The Capital Commitment

Proskauer on Private Fund Litigation

The Countdown Starts: Compliance Dates Set for Private Fund Adviser Rules

Earlier today, the SEC’s Private Fund Adviser Rules were published in the Federal Register. As with all federal regulations, publication in the Federal Register begins the countdown to the Rules’ compliance dates. These dates are listed in the table below. Please see our prior alerts for an overview of the Rules’ provisions, a summary of their applicability to non-U.S. investment advisers and a discussion of a legal challenge to the Rules that was recently filed by six trade associations.

Rule Compliance Date
Compliance Rule Amendments [RIAs only] Monday, November 13, 2023
[60 days after publication]
“Larger” Private Fund Advisers ($1.5BN or more):

Adviser-Led Secondaries Rule [RIAs only]
Restricted Activities Rule [all advisers]
Preferential Treatment Rule [all advisers]

Saturday, September 14, 2024
[12 months after publication]
“Smaller” Private Fund Advisers (under $1.5BN):

Adviser-Led Secondaries Rule [RIAs only]
Restricted Activities Rule [all advisers]
Preferential Treatment Rule [all advisers]

Friday, March 14, 2025
[18 months after publication]
Quarterly Statement Rule [RIAs only]
Private Fund Audit Rule [RIAs only]
Friday, March 14, 2025
[18 months after publication]

 

Lawsuit Challenges Private Fund Adviser Rules

On Friday, September 1, 2023, a lawsuit was filed with the federal Court of Appeals in the Fifth Circuit challenging the validity and enforceability of the recently adopted Private Fund Adviser Rules under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”).  (Please see our prior alerts for a description of the Rules’ provisions and their applicability to non-U.S. investment advisers.)  The lawsuit was filed in the form of a Petition for Review pursuant to Section 213(a) of the Advisers Act, which authorizes such a petition for persons “aggrieved” by the actions of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission” or the “SEC”). Continue Reading

Second Circuit Holds That the Syndicated Term Loans in Kirschner Are Not Securities

On August 24, 2023, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued its much-anticipated decision in Kirschner v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, holding that the syndicate term loans at issue were not securities. As noted in our earlier blog post, the SEC declined the court’s request to file an amicus brief, forgoing the opportunity to provide its views on the issue and influence the outcome of the appeal.[1] Continue Reading

SEC Adopts Private Fund Adviser Rules

SEC Emblem

Yesterday, the five SEC commissioners voted 3-2, along party lines, to approve the Private Fund Adviser Rules. The final Rules scale back from what was initially proposed 18 months ago, in ways that are likely to be a relief to many private fund advisers. (For a summary of the initial proposal, please see our previous Alert.) Even in their current form, however, the Rules still impose many new obligations and introduce new prohibitions that are likely to significantly alter business practices, and impose new administrative burdens and costs, across many registered and exempt private fund advisers. All private fund advisers should therefore review their practices in light of the new Rules in order to assess whether and how their practices and documentation will need to change before the Rules’ compliance dates.

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Are Syndicated Term Loans Securities? The SEC Declines to Weigh in on Kirschner

Participants in the syndicated loan markets may have been relieved last month when the SEC declined to file the amicus brief requested by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Kirschner v. JP Morgan Chase Bank. In an unusual turn of events, the SEC choose not to weigh in on whether the syndicated term loans at issue are securities. In a July 18, 2023 letter to the court, the SEC explained that “despite the best efforts to respond to the court’s request, the Staff was not in a position to file a brief on behalf of the Commission.” Id. Whatever the reason, the SEC’s decision leaves the Second Circuit panel without the agency’s views, and to speculate over the agency’s reasons for its clearly very deliberate decision not to act.

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The Ripple Effect: Implications of the SEC’s Partial Loss in SEC v. Ripple Labs Inc.

The SEC suffered a significant loss last week in its ongoing legal battle with Ripple over the XRP digital token. While the District Court held that Ripple’s initial sales of XRP to institutional investors constituted the sale of unregistered securities, it was a Pyrrhic victory as the court held that all other ways in which Ripple sold or distributed XRP did not involve the sale of unregistered securities. In particular, the court held that Ripple’s program to sell XRP to public buyers on digital asset exchanges, as well as its distribution of XRP as compensation to employees and third parties, did not constitute the offer or sale of securities. The court also rejected the SEC’s arguments that Ripple used the institutional buyers as underwriters to sell XRP to the public. The opinion, if followed by other courts in pending litigation with the SEC, could have a far-reaching impact on the cryptocurrency markets, especially with respect to secondary market crypto trades on digital asset exchanges.  

Read the full post on Proskauer’s Corporate Defense and Disputes blog.

The Crypto Wars Escalate

The gloves are off. The SEC’s recent enforcement actions against leading crypto exchanges suggest that the SEC has decided that time’s up for the crypto industry as it currently exists in the United States.

After spending years urging industry participants to come in and register, the SEC has made clear, by going after some of the biggest players in the space, that it does not intend to tolerate exchange operators’ offering of unregistered crypto trading in the United States, at least as to retail investors where the tokens are securities. From the SEC’s perspective, most crypto tokens are securities, so, if a company wants to provide the securities-like infrastructure to trade those tokens, it must be registered with the SEC – whether as an exchange (matching buyers and sellers), a broker-dealer (trading crypto on behalf of others), or a clearing agency (facilitating trade settlement).

Read the full post on Proskauer’s Corporate Defense and Disputes blog.

Complying with the New SEC Marketing Rule: Seven Months in and Still Adapting

On November 4, 2022, compliance with amended Rule 206(4)-1 (the “Marketing Rule”) became mandatory for all investment advisers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).[1] Seven months since the compliance date, SEC-registered investment advisers continue to discover and adapt to challenges in applying the Marketing Rule. Newly formed advisers also face significant obstacles to marketing with a predecessor-firm track record. It has also impacted advisers’ interaction with placement agents and solicitors. And finally, the SEC has begun assessing advisers’ adherence to the rule through routine compliance examinations. All parties involved continue to adapt to the new environment.

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The Trend Continues: Increased Regulatory Focus on Privacy & Cybersecurity for Private Funds

Recent enforcement actions highlight the increased regulatory scrutiny that private funds may face with respect to internal cybersecurity protocols and responses to cyber-crimes and cyber incidents under new and updated cybersecurity laws. 

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Regulators’ Increased Focus on GP-Led Secondaries and Continuation Funds

As IPOs and other traditional paths to liquidity for private assets have become more challenging, GP-led secondary transactions have emerged as a powerful and popular tool across closed-end private funds, leading to explosive growth over the last five years. And while macro factors influence their prevalence year over year, these transactions remain broadly popular across the various stakeholders in these transactions, facilitating different goals for different parties: 

  • Existing Investors (LPs):  Near-term liquidity in a liquidity-constrained market, typically with an option to continue participation if desired
  • New Investors (Buyers):  Access to a mature portfolio with unrealized upside
  • Fund Adviser (GP):  Extended duration to capture future upside of well-performing assets, additional capital to support existing portfolio, and reset economics aligning with longer-term outlook

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