Fiduciary Duty

News & Analysis as of

The Department of Labor’s 2016 Final Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Rule: The Best Interest Contract Exemption

Last month the U.S. Department of Labor published a suite of final regulations governing the fiduciary status of, and prescribing conflict of interest rules that apply to, persons who provide investment advice to...more

DOL Fiduciary Rule Re-Makes Retail IRA Advice

Congress voted this week to de-rail the Department of Labor’s sweeping fiduciary-duty suite of rule-making, but doesn’t have the votes to override the President’s threatened veto....more

“It’s Not a Culture War” – Yet?

On May 23, 2016, at FINRA’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., Richard Ketchum, FINRA’s chairman and CEO, delivered a speech that shed a little light on FINRA’s recent sweep letter relating to firm culture....more

DOL’S New Fiduciary Conflicts of Interest Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced a new suite of Rules that are a game-changer for any Financial Institution that gives investment advice (including rollovers and distributions) to owners or beneficiaries of...more

Case Reminds Insurance Agents to Review Process of Receiving Approval from Insureds Before Submitting Applications to Carriers

Schmidt v. Indiana Insurance Co., No. 22S01-1507-PL-412, Supreme Court of Indiana, December 2, 2015 - Plaintiff was the owner of a house in which he allowed his cousin to live from 2007 to 2009. When the cousin moved...more

SIFMA Releases Draft Municipal Advisor Rule G-42 Compliance Documents

Starting June 23, municipal advisors will be subject to revised Rule 42 and its heightened engagement letter and disclosure obligations. SIFMA has released exposure drafts of compliance documents to help MAs meet those...more

Use of Company Policies To Establish The Violation of A Fiduciary Duty

Plaintiffs often seek discovery on a financial institution’s policies and procedures with an eye towards using that evidence against the institution. If a financial institution’s representative or representatives did not live...more

NAIC Report: 2016 Spring National Meeting

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) held its 2016 Spring National Meeting from April 1 through April 6 in New Orleans, Louisiana. As host, Louisiana provided beautiful weather and bountiful great food....more

It Happened, It Happened: Small 401(k) Plan Sued

I love boxing and one of my favorite fights is when George Foreman shocked the world and knocked out Michael Moorer to become heavyweight champion at age 45. Jim Lampley doing the HBO broadcast proclaimed: “it happened! It...more

Court of Chancery Explains Bad Faith Test

This decision deals with when the actions of directors may be considered to be in bad faith, at least when there is no self-interest involved and the directors are properly informed before taking the time to decide what to...more

Laurie & Monica Out-Action Jack…and Other Fiduciary Duties (Silicon Valley – Episode 22)

Episode 22 provides a decisive and satisfying showdown between Jack’s Box plan and Richard’s consumer platform option. Richard’s not-so-secret skunkworks project is dead, and the team sets to work on the Box believing that...more

The Bottom Line On What Retirement Plan Sponsors Need To Do

I worked for a third party administrator (TPA) for almost 5 years and one of my favorite things about the boss there was that he just wanted to cut to the chase. We had an actuary who developed a speech im- pediment when he...more

Insights: The Delaware Edition - May 2016

This issue focuses on important, developing areas of Delaware corporation law and deal litigation, including the Court of Chancery’s clarification of its evolving views about disclosure-based deal litigation settlements;...more

"Court of Chancery Continues to Clarify Views of Disclosure-Based Deal Litigation Settlements"

As previously discussed in Insights: The Delaware Edition, throughout the second half of 2015, the Delaware Court of Chancery began to question its long-standing practice of approving deal litigation settlements involving...more

DOL Rules that Target Fiduciary Conflict of Interests May Impact Employee Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries

“Middle class economics means that Americans should be able to retire with dignity after a lifetime of hard work. But loopholes in the retirement advice rules have allowed some brokers and other advisers to recommend products...more

"Recent Delaware Cases Clarify Existing Limits and Adopt Novel Condition in Books-and-Records Demands"

Recent Delaware cases have helped clarify the limits of what the Court of Chancery will consider in a books-and-records demand under 8 Del. C. § 220, and one case has adopted a novel condition that defendants may seek to...more

Cybersecurity, Boards and Cyber-Board “Experts”: Caution Should Rule

A continuing frequent question from public companies is how a board should be constituted to oversee cybersecurity. Many public companies foist this additional burden on the audit committee. Those large enough to have a...more

"Delaware Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Aiding-and-Abetting Liability for Financial Advisors"

On November 30, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated opinion in RBC Capital Markets, LLC v. Jervis, No. 140, 2015, 129 A.3d 816 (Del. 2015). The Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Court of Chancery’s...more

"Court of Chancery Addresses Fundamental Issues of Derivative Litigation"

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently issued a trio of notable opinions involving stockholder derivative actions. The opinions addressed fundamental issues of law such as whether particular kinds of stockholder claims are...more

Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule: Employers Should Not Overlook Impact on HSAs

The new Department of Labor rule defining the scope of who is an ERISA fiduciary has caused much consternation among investment professionals. Much of the new rule is focused on reworking the outer fringes of the ERISA...more

Court Upholds Allegedly Unfair Master Limited Partnership Transaction

When alternative entities first came into prominence, questions arose concerning the applicability to them and their stakeholders of corporate law fiduciary duty jurisprudence. Eventually the Delaware General Assembly amended...more

New Jersey Expands Fee-Shifting in Legal Malpractice Actions to Include Non-clients

On April 26, 2016, a sharply divided New Jersey Supreme Court held that attorneys may be liable for counsel fees if they are found to have intentionally breached their fiduciary duty to non-clients. In the matter of Innes v....more

Court Dismisses Fiduciary Claim Between Mortgagor and Mortgagee

In Fornesa v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A., plaintiff sought a damage award against a defendant mortgagor for compensatory and punitive damages, based on alleged predatory lending practices. 2016 Bankr. LEXIS 2011 (S.D. Tex. May 13,...more

SEC Charges State Street Employee For Fraudulent Fees

Transition Management is a service offered by securities professionals to pension funds and other investment managers who are changing fund managers, investment managers or making similar transitions and need to make...more

Court Of Chancery Explains When To Not Enjoin Arbitration

This is another in a line of decisions that explains when the issue of arbitrability should be sent to the arbitrator to decide. ...more

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