Areas of Practice
Melanie Nussdorf is a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe, where she is a member of the Tax and Employee Benefits groups.
Her practice spans the entire range of employee benefits, from the tax-based rules for qualified pension plans, to fiduciary issues, welfare benefits, and plan termination. Ms. Nussdorf's particular focus over the last several years has been fiduciary issues, including prohibited transaction exemption questions under ERISA, especially in connection with financial products and services. Ms. Nussdorf represents a number of financial institutions including major banks, investment advisers,brokerage firms, and insurance companies. In addition, she has particular experience in all aspects of the plan termination process, including issues of employer liability for poorly funded plans terminating in or outside of a bankruptcy proceeding. She has done substantial work on ERISA issues relating to hedge funds and private equity vehicles. She also has substantial experience with the exemption and advisory opinion process under ERISA and has worked extensively on legislative issues related to ERISA.
Ms. Nussdorf was counsel for age and sex discrimination at the Department of Labor prior to serving as Executive Assistant to the Solicitor of Labor from 1977-81. During this period, she had significant oversight responsibility for the department's legal work under ERISA. From 1981-84, she served as Special Counsel at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
Select Seminars & Events
“Other Regulatory Regimes Affecting the Investment Management Industry,” PLI’s Investment Management Institute 2013
"Pension Plan Investment: Current Perspectives," Practising Law Institute's Conference, April 5, 2011
"ERISA Fiduciary Basics," Practising Law Institute's Conference, February 23, 2011
"Investment Management Institute," Practising Law Institute's Conference, February 10, 2011
"CFTC’s Proposed Business Conduct Standards for Swap Dealers: Costs and Consequences to Swap Dealers and Plans," Practising Law Institute's Teleconference, January 25, 2011
"DOL’s Proposed Significant Expansion of the Fiduciary Definition," Practising Law Institute's Teleconference, November 19, 2010
Expanded Roth Conversion Opportunity for Retirement Plan Participants
ERISA Advisory - $36.9 Million Awarded in ERISA Class Action Challenging Investment Selection and Compensation Paid to 401(k) Plan Recordkeeper
ERISA Advisory - Department of Labor Releases 408(b)(2) Fee Disclosure Regulations
ERISA Advisory - CFTC Announces New Swap Rules
ERISA Advisory - Labor Department Issues Final Regulations Addressing Provision of Investment Advice to Participants and Beneficiaries of Self-Directed Individual Account Plans and IRAs
ERISA Advisory - Proposed Regulation Redefining Fiduciary
ERISA Advisory - ERISA Advisory Council Makes Stable Value Fund Recommendations to Labor Department
Melanie Nussdorf Quoted in Pensions & Investments about Revamped Rules for Offering Investment Advice
James N. Benedict is a partner in the New York office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, chairman of the firm's Litigation & Arbitration Group and head of its Securities Litigation Practice Group. Prior to joining Milbank in 2004, Mr. Benedict was a partner at Clifford Chance (formerly Rogers & Wells) since 1982 where he served as head of the Global Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice and, before that, as managing partner for the Americas Region.
Primary Focus & Experience
Mr. Benedict focuses in complex commercial litigation, with emphasis on multiparty class and derivative suits in state and federal courts throughout the nation. In his more than 35 years of practice, Mr. Benedict has handled a wide variety of trial and appellate civil litigation involving securities, antitrust and other issues for some of the largest and best known corporations in America, including Citigroup, Inc., MasterCard International Incorporated, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., Prudential Financial and The Coca-Cola Company.
Mr. Benedict has handled several hundred major class and shareholder derivative actions alleging violations of state and federal antitrust and securities laws including some of the largest class actions in the nation. For example, he has acted as the lead attorney defending clients in In re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.), In re Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. Research Reports Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.), In re Enron Corporation Securities, Derivatives and ERISA Litigation (S.D. Tex.), In re Mutual Funds Investment Litigation (D. Md.), and In re VisaCheck/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.).
In addition, Mr. Benedict has had more than 35 years of experience representing mutual fund investment advisers and their affiliates in litigation under the federal securities laws. During this period, he has successfully defended more than 100 excessive management fee suits and other actions mounted against some of the largest investment advisers in the nation, including AllianceBernstein, American Century, Capital Research, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Dreyfus, Federated, Fidelity, ING, Legg Mason, Merrill Lynch, Neuberger Berman, Prudential, and SunAmerica. These suits include Gartenberg v. Merrill Lynch Asset Management, Inc., which was the first case of its kind to be tried on the merits under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and remains the leading case in that area; and Krinsk v. Fund Asset Management Inc., the first case to be tried involving the propriety of a Rule 12b-1 distribution plan.
