Conflicts of Interest

News & Analysis as of

Banks Should Take Note of FINRA 2016 Examination Priorities

Why it matters - The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the independent self-regulatory body for the securities industry, has issued its list of examination priorities for 2016. Banks will recognize many,...more

Advance Conflict Waivers Ineffective Where Subsequent Events Giving Rise To Conflict Not Disclosed, Thus Precluding “Informed...

In Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP v. J-M Manufacturing Co., Inc. (January 29, 2016 - No B256314), Division Four of the Second Appellate District rejected an advance waiver of conflicts included in a law firm’s...more

Private Equity Fund Managers: Annual Compliance Reminders and New Developments

Summary of private equity firms’ compliance obligations, discussion of notable developments in 2015 and outlook for 2016. US federal laws and regulations, as well as the rules of self-regulatory organizations (SROs),...more

Mistakes Happen - How to Respond When They Do

Attorneys are human. They make mistakes. However, how an attorney responds to a mistake may be more important than the mistake itself. In the face of potential civil liability, sanctions or disciplinary proceedings, care...more

Recent Amendments to the Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013

On October 26, 2015 and December 11, 2015, Governor Cuomo signed into law certain clarifying amendments (the “Amendments”) to the provisions of the New York Not-For-Profit Corporation Law that were enacted as part of the...more

The EU Court of Justice Brings to an End Odile Jacob’s Fight Against Lagardère’s Purchase of Vivendi Universal Publishing

By its judgment of 28 January 2016 (C-514/14 P, Editions Odile Jacob SAS v Commission), the European Court of Justice (Court) upheld the General Court of the European Union’s (GCEU) ruling with respect to each of the grounds...more

M&A Team News - January 2016

Here is a look back at the top M&A developments that affected deal-making last year and a look forward to our expectations for 2016....more

DOL Sends Fiduciary Rule to OMB for Review

DOL has indicated that the final rule will be released in the first half of the year. The US Department of Labor (DOL) sent its final Conflict of Interest Rule—Investment Advice (with related exemptions and amendments to...more

FINRA’s Final Equity Research Rules Go Effective; Final Debt Research Rules’ Effective Date Quickly Approaching

In November 2014, FINRA proposed to adopt NASD Rule 2711 as new FINRA Rule 2241, with several modifications, to address conflicts of interest relating to equity research analysts and research reports (“Rule 2241”). FINRA...more

Client Agreement and Failure to Terminate Representation Under the Terms of Client Agreement Results in Firm's Disqualification...

Brief Summary - In 2013, three shareholders sued: (1) each other for breach of fiduciary duties; and (2) their company for involuntary dissolution. The law firm that represented one of the shareholders had been retained...more

Avoiding the Upsurge in Trust, Probate and Estate Planning Malpractice

The number of lawsuits against trust, probate and estate planning attorneys has significantly increased over the last several years. Today, trust, probate and estate planing attorneys are charged with legal malpractice and...more

Court Of Chancery Rejects Settlement Because Of Named Plaintiff Conflict

Smollar v. Potarazu, C.A. No. 10287-VCN (January 14, 2016) - This decision points out the hazard in providing a separate benefit to the named plaintiff in connection with the settlement of a derivative suit....more

Court Granted Summary Judgment For A Trustee On A Fiduciary Breach Claim Arising From Conflict-Of-Interest and Diversification...

In Adams v. Regions Bank, beneficiaries sued a trustee for multiple claims, including breach of fiduciary duty, arising from the trustee’s seizure of collateral owned by the trust. 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1027 (S.D. Miss....more

"Challenging the Selection of Party-Appointed Arbitrators"

As arbitration continues to be widely utilized in international commerce, the issue of how arbitrators should handle conflict checks, and who is suitable for appointment as arbitrator in complex cases, will remain a vital...more

Changing the Changes: 2015 Revisions to the New York Non-Profit Revitalization Act of 2013

The Non-Profit Revitalization Act of 2013 (the “2013 Act”) carried out the first major overhaul of the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (the "NPCL") in four decades. A number of changes to the 2013 Act were enacted in...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds ERISA Disability and Life Benefit Denials

In two decisions issued last month, the Fifth Circuit upheld ERISA plan denials of disability and life benefits, confirming its deferential approach in most ERISA benefit cases....more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission resolved actions with SAC Capital founder Steven Cohen and the former Chairman of Dewey & Leboeuf in addition to filing settled actions against Goldman Sachs and State Street. The agency also filed another...more

SEC Publishes Guidance on Mutual Fund Distribution and Sub-Accounting Fees

On January 6, 2016, the staff (the “Staff”) of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management published guidance (the “Guidance”) containing the Staff’s views and recommendations relating to mutual fund distribution and...more

FINRA Releases 2016 Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter

On Jan. 5, 2016, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) issued its annual Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter (“2016 Examination Letter” or “Letter”), along with a press release from FINRA chairman and...more

Court Allows Class Member Self-Identification Where Employer Failed to Retain Records

The Northern District of California recently certified a class of employees in an action against an auto parts store for failure to reimburse expenses. Plaintiff alleged that the defendant required certain management-level...more

No Per Se Ethical Violation for "Subject Matter Conflicts"

Maling v. Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP - In a case that was watched by the entire patent law community with some fascination, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts concluded on December 23,...more

FINRA’s 2016 Focus - Proactive Compliance in Innovative Market

On January 5, 2016 FINRA released its annual Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter identifying its 2016 areas of focus, as well as areas of historical focus. FINRA identified three priority focus areas for 2016: (1)...more

FINRA’s 2016 Regulatory and Examination Priorities

On January 5, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority released its Regulatory Examination Priorities Letter, which identified its three main areas of focus for the year: (1) Culture, Conflicts of Interest and Ethics; (2)...more

FINRA’s 2016 Priorities: Fives on the Fifth

FINRA released its annual Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter (so-called “Errico Letter”) on January 5. FINRA’s top five priorities: Among the also-rans, industry participants will recognize many perennial favorites,...more

Court Affirmed Summary Judgment For Defendant/Attorney Regarding A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim Arising From A Conflict of...

In Macias v. Gomez, a client sued his attorney for breach of fiduciary duty arising from the attorney’s trust later suing the client. No. 13-14-00017-CV, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 12967 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi December 29, 2015,...more

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