District Court Dismisses 16(b) Action Against Hedge Fund Adviser for Lack of Standing

Section 16(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 permits an issuer to recover short-swing trading profits from insiders and 10% beneficial owners. Applying the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2021 decision on standing in TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (District Court) recently held that the mere violation of Section 16(b) by a hedge fund adviser, without evidence of a “concrete injury,” did not confer standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution. If TransUnion does govern actions under Section 16(b), it would upend long-standing Second Circuit precedent that a mere violation of Section 16(b) – without more – gives standing to bring an action. This article details the District Court’s decision and reasoning, with commentary from Thomas J. Fleming, partner at Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP, which represented the adviser in the action. See “Delegation of Investment and Voting Authority to a Fund’s Investment Adviser Does Not Shield the Fund From Liability for Short‑Swing Trading Profits” (Oct. 10, 2019).

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