Blank Rome LLP
Blank Rome LLP Partner Adrienne C. Rogove has been appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court as chair of the Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law for the 2017 calendar term. Ms. Rogove previously served as vice-chair of the Committee for the 2015 and 2016 terms.
The Committee has jurisdiction over and investigates complaints involving the unauthorized practice of law, attempts to resolve such matters by way of consent agreement, and refers appropriate matters for prosecution. The Committee also renders advisory opinions on issues arising under its jurisdiction. For more information, please visit www.judiciary.state.nj.us. Continue reading “Blank Rome’s Adrienne Rogove Appointed Chair of the NJ Supreme Court Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law”
Jonathan M. Korn
On August 25, 2016, after a 25-day non-jury trial, Judge Peter Sheridan of the United States District Court of New Jersey issued a 159-page opinion in favor of Blank Rome’s client AXA Equitable Funds Management Group and AXA Equitable Insurance Company (“AXA”) dismissing with prejudice all of Plaintiffs’ claims under the §36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940. Blank Rome served as co-counsel with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.
Plaintiffs brought this action on behalf of mutual fund investors who are contract holders to variable annuity products with AXA. Plaintiffs alleged that the Board of Trustees, who was charged with overseeing the mutual funds, breached its fiduciary duty by approving service contracts that charged excessive management and administrative fees. Plaintiffs’ damage claim was in excess of $550 million and a finding in favor of Plaintiffs would have resulted in a complete alteration of AXA’s fee structure. The case was closely watched within the mutual fund industry, due in part to Plaintiffs’ challenge to AXA’s use of “manager of managers” structure, which is common throughout the industry and the subject of a number of other pending lawsuits. The Court held that Plaintiffs failed to meet their burden to demonstrate that AXA breached their fiduciary duty or show any actual damages.
The Blank Rome team was led by Jonathan Korn with assistance from Jaime Nucifora. A copy of the decision can be reviewed here.