Mergers & Acquisitions

With the public equity markets at an all-time high and private equity fund raising setting new records, it might seem counterintuitive to forecast litigation and regulatory risks.  The opposite is true.  Disputes typically follow capital, and the steeper the growth curve, the greater the risk of litigation and regulatory scrutiny.  With that backdrop, we are pleased to present our Top Ten Regulatory and Litigation Risks for Private Funds in 2018.

1. Regulatory Scrutiny Involving Cryptocurrencies and ICOs

Cryptocurrencies and other instruments based on blockchain technology – such as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) – are in the regulators’ sights.  The SEC has asserted jurisdiction over products structured as ICOs and is pursuing violations of the anti-fraud provisions and registration violations involving ICOs and cryptocurrencies.  A number of enforcement attorneys in the SEC’s new Cyber Unit are focused on ICO and cryptocurrency investigations, with more cases in the pipeline.  In addition, the CFTC has declared virtual currencies to be “commodities” subject to its oversight under the Commodity Exchange Act and has brought a number of actions under the anti-fraud provisions of the CEA against industry participants.  Fund managers with investments in or exposure to these areas should prepare for questions about disclosures and increasing regulatory scrutiny and spillover relating to those investments.