclosure Rule

April 4, 2024

Securities Enforcement Litigation partner Daniel Hawke was recently quoted in the POLITICO article, “Liberty in the courts.” The article discusses the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) climate-related disclosure rule, which was recently approved by the SEC and requires large public companies to provide climate-related information in their registration statements and annual reports, as well as to authorize the disclosure of climate-related risks that have a material impact on their business strategy, operations, or financial condition.

The article notes that companies and business groups have sued over the rule, particularly mentioning a Denver-based fracking company whose lawsuit in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals led to a temporary stay placed on the SEC rule. The company recently filed suit in federal court in Texas last week, choosing to pursue its fight against the SEC rule on its own, despite multiple others relying on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to lead their lawsuits. “It’s clearly an offensive strategy,” Hawke, a former senior officer in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, told POLITICO. “It’s a strategy that involves a very early attack on the rule. They are sticking their necks out in the sense that they are suing their regulator. In my experience, companies often do not want to be at war with their regulator.”

Read the full article (subscription required).