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U.S. Supreme Court Changes Fiduciary Rules for Retirement Plans with Employer Stock

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision affects fiduciaries of retirement plans that have investments in employer stock. In the decision, the Supreme Court held that a retirement plan fiduciary is not entitled to a presumption...more

What Should the Trustee of a Private ESOP Do?

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently entered into an agreement with GreatBanc Trust Company settling claims relating to its service as trustee of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) holding stock of a private company....more

SEC Charges Hedge Fund Adviser with Engaging in Prohibited Principal Transactions and Retaliating Against Whistleblower

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issued a cease and desist order on June 16, 2014 (the Order) against Paradigm Capital Management, Inc. (Paradigm) and its founder, Director, President and Chief...more

Employee Benefits Update: Unanimous Supreme Court Issues ERISA Fiduciary Duty Opinion

On June 25, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, which is likely to change the future of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) stock drop litigation. ...more

Supreme Court Refocuses the 11th Circuit in its Review of an ESOP Fiduciary's Duty of Prudence.

Two years ago, when called upon to address an ESOP fiduciary’s duty of prudence in the context of a motion to dismiss, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals followed a long line of cases: “We join our five sister circuits in...more

Supreme Court Rejects Presumption for ERISA Fiduciaries, But Makes Clear Stock-Drop Claims Are Difficult to Sustain

What you need to know: In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, et al., decided earlier this month, the Supreme Court seemingly handed a victory to the plaintiff’s bar, striking down a presumption of prudence that ERISA...more

Investment Management Update

In July 2014, the SEC settled the previously reported proceeding involving Chariot Advisors, and its former owner, Elliott Shifman, concerning charges of violating and aiding and abetting the violation of Section 15(c) of the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Abolishes the Presumption of Prudence in ERISA Stock Drop Cases

A recurring scenario in ERISA litigation involves claims against fiduciaries of 401(k) retirement plans who are alleged to have breached their fiduciary duty by failing to discontinue investment in employer stock following a...more

Banking & Financial Services E-Note

In This Issue: - 70 Countries Agree to Share Bank Information in Tax Evasion Probe - Financial Industry Pushes Back Against Proposed ERISA Requirements - Federal Reserve Proposes Tougher Stress Tests for...more

Supreme Court Rejects Presumption of Prudence for ESOP Fiduciaries

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States, in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoffer, declared that no “presumption of prudence” applied to fiduciaries of “employee stock ownership plans” (ESOPs). ...more

Supreme Court Axes "Presumption of Prudence" in ESOP Stock-Drop Cases

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that gives comfort to "stock-drop" plaintiffs and may cause shockwaves among employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) fiduciary committees. In Fifth Third Bancorp v....more

Supreme Court Rejects “Presumption of Prudence,” Adopts New Pleading Standards in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer

The Supreme Court of the United States has issued its highly anticipated decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, No. 12-751. In an opinion written by Justice Breyer for a unanimous court, the Supreme Court held...more

DOL Settlement Is a Cautionary Tale for ESOP Trustees

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently settled a case involving an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) that provides guidance but also a warning for trustees and employers contemplating ESOP transactions that later go awry....more

IRS Pursues 409A Audits, Issues Ruling on Certain Options/SARs under 457A

IRS audits signal focus on Section 409A compliance; Revenue Ruling makes certain nonqualified options and stock appreciation rights more attractive for offshore entities. The IRS has begun its limited audit initiative...more

SEC Settles with Hedge Fund Adviser over Principal Transactions and Retaliation Against Whistleblower

The SEC settled administrative proceedings against an investment adviser, Paradigm Capital Management, Inc. (the “Adviser”), and Candace King Weir, the Adviser’s principal owner (the “Principal”), over violations of the...more

The Supreme Court Of The United States Holds That ESOP Fiduciaries Are Not Entitled To A Presumption Of Prudence, Clarifies...

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously held that there is no special presumption of prudence for fiduciaries of employee stock ownership plans (“ESOPs”). Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, No....more

ESOP Fiduciaries Not Entitled to Presumption of Prudence

In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that there is no presumption of prudence for fiduciaries of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) who invest in employer securities. The case...more

Supreme Court Abolishes Presumption of Prudence in ERISA Stock-Drop Cases But Sets High Bar for Plaintiffs

In an opinion that reversed nearly two decades of lower-court ERISA class action jurisprudence, the Supreme Court axed the well-established “presumption of prudence” in ERISA “stock-drop” cases. On June 25, the Court issued...more

ESOPs’ Fables: On Winning Wars but Losing Battles

As the end of the Supreme Court term approached, decisions came down fast and furious. Last week’s big decisions, at least around our nerdish water cooler, were Halliburton and Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer. (Yes, we...more

Supreme Court’s Dudenhoeffer Decision Headlines New ERISA Litigation Update

Goodwin Procter’s ERISA Litigation Practice published its latest quarterly ERISA Litigation Update. The update discusses (1) the Supreme Court’s ruling in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer that there is no “presumption of...more

SEC Enforces First-Ever Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently entered into a $2.2 million settlement agreement with Paradigm Capital Management Inc. and its owner Candace King Weir, in its first-ever action enforcing whistleblower...more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Stock Drop Challenge on Grounds Unrelated to Moench

Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, the central issue in nearly every case alleging the imprudent investment of plan assets in employer stock has revolved around whether plan...more

France Facilitates Implementation of Whistleblowing Systems

In France, before implementing a whistleblowing process, a company must inform and consult with its employees’ representatives, inform its employees and notify the French Data Protection Agency (CNIL). There are two...more

The Danger of Retaliating Against Whistleblowers

Every company claims that they encourage a “speak up” culture. As part of a “speak up” culture, companies encourage managers and employees to raise concerns about potential violations and promise not to retaliate against...more

Dudenhoeffer Eschews Moench Presumption But Encourages Careful Scrutiny Of Complaints: Future for ERISA Stock-Drop Litigation Is...

Certain retirement plans, such as employee stock ownership plans (“ESOPs”), are specifically designed to invest all or a portion of their assets in stock of the sponsoring employer. For nearly twenty years, the federal courts...more

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