In The News

The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s Quote Tax & Benefits Attorney on the DOJ Letter on the Fiduciary Rule.

Practices: Tax, Investment Management, ERISA, Investment Advisers, Investment Management Compliance

An article published by The Wall Street Journal’s MoneyBeat on Aug. 25 discusses the Department of Justice’s recent letter that clarifies how the Labor Department’s review of the fiduciary rule is evolving. A follow up WSJ piece on Aug. 30 reports that the Office of Management & Budget has approved the Labor Department’s request to delay the fiduciary rule’s final compliance deadline until July 1, 2019. Both articles quote tax & benefits associate Josh Lichtenstein (New York). “The [Justice Department’s] letter states that the mandatory arbitration waiver under the best interest contract exemption is likely to be mooted,” states Mr. Lichtenstein in the first piece, noting this isn’t surprising given that the re-evaluation of the regulation ordered by President Donald Trump is focused in part on whether the fiduciary rule would cause an increase in litigation.

Mr. Lichtenstein is also cited in an article published by Barron’s on Aug. 25 outlining that the class-action provision within the fiduciary rule is likely to be removed, and again in a follow up piece by Barron’s on Sept. 1 discussing the implications of this. Mr. Lichtenstein outlines that the Trump administration appears to be shifting away from class-action lawsuits as an enforcement tool toward the use of state-law breach of contract claims.