Most recently, Mr. Benedict successfully tried the Capital Research excessive fees action, which challenged the receipt by Capital Research and its affiliates of more than $15 billion in investment advisory, Rule 12b-1, and administrative fees paid by eight of the largest American Funds over the period 2003-2009. After a two week trial, the court rendered a 105 page opinion dismissing plaintiffs' complaint with prejudice. In re American Mutual Funds Fee Litigation, No. CV 04-5593 GAF (RNBx) (C.D. Cal. Dec. 28, 2009). This case was one of the largest (if not the largest) securities actions ever to go to trial, and was the first excessive fee case in the mutual fund industry to be tried to judgment in more than 20 years.
Mr. Benedict is currently handling numerous securities class actions and derivative suits resulting from the current credit crunch and previous mutual fund scandal. These cases involve a wide variety of products and issues, including subprime mortgages, auction rate securities, collateralized debt obligations, initial public offerings, prospectus disclosures and mutual fund management fees.
Recognitions & Accomplishments
Mr. Benedict has been consistently honored by Chambers USA as one of the nation's leading securities litigators, and in 2009 was the recipient of Chambers USA Award for Excellence in Securities Litigation. He has been selected each year by Lawdragon magazine as one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America. Lawdragon has also selected him as one of the nation's 500 top litigators, and as one of the 100 Lawyers You Need to Know in Securities Litigation. Mr. Benedict has also been recognized as a leading litigator by The Best Lawyers in America, The Legal 500, Benchmark: Litigation, the Guide to the World's Leading Litigation Lawyers, The International Who's Who of Commercial Litigators, and New York Super Lawyers.
Mr. Benedict regularly lectures at industry conferences and other forums, and has published more than three dozen articles which have appeared in numerous publications, including the Cornell Law Review, New York University Law Review and The Review of Securities and Commodities Regulation. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Mutual Fund Directors Forum, and a member of the Board of Editors of The Review of Securities and Commodities Regulation, the Securities and Class Action Litigation Report, and the Villanova Journal of Law and Investment Management.
Mr. Benedict is a Trustee of the United States Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation and a member of the Board of Trustees at Albany Law School. He has previously served as a Trustee for St. Lawrence University, as President of both his college and law school alumni associations, and as a director of several other charitable and community organizations.
Lori Richards is a principal with PwC's Financial Services Regulatory practice and assists financial services clients in regulatory and compliance matters, focused on compliance with the federal securities laws. Her clients include mutual funds, hedge funds and private equity funds, broker-dealers, banks and others.
Lori has deep securities regulatory compliance experience. She spent 24 years as a regulator with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. She is the former Director of the SEC's compliance oversight program, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE). As the first director of OCIE, she built and led the SEC's nationwide examination oversight program for all registered broker-dealers, investment advisers, investment companies, hedge funds, transfer agents, clearing agencies, trading markets and self-regulatory organizations for 14 years.
Prior to that, Lori was the senior adviser to the SEC's Chairman on regulatory, policy and operational matters. Prior to that, she served as Associate Regional Director for enforcement in the SEC's Los Angeles office responsible for conducting enforcement investigations and litigation, and in other positions in the SEC's Division of Enforcement.
Lori has been at the forefront of securities regulatory compliance. She received numerous honors and awards for distinguished service at the SEC. She is a frequent industry speaker and author of numerous articles on compliance, fraud, and fiduciary responsibility. She leads PwC's thought leadership efforts on regulatory/compliance issues for asset management and broker-dealer firms, including PwC's "Closer Look" series on the impact of Dodd-Frank, and FS Regulatory briefs on current regulatory/compliance issues.
Barry P. Barbash is a co-head of the firm’s Asset Management Group and has been a practitioner in the asset management area for over 35 years. He combines deep private practice experience with extensive knowledge of the regulation of the asset management business, having, among other things, served from September 1993 until October 1998, as the Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management.
