Conflicts of Interest

News & Analysis as of

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - May 2015 #3

SEC Proposals to Enhance Investment Company and Investment Adviser Reporting: As we went to press, the SEC commissioners announced that they had voted to approve two proposals. The first was for new and amended rules and...more

Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies That Section 102(b)(7) Charter Provisions May Be Basis For Dismissal At The Pleading Stage In...

On May 14, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court clarified that, even in conflict-of-interest transactions subject to "entire fairness" review, breach of fiduciary duty claims against independent, disinterested directors should be...more

DOL’s Proposal To Expand Fiduciary Definition Would Bring Many Service Providers Into Scope

As we previously reported, the US Department of Labor (DOL) released its reproposed rule “Definition of the Term ‘Fiduciary’; Conflict of Interest Rule—Investment Advice” on April 14. The initial deadline for comments on the...more

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

Update of the AMF Doctrine on French Professional Specialized Funds - The AMF updated its Instruction n° 2012-06 specifying the rules to be followed (i) for the drafting of the prospectus of a French Professional...more

Asset Management Firm Pays $12 Million in Settlement of SEC Conflict of Interest Case

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is showing new vigor in enforcing conflict of interest cases within asset management firms. Earlier this year, an SEC spokeswoman mentioned that the Commission has...more

New Jersey’s Investment Pay-to-Play Law Remains Unchanged in the Wake of Governor Christie’s Conditional Veto

On Monday, Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed Senate Bill No. 2430, which sought to expand New Jersey’s pay-to-play laws governing State investments. The current law requires external investment managers of State...more

Settlement with Large Firm Audit Partner Reaffirms SEC’s Emphasis on Related Party Disclosures

The SEC’s Division of Enforcement has made a concerted effort in recent months to warn auditors and other corporate “gatekeepers” that it intends to scrutinize the adequacy of related party disclosures in financial filings. ...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: The Broader Lesson of the El Paso Pipeline Decision

Alternative entities, such as limited partnerships and limited liability companies, have an advantage over corporations because of the greater flexibility to define the terms of the arrangement by contract. ...more

SEC Announces a Maximum Whistleblower Award to an Employee Who Faced Employment Retaliation as a Consequence of Reporting...

In June of last year, Paradigm Capital Management agreed to pay the SEC nearly $2 million to settle allegations that it violated the Dodd-Frank Act’s conflict-of-interest rules and unlawfully retaliated against the...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The SEC announced its first whistleblower award in a retaliation case this week. The agency also brought an insider trading case, an action against an investment adviser, its general counsel and auditor based on a conflict, a...more

Director Equity Grants Subject to Entire Fairness Review

In Valma v. Templeton et al, the Delaware Court of Chancery held that grants of restricted stock units, or RSUs, to directors of Citrix Systems, Inc. were subject to an entire fairness standard of review. The court found...more

"Insights Conversations: Joint Venture Agreements"

Joint venture (JV) arrangements offer parties a number of benefits and opportunities they wouldn’t be able to realize on their own. However, because a poorly drafted JV agreement can present significant pitfalls, careful...more

SEC Sanctions Adviser, and its CEO, GC and Auditor Based on Conflicts

Conflicts of interest are a central focus for the SEC. Indeed, conflicts are at the core of many of the actions brought against regulated entities. And, an undisclosed conflict was at the center of actions brought against a...more

DOL Re-Proposes Rule to make Brokers, Others, ERISA Fiduciaries

After almost five years of debate, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) is again trying to modify the ERISA definition of “fiduciary” as it relates to providing investment advice. On April 14, 2015, DOL re-proposed rules (the...more

It’s All About the Process: Lessons from Delaware Court on MLP’s Conflicts Committee Approval

On April 20, 2015, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a post-trial opinion in the case In Re: El Paso Pipeline Partners L.P. (C.A. No. 7141-VCL), finding El Paso Pipeline GP Company LLC, the general partner (GP) of El Paso...more

"French M&A: More Proactive Boards Could Improve Tender Offer Process"

Because many publicly listed companies in France have significant or controlling shareholders, public tender offers have the potential to create conflicts of interest within the board room. These conflicts arise whether the...more

Firm Sanctioned for Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Violation of the Compliance Rule

The SEC sanctioned a registered investment adviser for breaching its fiduciary duty by failing to disclose to its clients a conflict of interest created by a portfolio manager’s outside business activity and personal...more

The DOL Seeks an Ideal Balance in a Brave New World of “Investment Advice” Under ERISA

The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) on April 14, 2015 issued the long-awaited re-proposal (the “2015 Proposed Regulations”) of the regulations defining “investment advice” in connection with the “fiduciary” rules under...more

BlackRock, CCO Settle SEC Conflict Charges

Conflicts of interest involving market professionals continue to be a focus of SEC enforcement. In many cases the conflict is uncovered by the inspection staff, OCIE. This time, however, the information came from an article...more

Entire In-House Legal Department Disqualified Following Lateral Hire - A Closer Look at Dynamic 3D Geosolutions, LLC v....

This court opinion demonstrates that in-house legal departments can and will be treated the same as traditional law firms when it comes to imputation of conflicts and the resulting potential for...more

DOL Proposes New Fiduciary Rule

Maybe it wasn’t Moses speaking from Mount Sinai, but the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a new fiduciary rule that will change how retirement plan providers give advice. This is a re-proposal of a rule that was previously...more

Labor Department Proposes Fiduciary Conflict of Interest Rules — Again

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reissued the long-awaited re-proposal of its regulation expanding the definition of "fiduciary" under the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), and...more

California Legislators Seek to Mandate More Transparency and Accountability in Government

In the wake of various investigative reports and public scandals, three California lawmakers have proposed reform legislation aimed at providing greater transparency and accountability in government. Three separate bills, now...more

DOL Fiduciary Rule to Revamp Regulation of Advice to Plans and IRAs

Reproposal would broaden the fiduciary definition, narrow exceptions, and substantially revise prohibited transaction exemptions applicable to current and newly covered fiduciaries....more

Department of Labor Proposes New Regulations on Fiduciary Advice

The U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) has reissued long-awaited proposed regulations describing the circumstances in which a person who provides investment advice in connection with a retirement plan or individual retirement...more

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