BRT Files Court Brief Supporting Authority of SEC, Companies to Negotiate Settlements | Business Roundtable


  • General Inquiries
  • Mailing Address
    300 New Jersey Avenue, NW
    Suite 800
    Washington, D.C. 20001
  • Media Contact
    Betsy Andres
    Senior Director

Membership Contact
LeAnne Redick Wilson
Senior Vice President


What is Business Roundtable

Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy.


Washington – Business Roundtable (BRT) yesterday filed an amicus brief supporting the authority of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to settle complaints with businesses through the use of consent decrees.

Such settlements, in which a company is not required to concede liability, help reach timely conclusions to SEC complaints while preventing costly litigation, BRT argued in the brief filed in the Second U.S. Court of Appeals in the case, United States Securities and Exchange Commission v. Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

"Companies might be unwilling or unable to settle enforcement actions if they are forced to respond to each and every one of an agency's allegations," BRT President John Engler said.  "The result will be delay, costs and continued uncertainty."

In November 2011, U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff of the Southern District of New York took the unusual step of rejecting a consent decree negotiated between the SEC and Citigroup.  BRT's amicus brief described the rejection as a "novel, and potentially dangerous, approach" toward judicial review of settlement agreements.

In urging reversal of the district court's decision, BRT's brief argues further:  "If district courts are allowed to second-guess negotiated resolutions on the ground that the underlying facts have not been definitively established, agencies will be severely hampered in their ability to bring and conclude enforcement actions; respondents will be forced litigate to judgment when the cost of settlement may be less than the value of vindication; and the already overburdened judiciary will be clogged with unnecessary litigation."

In January 2012, BRT filed an amicus brief challenging Rakoff's decision.  A three-member panel of the Second Circuit stayed the judge's ruling on March 15 on largely procedural grounds.  The next stage, which BRT's new brief addresses, will examine the merits of the case. 

Momentum for America

Solutions to Expand Jobs & Grow the U.S. Economy

In 2016, Business Roundtable will focus its efforts on greater job expansion and economic growth – national priorities that are inextricably linked. Informing our plan is our collective business experience as CEOs of America’s leading companies, experience that tells us what it takes to build momentum for the United States in in 2016 and beyond.


Member Spotlight

Vice- Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
State Farm Insurance Companies