Mr. Barbash has a diverse practice covering all aspects of the asset management business. He regularly advises investment managers and fiduciaries, independent directors and trustees, and mutual fund, exchange-traded fund, hedge fund, private equity fund and venture capital fund clients on a variety of transactional, compliance and regulatory matters. His areas of expertise include investment adviser operations, compliance procedures and policies and fund governance matters. He regularly represents buyers and sellers in asset management merger and acquisition transactions and restructurings and advises asset managers of all types in connection with administrative and court actions brought by securities regulators. He has particular experience and expertise dealing with “status” issues arising under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and the Investment Company Act of 1940. He has, in addition to serving as the Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, held staff attorney positions with the Division of Investment Management and the Plan Benefits Security Division of the Office of the Solicitor of the U.S. Department of Labor, which has responsibility for the administration of the fiduciary responsibility provisions of the U.S. federal employee benefit plans law. His practice has been focused on investment advisers, fiduciaries and securities regulation since 1978.
Mr. Barbash received a JD from Cornell Law School in 1978, and an AB (summa cum laude) from Bowdoin College in 1975.
Selected Significant Matters
David Grim (B.A., Duke University; J.D., George Washington University) is a partner at Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young, LLP in Washington DC. Dave has spent more than 20 years in public service at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management, joining the Division directly from law school and rising to become its leader, serving as Director. He is a recognized leader in the asset management industry, having developed a legacy of regulatory policy for investment advisers and investment companies, including mutual funds, exchange traded funds, closed-end funds, business development companies, unit investment trusts, and variable insurance products, and oversaw the Division’s relationships with other key functions at the SEC, including the Division of Enforcement and the National Exam Program. Prior to his appointment as Director, Dave served in a number of capacities throughout the Division, including Deputy Director and Assistant Chief Counsel. While at the SEC, Dave was awarded the Supervisory Excellence Award, Capital Markets Award, as a member of the Asset-Backed Securities Rulemaking Team, Law & Policy Award for Dodd Frank implementation, and the Asset-Management Relations Award for leadership of Division reorganization.
Drew Bowden was appointed by Chair Mary Jo White as the Director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) in June 2013. He joined the SEC in November 2011 and initially served as the National Associate for the Investment Adviser and Investment Company Examination Program. In September 2012, Mr. Bowden was named Deputy Director of OCIE.
Mr. Bowden began his career as a trial attorney and partner at a major Baltimore law firm, specializing in securities related litigation, arbitration, and regulatory matters. He later worked for seventeen years at Legg Mason in a variety of roles, including legal, compliance, operations, sales, service, marketing, and corporate governance. He has also served on the Board of Governors and Executive Committee of the Investment Adviser Association. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Loyola University Maryland and a law degree, cum laude, from The University of Pennsylvania.
J. Bradley Bennett, Executive Vice President, is responsible for FINRA’s Department of Enforcement. In this capacity, Mr. Bennett directs investigating and bringing all formal disciplinary actions against firms and associated persons for violations of FINRA rules and federal securities laws.
Mr. Bennett received his undergraduate degree from St. Lawrence University and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
He started his career at the SEC as a senior attorney in the Division of Enforcement focusing on cases of all facets of securities law, including accounting, broker-dealer regulation, tender offers and insider trading.
Julie M. Riewe is a litigation partner and a member of the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory Defense Group. Her practice focuses on securities-related enforcement and compliance issues and internal investigations, and she has significant experience with matters involving private equity funds, hedge funds, mutual funds, business development companies, separately managed accounts and other asset managers. Ms. Riewe was recognized as a “Client Service All-Star” by BTI Consulting in 2018.
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Riewe was Co-Chief of the Asset Management Unit of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement. Ms. Riewe oversaw a nationwide program of investigations focusing on investment advisers, investment companies, mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity funds and other investment vehicles managed by investment advisers. She co-led a team of nearly 80 attorneys, industry experts and other professionals in all 12 SEC offices, and was responsible for directing the SEC’s asset management-related enforcement efforts. In recognition of her leadership and integrity, she received the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Leadership in 2015.
Before her appointment to Co-Chief, Ms. Riewe was Deputy Chief and Assistant Director of the Asset Management Unit in 2012 and 2010, respectively. From 2008 to 2010, she was Branch Chief in the Enforcement Division in Washington, D.C. Ms. Riewe joined the SEC in 2005 as a staff attorney in the Enforcement Division In 2007, she earned the Ellen B. Ross Award for her performance at the SEC.
