Fiduciary Duty

News & Analysis as of

Universities: Growing Concern With Explosion of Retirement Plan Fee-Related Lawsuits

In a concerning development for universities and other institutions of higher learning nationwide, a growing number of schools, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Yale University, Johns...more

The Problem with Prospective Injunctive Relief

There are several practices in class action litigation that really only work if you squint real hard and accept that, as a practical if not a doctrinal matter, class actions are just “different” than other litigation. These...more

Court Of Chancery Determines Fee In A Transitory Property Case

When a derivative suit is settled in connection with a merger that cashed out minority stockholders, it makes sense to have the settlement proceeds go to those stockholders in proportion to their ownership....more

What’s Happening in Delaware M&A – Summer 2016

This update provides a summary of recent Delaware caselaw and statutory developments concerning mergers and acquisitions, including new cases regarding appraisal rights, fraud claims and fiduciary duty and deal process...more

Multiple Universities Sued Over 403(b) Retirement Plan Investment Fees

In the last several days, a number of large private universities have been sued regarding the investment fees in their 403(b) retirement plans. The lawsuits claim that these universities breached their fiduciary duties under...more

California Passes Digital Assets Law

Following in the footsteps of numerous other states, California became the newest state to pass a digital assets bill, which allows individuals to access social media accounts, music accounts, gaming accounts or other digital...more

Excessive Fee Litigation Hits 403(b) Plans: What Nonprofit Fiduciaries Need to Know

The recent well-publicized announcement of lawsuits against 403(b) plans of Duke, Yale, NYU, Vanderbilt, and other universities opens a new chapter in ERISA litigation over excessive plan fees. We have reported on this type...more

Religious Institutions Update: August 2016

When was the last time your organization reviewed your insurance policies? Not all policies are equal. Many religious organizations are underinsured. Most should have general liability, property, professional liability,...more

In re Volcano Corporation Stockholder Litigation, C.A. No. 10485-VCMR (Del. Ch. June 30, 2016) (Montgomery-Reeves, V.C.).

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery dismissed claims for breach of fiduciary duty under Chancery Rule 12(b)(6), holding that an irrebuttable business judgment rule standard applies to a merger effected under...more

Seventh Circuit Adopts Trulia Standard for Disclosure-Only Settlements

Last week, in an opinion authored by Judge Richard Posner, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected a proposed class-action settlement arising from Walgreen Co.’s acquisition of the Swiss-based pharmacy...more

Update on Lawsuits Challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule

As we previously reported, there are five pending lawsuits challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule. Our Client Alert on the new rule outlines the significance of the rule and the implications of the...more

Seventh Circuit Brands Disclosure-Only Settlement a “Racket” and Endorses Delaware Court of Chancery’s Stricter Standard for...

In a 2-1 decision, the Seventh Circuit has joined the Delaware Court of Chancery’s call for enhanced scrutiny of “disclosure-only” M&A settlements that involve no monetary benefits to shareholders. As previously discussed,...more

Environmental, Social and Governance Factors: Does Failure to Consider ESG Issues Constitute a Breach of Fiduciary Duty?

Changes made to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act and Regulation (the “Ontario PBA”), which came into force on January 1, 2016, now require a pension plan’s statement of investment policies and procedures (“SIPP”) to include...more

Under Attack: ERISA Class-Action Lawyers Target Colleges and Universities

Class-action lawyers have begun targeting retirement savings plans offered by a number of colleges and universities across the country. These lawsuits are founded in claims of ERISA breaches of fiduciary duty - alleging the...more

The New Front in Retirement Plan Litigation: Higher Education in the Crosshairs

Over the past week, lawsuits have been filed against seven prominent private universities in connection with their respective retirement plans. The suits allege breach of ERISA fiduciary duties to plan participants because...more

Colleges and Universities Targeted in Class Action Lawsuits over Operation of Retirement Plans

Multiple class action lawsuits seeking millions of dollars in damages were filed last week against eight nonprofit universities challenging the administration of their 403(b) retirement plans. The lawsuits, which were all...more

Delaware Law Updates – Court of Chancery Puts Boards of Directors on Notice that Contracting Away Derivative Claims in a Merger...

Vice Chancellor Glasscock has held that a merger designed to eliminate derivative claims against a majority of directors justified the application of the entire fairness standard of review in a direct challenge to the merger....more

Higher ed braces for flood of lawsuits over retirement plans

Numerous colleges and universities sponsor retirement plans—both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC)—to provide retirement income security for their employees. But recently a number of higher education...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 8

Brexit and Structured Products: A Framework for Considering Disclosures - The U.K.’s recent referendum to withdraw from the European Union has affected virtually all segments of the financial industry. The structured...more

Obeid v. Hogan, C.A. No. 11900-VCL (Del. Ch. June 10, 2016) (Laster,VC)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery held that it was an improper abdication of authority for the board of directors of a Delaware limited liability company that had adopted the governance structure of a...more

Hire Me!

Financial Advisers and retail financial services firms face a number of challenges in dealing with the new fiduciary rule the Department of Labor announced this spring. But little did they know that they may confront the...more

ERISA Class Actions Filed Against Higher Education Institutions

Several ERISA breach of fiduciary duty class actions involving allegedly excessive retirement plan fees were filed this week against higher education institutions including colleges, universities, and medical schools. The...more

The Role of BDCs in the Middle Market

Business development companies (“BDCs”) provide an important and growing alternative source of capital to small and middle market companies that may not otherwise have access to bank financing....more

Universities Are Targets of Lawsuits over Retirement Plan Fees

Three lawsuits filed in early August suggest that plaintiffs’ law firms, representing employees of colleges and universities, are looking at higher education retirement plans as potential targets for lawsuits seeking millions...more

The Top Five Responsibilities of a Trustee of a Special Needs Trust

If you are considering taking on the responsibility of serving as the trustee of a special needs trust, you will probably have questions about the trustee's role. Trustees of special needs trusts have many important...more

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