Mutual Fund Litigation and Enforcement

Dechert’s litigators and enforcement lawyers offer fund clients an unparalleled combination of litigation expertise, regulatory knowledge and deep industry relationships. It is not just our clients who recognize what our mutual fund lawyers bring to the table – Dechert has been retained by the Investment Company Institute to serve as the legal voice of the fund industry in several precedent-setting lawsuits.

Trusted Experience, Global Reach
With dedicated partners in six offices across the United States – plus a global platform of experienced financial services lawyers – our team has the multi-jurisdictional capabilities and judgment to successfully guide clients through increased regulatory scrutiny and public and media attention, as well as to defeat an active plaintiffs’ bar driving litigation disputes all over the world.

In-Depth Industry Knowledge
For well over a decade, Dechert has been called upon by many of the country’s leading fund complexes, advisers, boards, and industry organizations. Based upon that experience, and our close work with our experienced financial services lawyers, we have developed a deep understanding of the fund industry. We routinely work on matters challenging practices at the core of the industry, including fund disclosures, adviser compensation, and fund governance, just to name a few. We also handle matters involving a wide range of fund products and complex investments, including derivatives, futures, and asset-backed securities.

At the Forefront of Mutual Fund Litigation Developments
Dechert regularly defends fund industry clients in high stakes litigation and enforcement proceedings under a host of federal and state laws. We have been called upon to handle matters from the appellate level to the trenches in trial courts across the country. We litigate claims under the federal securities laws and the 1940 Act, class claims alleging market manipulation under the Commodity Exchange Act, derivative cases, FINRA arbitrations and the new wave of bankruptcy “clawback” litigation claims being pursued against fund complexes and other financial service providers.

Landmark Representations, Benchmark Victories
Our clients have scored landmark victories in mutual fund class action litigation resulting from our innovative and aggressive approach. We are skilled at facilitating pretrial resolutions to disputes, frequently winning motions to dismiss, defeating class certification, obtaining summary judgments or voluntary dismissal of claims, and negotiating favorable global settlements. When cases advance beyond the pretrial stage, Dechert’s litigation lawyers have the trial skills necessary to litigate and win cases before state supreme courts, multiple federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Demonstrated Track Record with Enforcement Authorities
Dechert has been at the forefront of regulatory proceedings on behalf of investment advisors, mutual funds, fund trustees and broker dealers in more than 80 recent enforcement investigations and dozens of internal investigations relating to critical issues such as risk disclosures, portfolio valuation, 12b-1 fees, market timing, revenue-sharing, “shelf-space,” directed brokerage, soft dollar, valuation, gifts and gratuities, breakpoint discounts, and analyst and insider trading. We have substantial experience in negotiating and working with enforcement authorities involved in such matters nationwide.

Proven Strategies for Successful Resolutions of Complex Proceedings
We also have extensive experience with the full range of potential fund related proceedings, including:

  • FINRA investigations
  • FINRA investor arbitrations
  • State Attorneys General and regulator investigations
  • Derivative demands and Special Litigation Committees
  • MDL proceedings

We know the players focused on mutual funds and their potential strategies – and we have developed successful defenses and resolutions efficiently based on this experience.

Representative Clients

  • American Independence Funds 
  • Franklin Templeton
  • Harbor Funds
  • Investment Company Institute
  • John Hancock Advisors
  • Lincoln National Funds
  • Lord, Abbett & Co.
  • MassMutual Funds
  • Munder Capital Management, Inc.
  • OppenheimerFunds, Inc.
  • Pacific Life
  • Russell Investments
  • Rydex Investments
  • Schwab Investments
  • SEI Investments
  • Sun Capital Advisors
  • T. Rowe Price