UPDATED WITH DETAIL ON THE AGREEMENT
No details yet, but Reuters is reporting that Bank of America and the SEC have reached a deal in the Merrill bonuses lawsuit.
It is unclear if the “agreement” includes a resolution of the case or just an agreement on the turnover of documents previously withheld due to attorney-client privilege.
The SEC says that, if approved, the agreement would result in a broad waiver of BofA’s attorney-client privilege, Reuters is reporting.
Now that Bank of America has agreed to turn over at least some documents showing the advice they received from lawyers during the merger, Rakoff could be more inclined to approve it.
The WSJ article detailing Bank of America’s agreement to turn some documents discusses how that might impact the SEC case.
WSJ: The bank is also negotiating a waiver of certain documents relating to a lawsuit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC deal, said people familiar with the situation, would require approval of [Rakoff] and allow the bank to control the scope of the documents released, potentially limiting who gains access to the documents and testimony resulting from a waiver.
CNBC has additional details on the proposed agreement, including a statement from the SEC.
CNBC: “In particular, the order negotiated by the SEC would allow us to assess further details surrounding the Bank’s failure to disclose to its shareholders critical information concerning the award of bonuses to Merrill employees, including any relevant information previously withheld based on attorney-client or other privileges,” SEC Spokesman John Heine said in the statement.
The order would allow the SEC to investigate details of Bank of America’s decisions about whether to disclose impairment of goodwill and other financial results of Merrill Lynch during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2008 as well as its communications with the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and other federal officials regarding aid.
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