From 2000 to 2004, Ms. Riewe was a litigation associate with a major international law firm, prior to which she served as a law clerk to the Hon. Diana E. Murphy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit from 1999 to 2000.
Ms. Riewe earned her J.D. and M.P.P. from Duke University School of Law in 1999, where she was a member of the Duke Law Journal and Editor-in-Chief of the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy. She received her A.B. from Duke University in 1993.
Lori A. Martin is partner in the Securities and Litigation/Controversy departments of WilmerHale, where she is resident in the New York office. She handles regulatory proceedings and litigation on behalf of investment advisers, open and closed-end investment companies, hedge funds, and broker dealers offering investment advisory services. She was selected as the “Mutual Funds Law Lawyer of the Year” in the New York area by The Best Lawyers in America® in 2014 and 2020. Prior to joining WilmerHale, she was First Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.
Her publications include: “Litigation Under the Investment Company Act of 1940,” Vol. 2, Chapter 26 Mutual Fund Regulation (Practicing Law Institute, 2017) (Clifford E. Kirsch, ed.); “Supreme Court Endorses Gartenberg, But It's Not the Same Old Standard,” WilmerHale Client Alert (April 5, 2010) (with Matthew A. Chambers); “Enforcement Trends and Themes,” Investment Management Institute (Practicing Law Institute, 2007-2019); “State Regulators and the Mutual Fund Industry,” 39 The Review o/Securities & Commodities Regulation 219 (Nov. 15, 2006) (with Cristina Alger); and “Emails and the Recordkeeping Obligations of Investment Advisers,” 12 The Investment Lawyer 16 (February 2005).
Ms. Martin's recent speeches include: "Investment Management: Enforcement and Litigation Trends," panel presentation at the Investment Management Institute 2019 conference, sponsored by the Practising Law Institute (New York, New York) (March 22, 2019) ; “Excessive Fee Litigation, Contract Renewal and Share Class Developments,” panel presentation at the PLI Basics of Mutual Funds and Other Registered Investment Companies 2018 conference (New York, New York) (May 14, 2018); “Investment Management: Enforcement and Litigation Trends,” panel presentation at the PLI Investment Management Institute 2018 conference (New York, New York) (April 30, 2018); “Key Legal and Regulatory Issues: Asset Management,” panel presentation at the SIFMA Compliance & Legal Regional Seminar (Boston, Massachusetts) (June 7, 2017); and “Valuation Issues, SEC Examinations & Enforcement Actions,” panel presentation on a webinar co-sponsored by Deloitte & WilmerHale (June 19, 2013).
Ms. Martin graduated with honors from the University of Chicago School of Law in 1988, where she was a member of the University of Chicago Law Review. She graduated with honors from Wellesley College in 1985.
Paul F. Roye is a senior vice president and senior counsel of the Fund Business Management Group of Capital Research and Management Company ("Capital Research"); director of Capital Research; member of Capital Research Executive Committee; vice chairman and trustee of the Capital Group Private Client Services Funds, Capital Group Emerging Markets Total Opportunities Fund and Emerging Markets Growth Fund, Inc.; executive vice president, principal executive officer and trustee of Washington Mutual Investors Fund; executive vice president and principal executive officer of Growth Fund of America, American Funds Fundamental Investors and SMALLCAP World Fund; and senior vice president of American Balanced Fund, The Income Fund of America and Investment Company of America.
Prior to joining Capital Research in 2005, he was Director of the Division of lnvestment Management for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he worked for three SEC Chairman and was among the most senior financial services regulators in the United States, with principal oversight for the investment management industry and public utility holding companies. During his tenure, he received the Chairman's Award of Excellence, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an SEC staff member. Prior to becoming director, he was a member of the Washington office of the law firm of Dechert, where he was a partner in the firm's Financial Services, lnvestment Management and Corporate Securities Practice Group, specializing in the area of institutional investor law. His practice involved providing advice and assistance to a wide variety of domestic and foreign investment companies, as well as investment advisers, broker-dealers, banks and insurance companies.
Paul holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor, where he was Note and Comment Editor of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform. He also holds an A.B., cum laude, from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Paul serves on the Investor Issues Committee of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and on the Board of Directors of the Association of Securities and Exchange Commission Alumni and Friends of the Legal Resources Centre of South Africa. He also serves on the Executive Council of the Federal Bar Association.
