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Do Investment Advisers Automatically Have Fiduciary Duties to Their Clients?

I always thought they did. But on Friday I read this sentence: “An investment advisor-client relationship is not a de jure fiduciary relationship.” It sort of jumped out at me, because for a long time I’ve assumed that an...more

"The New Mutual Fund Exception: Ninth Circuit Allows Direct Claims to Redress Derivative Injury"

Courts have sought to simplify their approach to determining whether an action is derivative or direct — a determination that the Delaware Supreme Court has acknowledged “is sometimes difficult.” Tooley v. Donaldson, Lufkin &...more

SEC Commissioner Gallagher: Guidance is Needed For IA CCOs

SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher published a statement explaining his dissent in two recent enforcement actions in which the Chief Compliance Officer of an investment adviser was charged, noting that the trend in such...more

SEC Charges Advisory Firm to Sports Figures and Officers With Fraud

The SEC filed two actions centered on an advisory firm that serves on high net worth individuals, primarily current and former professional athletes. The actions are based on the theft of client funds and a failure to...more

A Sign of Things to Come: Securities and Futures Trends Analysis: Greater Corporate and Individual Accountability for Regulatory...

2008 marked the height of the global financial crisis. The intervening years have seen criticism of financial regulators, a variety of enforcement activities and a raft of regulatory reforms. Hong Kong and its Securities and...more

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Takes Expansive View of Investment Advisor’s Liability Under Blue Sky Law in Hays v. Ellrich

Last week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) handed down Hays v. Ellrich, a decision with important implications for the investor advising community. The case is significant for two reasons. First, even though...more

SEC Sues For-profit College Over Alleged Loan Fraud

A major for-profit education corporation is facing a lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) because of allegedly fraudulent activity by the company’s chief executive officer and chief financial...more

Another SEC Insider Trading Case: Does it Comply With Newman?

The SEC continues to bolster its allegations regarding the relationships between tipper and tippee in insider trading cases as well as the knowledge of the tippee. Whether those allegations will be sufficient to meet the...more

SEC Files Financial Fraud Actions, Mired In Controversy

In the wake of the market crisis and the formation of a task force, the SEC has sought to focus in part on financial fraud actions. The action filed at the close of last week against Computer Sciences Corporation and seven of...more

Investment Funds Update - Europe: Legal and regulatory updates for the funds industry from the key asset management centres and...

Enforcement – FCA Fines £13.2 Million for Transaction Reporting Failures - The FCA fined Merrill Lynch International (MLI) £13.2 million on 22 April 2015 for incorrectly reporting 35,034,810 transactions and failing to...more

Delaware Chancery Approves a Books and Records Request Concerning Alleged Subsidiary Fraud in Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and...

In Oklahoma Firefighters Pension & Ret. Sys. v. Citigroup Inc., No. CV 9587-ML (VCN), 2015 WL 1884453 (Del. Ch. Apr. 24, 2015), a Delaware Chancery Court judge found that Del. Code Ann. tit. 8, § 220 (“Section 220”) permitted...more

The Impact of Newman on SEC Enforcement: Part IV

This is the fourth segment of a five part series discussing the impact of the Second Circuit’s ruling in Newman on SEC insider trading cases. Post Newman SEC Actions (continued) - 2. Administrative proceedings...more

Delaware Supreme Court Holds That Plaintiffs Must Specifically Plead Non-Exculpated Claims Against Disinterested Directors in...

In In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. Stockholder Litigation/Leal v. Meeks, the Delaware Supreme Court reversed decisions of the Delaware Chancery Court denying director-defendants’ motions to dismiss breach of fiduciary...more

Seventh Circuit Reverses $2.46 Billion Judgment in Securities-Fraud Class Action

The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit last week reversed a $2.46 billion judgment in a long-running securities-fraud class action against Household International and granted a new trial on limited issues. The opinion...more

Exercising Registration Rights Did Not Violate Fiduciary Duties

Molycorp, Inc. is a publically traded Delaware corporation engaged in a the production and sale of rare earth oxides. Private equity investors held 44% of Molycorp’s stock, appointed certain directors and had demand...more

Liability for Statements of Opinion–New Clarity from the Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund resolved a clear split in the federal courts of appeal regarding when statements of opinion may give...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission filed and insider trading case in tandem with the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office against a father and son based on repeated trades in advance of deal announcements even after FINRA initiated an investigation...more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of ERISA Stock Drop Claims

The Second Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of an ERISA stock drop class action because, like the district court, it held that Named Plaintiff Debra Taveras lacked constitutional standing to pursue her claims. Taveras...more

Investment Professional Charged with Fraud, Self-Dealing by SEC

The SEC charged another investment professional with fraud and self-dealing. SEC v. Ahmed, Civil Action No. 3:15-cv-00675 (D. Conn. Filed May 5, 2015). Defendant Iftikar Ahmed is an investment professional who was a partner...more

SEC Files Fraud Action Centered on Student Loans

Student loans, and the debt burdening many students at graduation, is an important political topic. It is not generally a subject for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Nevertheless, at the center of is most recent...more

Delaware Dismisses Caremark Claim Against DuPont

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently dismissed a derivative action in Ironworkers District Council of Philadelphia & Vicinity Retirement & Pension Plan v. Andreotti et al. One of the many claims alleged was a Caremark...more

FDIC Receivership Precludes Shareholder Suit Against Failed Bank

Why it matters - A shareholder suit against a bank holding company and its directors and officers was precluded by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) receivership of the underlying failed bank, the...more

The Preliminary Merits Test for Secondary Market Claims is Not Just a “Speed Bump” to Certification: The Supreme Court of Canada...

Following amendments made in the last decade to various provincial Securities Acts to include statutory causes of action in the secondary market against public issuers for misrepresentation and/or failure to make timely...more

SEC Files Another Market Crisis Case

The market crisis of the last decade seems to have a never ending dribble of cases. The SEC filed another this week, naming four former officers of Wilmington Trust Company as defendants. SEC v. Gibson (D.Del. Filed May 6,...more

Can You Sue Only One Conspirator After Dismissing Its Co-Conspirators?

Can you sue an alleged conspirator without suing the other parties to the alleged conspiracy? That was one of the questions addressed by Judge Gale in the decision last week in Loftin v. QA Investments LLC, 2015 NCBC 41....more

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