February 06, 2018

Several members of the Dechert LLP team with Professor David Lipton at the annual CUA Law Dean's Dinner
On February 1, 2018, CUA Law alumni from Dechert LLP hosted a D.C. Alumni Reception with featured guests, CUA Law Professor David A. Lipton and Carl B. Wilkerson, '78, Vice President and Chief Counsel for the American Council of Life Insurers, Securities and Litigation. The guests discussed a proposal to introduce a new fiduciary duty rule to the obligations followed by registered broker-dealers.

Professor Lipton and Wilkerson, while agreeing to disagree, found that they frequently saw the issues in the same light. Both acknowledged that the current case law and exchange rule driven "suitability rule" serves, in many instances, as a fiduciary duty obligation for most broker-dealers. However, as emphasized by Wilkerson, the suitability rule does not always cover the sale of multi-layered insurance products where there are differing rates of commissions for the selling broker. Lipton conceded that there are some situations where the suitability might not be read to cover differential selling prices, but he felt that the existing rule could be read to cover those situations without uprooting years of precedent.

The discussion was introduced by CUA Law Dean Daniel F. Attridge and Adam Teufe, partner at Dechert. Attendees included Dechert attorneys, alumni from other firms, and a number of alumni from different regulatory agencies. CUA Law Adjunct Professor and Senior Partner at Dechert Jeffrey Puretz '81 provided refreshments.