Attorney Spotlight: Kevin Douglas

October 1, 2019
Attorney Spotlight

Tell us about your practice.

I practice in the corporate and securities area, with a focus on public company work while also representing private companies. I work with clients across a spectrum of industries, including the hospital, hospitality, financial, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, payment processing, and home healthcare industries. The span of my practice includes mergers and acquisitions, Exchange Act reporting matters, capital markets, corporate governance, shareholder activism, executive compensation, and general corporate and securities laws compliance.

What is an interesting trend happening right now related to your field of practice?

I think that the evolution of how public companies approach non-GAAP financial measures in their public filings continues to be an interesting subject. After a significant period of liberalization and expansion of the use of non-GAAP financial measures by public companies (at times encouraged by the SEC), the SEC released broad guidance in May 2016 setting forth various limitations regarding the use of non-GAAP financial measures which restricted certain common disclosure practices at that time. Later in 2016, the SEC Division of Enforcement conducted an enforcement sweep of public companies focused on historical non-compliance with the SEC’s non-GAAP financial measure rules.

Following these developments, public companies have increased their focus on compliance with the SEC’s non-GAAP financial measure rules, although perhaps not quite to the same degree as in the wake of the 2016 enforcement sweep. The most recent development is an enforcement action brought by the SEC Division of Enforcement against a public company and certain of its senior executives for the improper use of non-GAAP financial measures which settled in August 2019, serving as a reminder that public companies should remain vigilant about non-GAAP financial measure compliance in the current environment.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in the legal field?

I was a history major in college, and I thought (probably correctly) that my employment prospects were better in law than in a field such as being a history professor. In addition, I have always enjoyed reading and viewing issues through an analytical/critical lens, and thus law seemed to be a natural profession for me. I enjoy the practice of corporate law at Bass, Berry & Sims, and believe I made the right career choice. In this regard, I have been fortunate to work with many great individuals both at clients and at the firm over the years, and enjoy the opportunity to be able to work collaboratively with clients and colleagues on sophisticated and challenging legal matters as part of this profession.