Will the Supreme Court's Decision Compress Fees?
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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Will the Supreme Court's Decision Compress Fees?

The Supreme Court's decision this week in Jones v. Harris Associates upheld the existing "Gartenberg" standard excessive fee suits involving mutual funds. Yet in today's "Fund Track" column, the Wall Street Journal's Sam Mamudi talked to those who think the decision created a new standard.

"This isn't just Gartenberg, this is Garternberg-plus," William Birdthistle, assistant professor of law at Chicago-Kent College of Law, told Mamudi. "The court has reconstructed Gartenberg to emphasize the discrepancy between retail and institutional fees."

Tamar Frankel, a professor at Boston University School of Law, made a similar point.

Birdthistle predicted that the decision -- which moves the Harris case back to lower courts and overturns a circuit court decision which would have barred all fee suits, save in cases of fraud -- will either "raise the rates on institutions or lower the rates on individuals."

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