Alison Frankel | Securities lawyers beware: The SEC may be coming after you

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Alison Frankel | Securities lawyers beware: The SEC may be coming after you

Alison Frankel | Securities lawyers beware: The SEC may be coming after you

Alison Frankel-

If you’re a lawyer who advises securities issuers, there was an ominous confluence of events Friday. Kenneth Lench of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Enforcement Division said publicly, according to Bloomberg, that the SEC is considering enforcement actions against lawyers who helped put together dubious transactions involving complex securities. And quicker than you could say Janus Capital v. First Derivative, the full Commission issued a notice that it’s reviewing the scope of protection the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2011 ruling offers secondary-player defendants in enforcement actions. (Hat tip: Securities Law Prof Blog.)

The Janus decision, you’ll recall, held that Janus Capital wasn’t liable for the alleged misstatements its mutual funds made in an offering prospectuses. The Supreme Court said that only the funds “made” the offending statements, no matter how much of a behind-the-scenes role the parent company played. Janus hasn’t turned out to be an absolute bar on claims against financial advisers — National Century bondholders won a summary judgment ruling last month that permits them to proceed with their securities fraud case against Credit Suisse — but continued the line of Supreme Court rulings that has made it increasingly difficult for investors to tag secondary players with liability.

[ON THE CASE -REUTERS]

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