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For more than one hundred years the law firm of Sonfield & Sonfield has been providing legal services to the financial services industry and to companies seeking access to capital markets, tracing its roots back to 1898 in the City of Houston, Texas when Leon Sonfield was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Texas. Today, Robert Leon Sonfield, Jr., the grandson of Judge Leon Sonfield, serves as managing director of the firm.

The firm provides specialized services in the areas of securities regulation, federal income taxation, financial services consulting and regulatory consulting as well as consultation on emerging issues concerning innovative and complex financing, IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, and capital markets access.

DTC PROPOSES RULES FOR REMOVING CHILLS

A DTC Chill can come in one of two forms: (i) suspension of clearing, settlement, and depository services, or (i) suspension of all services.The first is referred to as a “Deposit Chill” and the second as a “Global Lock.” Proposed procedures for removing Deposit Chills and Global Locks: Read more.

SEC PROPOSED TO LIMIT REGULATION D PUBLIC OFFERING

The SEC is concerned about the effects of new Rule 506(c), general solicitation in Regulation D offerings. The Commission has proposed rules that will limit the use of new Rule 506(c) by issuers. For its part, the SEC says it is merely trying to "enhance [its] ability to evaluate the development of market practices in Rule 506 offerings and to address concerns that may arise in connection with permitting issuers to engage in general solicitation and general advertising" under Rule 506 (c).Read more.

INTRODUCTION TO THE NYSE & NYSE MKT

An overview.Read more.

JOBS ACT: THE SEC BELATEDLY ADOPTED AMENDMENTS TO THE PRIVATE OFFERING RULES

Congress passed the Jumpstart our Business Startups (JOBS) Act in April 2012, a game-changing piece of legislation, which directed the SEC to adopt rules permitting general solicitation and advertising in private offerings of securities by July 2, 2012.  Read more.

QUIET PERIOD

During a Quiet Period, a publicly-listed company cannot make any announcements about anything that could cause a normal investor to change their position on the company's stock. The SEC interprets this rule broadly, even including board members, management, and employees talking about the company. Read more.

SEC SAYS SOCIAL MEDIA OK FOR COMPANY ANNOUNCEMENTS IF INVESTORS ARE ALERTED

The Securities and Exchange Commission today issued a report that makes clear that companies can use social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to announce key information in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) so long as investors have been alerted about which social media will be used to disseminate such information. Read more.

RESALES OF RESTRICTED SECURITIES UNDER SECTION 4(1-1/2)

Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Act”) exempts from registration “transactions by an issuer not involving any public offering.”  Read more.

THE SEC’s NEW WHISTLEBLOWER RULES: NOW WHAT?

The changes made by the Securities and Exchange Commission to the whistleblower rules, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act, have garnered a great deal of attention from the corporate community.  Read more.

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History of the Firm

The firm's past is interwoven with its future, both in terms of its professionals and historical and modern legal work that still set precedents today.

The law practice began in 1898, the year of the conflict between Spain and the United States known as the Spanish–American War. The most decisive and bloodiest battle of the war, the Battle of San Juan Hill, Cuba, was also the greatest victory for the Rough Riders, commanded by the future Vice-President and later President, Theodore Roosevelt.

Colonel Roosevelt and his Rough Riders at the top of the hill which they captured, Battle of San Juan

Colonel Roosevelt and his Rough Riders at the top of the hill which they captured, Battle of San Juan, 1898

83 years later, Theodore Roosevelt's grandnephew, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., joined the legal team at Sonfield & Sonfield where he was a part until his death on his 74th birthday, August 17, 1988.

In 1898 Leon Sonfield began the Sonfield law practice, after many years as a Methodist minister. In 1916 his eldest son, Robert L. Sonfield, Sr., graduated from the University of Texas College of Law and joined him to create the firm of Sonfield & Sonfield.

The United States declared war on Germany in April, 1917, and Robert L Sonfield, Sr., volunteered into the Texas National Guard, and then Lt. Sonfield served.

1918 through 1921, Leon Sonfield's focus on the firm was also interrupted by his appointment to what functioned then as the Supreme Court of Texas. After his term, he sat as special Chief Justice of the Court of Civil Appeals and his dissent in Davis v. Texas Co. No 8008. Court of Civil Appeals of Texas, Galveston, March 25, 1921 became the landmark mineral law decision which established the law governing mineral rights and landowners in Texas. This decision still guides mineral rights law today.

Robert Leon Sonfield, Sr.

Robert Leon Sonfield, Sr.

Captain Sonfield served his country in World War I and II and retired as Colonel Sonfield. His varied responsibilities included Staff Judge Advocate of the Infantry School, Ft. Benning Georgia. Assigned to the Inter-Allied Commission on the repatriation of Russian and allied prisoners of war in 1919, he was the first Texan to enter Berlin after signing of the armistice.

 

Between the wars Robert Leon Sonfield, Sr. successfully defended the City of West University Place ordinance to charge utilities rental for use of public streets before the Supreme Court of the United States. Fleming et al v. Houston Lighting & Power co., 138 SW 2d520 (Tex. 1040).

In 1924 the Judge's youngest son, George McNeil Sonfield, completed his studies at The George Washington University Law School, Washington D.C. and the third Sonfield joined the firm.

In 1959, Robert L. Sonfield, Jr. joined the firm as the youngest Sonfield. He completed his law studies at the University of Houston College of Law and the study of securities law at Harvard University Law School and taxation at New York University.

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Sonfield & Sonfield, 2500 Wilcrest, Suite 300, Houston, Texas 77042 713.877.8333 robert@sonfield.com

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