Paul is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association.
Stephanie R. Breslow is co-head of the Investment Management Group and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. She maintains a diverse practice that includes liquid funds, private equity funds and the structuring of investment management businesses. She focuses her practice on the formation of private equity funds (including LBO, mezzanine, distressed, real estate, litigation finance and venture) and liquid-securities funds (including hedge funds, hybrid funds, credit funds and activist funds) as well as providing regulatory advice to investment managers. She also represents fund sponsors and institutional investors in connection with seed-capital investments in fund managers and acquisitions of interests in investment management businesses and funds of funds and other institutional investors in connection with their investment activities, including blockchain technology and virtual currency offerings and transactions.
Recently serving as chair of the Private Investment Funds Subcommittee of the International Bar Association, Stephanie is a founding member and former chair of the Private Investment Fund Forum, a member of the Advisory Board of former Third Way Capital Markets Initiative, a former member of the Board of Directors and current member of 100 Women in Finance, a member of the Board of Visitors of Columbia Law School and a member of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York. Stephanie has received the highest industry honors. She was named to the inaugural Legal 500 US Hall of Fame in the category of “Investment Fund Formation and Management: Alternative/Hedge Funds.” Stephanie is also listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers, Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers, Crain’s Notable Women in Law, IFLR1000, Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers (which ranked her one of the world’s “Top Ten Private Equity Lawyers”), Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Private Funds Lawyers (which ranked her at the top of the world’s “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” list), Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders: Global Elite, Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders: Private Funds, Expert Guide to the Best of the Best USA, Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Banking, Finance and Transactional Law Lawyers, Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law and PLC Cross-border Private Equity Handbook, among other leading directories. Stephanie was named the “Private Funds Lawyer of the Year” at the Who’s Who Legal Awards 2014 and the Euromoney Legal Media Group’s “Best in Investment Funds” and “Outstanding Practitioner,” both at the Americas Women in Business Law Awards. She is also recognized as one of The Hedge Fund Journal’s 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds and was named one of the 2012 Women of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York. Stephanie’s representation of leading private investment funds has won numerous awards, including most recently Law360’s Asset Management Practice Group of the Year. She is a much sought-after speaker on fund formation and operation and compliance issues, and she regularly publishes articles on the latest trends in these areas. Stephanie co-authored Private Equity Funds: Formation and Operation (Practising Law Institute), co-authored Hedge Funds: Formation, Operation and Regulation (ALM Law Journal Press), contributed a chapter on “Hedge Fund Investment in Private Equity” for inclusion in PLC Cross-border Private Equity Handbook 2005/06 (Practical Law Company), contributed a chapter on “Advisers to Private Equity Funds — Practical Compliance Considerations” for Mutual Funds and Exchange Traded Funds Regulation, Volume 2 (Practising Law Institute), and wrote New York and Delaware Business Entities: Choice, Formation, Operation, Financing and Acquisitions (West) and New York Limited Liability Companies: A Guide to Law and Practice (West).
Stephanie received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and her B.A., cum laude, from Harvard University.
Thomas M. Selman is Executive Vice President, Regulatory Policy, and Legal Compliance Officer of FINRA. He oversees the departments of Corporate Financing, Advertising Regulation, Regulatory Policy, the Legal Compliance Office, and the Office of Emerging Regulatory Issues. Tom joined the organization in 1996.
Mr. Selman also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst ® designation.
From 1992 to 1996, Mr. Selman was Associate Counsel at the Investment Company Institute, a trade association for the mutual fund industry. Prior to that time, he served as Special Counsel in the Office of General Counsel at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, a position he held beginning in 1987. Tom was an Attorney-Advisor to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium, from 1986 to 1987. In addition to his career accomplishments, Mr. Selman has authored articles that were published in Investment Lawyer, The International Lawyer and Insights.
Mr. Selman received bachelor's degrees in economics and history from Rice University, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from The University of Texas School of Law, where he was Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review.
