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The M&A Advisor Winner 2017The M&A Advisor announced the winners of the 16th Annual M&A Advisor Awards on Monday, November 13 at the 2017 M&A Advisor Awards. Bass, Berry & Sims was named a winner in the two categories related to the following deals:

M&A Deal of the Year (from $1B-$5B) – Acquisition of CLARCOR Inc. by Parker Hannifin Corporation

Corporate/Strategic Deal of the Year (over $1B) – Acquisition of BNC Bancorp by Pinnacle Financial Partners

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Regulation A+

It seems that lately there has been a noticeable uptick in Regulation A+ activity, including several recent Reg A+ securities offerings where the stock now successfully trades on national exchanges. In light of this activity, we have published a set of FAQs about Regulation A+ securities offerings to help companies better understand this "mini-IPO" offering process, as well as pros and cons compared to a traditional underwritten IPO.

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Supreme Court Decision Favors Arbitration Clauses in Bank Deposit Agreements

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October 18, 2012

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion sent a resounding message in favor of arbitration clauses and class action waivers in consumer contracts.1 The high Court strengthened that message for banks last week by declining to review rulings enforcing arbitration clauses in bank deposit agreements.2

Buffington v. SunTrust Banks, Inc. and Hough v. Regions Fin. Corp. are part of a wave of class action litigation across the country challenging banks' processing order for debit card and ATM transactions and the effect that processing order has on customers' overdraft fees.3 SunTrust and Regions were swept into a massive multidistrict litigation proceeding in the Southern District of Florida in which the court has issued several plaintiff-friendly decisions. The district court continued its trend in favor of plaintiffs by denying SunTrust's and Regions' motions to compel arbitration. Both banks appealed.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court, finding that the banks' arbitration clauses were enforceable and applicable. The court noted that The Federal Arbitration Act reflects a "liberal federal policy favoring arbitrations," providing that arbitration agreements "shall be . . . enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for [their] revocation."4 The court rejected arguments that the specific arbitration clauses at issue were either procedurally or substantively unconscionable, finding that the clauses were consistent with Georgia law, were not particularly one-sided and were conspicuous.

By declining to review the Eleventh Circuit's decision in favor of the banks' arbitration agreements, the Supreme Court has effectively confirmed that the liberal federal policy in favor of arbitration applies to consumer contracts. Banks should review their deposit agreements to determine whether to include arbitration clauses and class action waivers, and if so, how those clauses should be worded. Our financial institutions attorneys are experienced in drafting these clauses and representing banks in court proceedings, arbitrations and regulatory proceedings.


1 AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740, 1745 (2011).
2 Buffington v. SunTrust Banks, Inc., No. 12-146, 2012 U.S. LEXIS 7890 (Oct. 9, 2012); Hough v. Regions Fin. Corp., No. 12-139, 2012 U.S. LEXIS 7880 (Oct. 9, 2012).
3 In re Checking Account Overdraft Litg., 459 Fed. Appx. 855 (11th Cir. 2012); Hough v. Regions Fin. Corp., 672 F.3d 1224 (11th Cir. 2012).
4 9 U.S.C. § 2 (2012).


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