Tram N. Nguyen is a partner in the Investment Management practice of Paul Hastings. Ms. Nguyen represents hedge funds, private equity funds, and other private funds on all aspects of fund formation, fund structuring and capital raising. She has experience representing asset managers in structuring hedge fund-linked notes and customized single-investor funds. Ms. Nguyen also advises financial institutions and investment advisers on U.S. regulatory requirements, including registration and reporting requirements. Prior to joining Paul Hastings, Ms. Nguyen was a partner at a U.S. firm and was the Branch Chief of the Private Funds Branch at the SEC Division of Investment Management in Washington, D.C. At the SEC, she worked on developing and implementing rules for hedge fund and private equity fund advisers under the Dodd-Frank Act and the JOBS Act.
Mr. Kotapish is an Assistant Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, in the Disclosure Review Office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Prior to joining the SEC staff in 1999, Mr. Kotapish was an attorney with the firm of Dechert Price & Rhoads, where his practice focused on investment management regulation. He has a BA from the University of Virginia and a JD from Catholic University.
Mr. Kotapish is an adjunct professor at Catholic University, where he teaches a course on the regulation of investment companies and investment advisers.
Supervisory Special Agent David A. Chaves is a senior FBI Agent assigned to the New York division. He serves as the securities fraud program manager for the most visible securities cases prosecuted over the last decade. He is widely recognized as the chief strategist in coordinating these complex white collar investigations and for infiltrating corrupt participants in the hedge fund industry through the use of sophisticated techniques, undercover operations, and wire taps.
He is a securities fraud subject matter expert and lectures to audiences in both the public and private sector on securities fraud cases including Madoff, Galleon, and Perfect Hedge investigations. Prior to joining the FBI he was a civil litigation attorney in Boston, MA.
Stephen E. Roth is a partner in the Washington office of Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP. He received his undergraduate training in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame and his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was an Editor of the Yale Law Journal. He joined Sutherland in 1977, became a partner in 1983, and currently serves as the Chair of the Firm's Financial Services and Corporate Practice Groups.
Steve has practiced in the mutual fund and investment company area for over 35 years and represents both funds and fund independent trustees. He is a well-known authority on federal and state regulation of fixed and variable insurance products, on sales practice and advertising issues related to insurance products generally, and on the applicability of the Investment Company Act of 1940 to variable products and underlying mutual funds. He represents numerous insurance companies and money managers in these and other related areas. Steve is a frequent speaker on topics affecting the asset management and life insurance industries. For 19 years, he has co-chaired the ALI-CLE Conference on Life Insurance Company Products.
Michael Sackheim is senior counsel in the New York office of Sidley Austin LLP where he concentrates on derivatives regulatory, transactional and enforcement matters. Michael is a past Chair of the New York City Bar Derivatives Regulation Committee, and he is the managing editor of Futures & Derivatives Law Report (Thomson Reuters, publ.). Michael is also the co-editor of a new legal treatise, The Virtual Currency Regulation Review (November 2018, Law Business Research Ltd).
Philip L. Kirstein was the Independent Compliance Officer and Senior Officer to the Boards of the AllianceBernstein U.S. registered investment companies from October 2003 until December 31, 2017. Previously, he was the General Counsel of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, LP (formerly Merrill Lynch Asset Management) from May 1984 through March 2003 and was Of Counsel to Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP from October 2003 until October 2004.
Mr. Kirstein is a member of the New York City Bar Committee on the Investment of Funds and a past Chair of the New York City Bar Committee on Investment Management Regulation. He is also a former member of the American Bar Association Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities, Subcommittee on Investment Companies and Investment Advisers; and a former member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of ICI Mutual Insurance Company and the Planning Committee of the Investment Company Institute/Federal Bar Association Mutual Fund Conference.
Mr. Kirstein was a member of the Independent Directors Council Task Force that prepared the Board Oversight of Fund Compliance Report. He is a frequent panelist at conferences regarding investment company legal, compliance and regulatory issues.
Mr. Kirstein is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), College of Law, Syracuse University and School of Law, New York University.
Mr. Kirstein is a former member of the Board of Directors of Cancer Care of New Jersey and a former member of the board of Directors of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Central and South Jersey affiliate. He is currently on the Investment Committee of the New York New Jersey Trail Conference, Inc. He retired as a Captain of the United States Naval Reserve.
Susan Chadwick Ervin is a member of the Financial Institutions Group at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. Her practice specializes in advising financial institutions, investment managers, end users and other market participants concerning derivatives transactions. Prior to joining Davis Polk, Ms. Ervin served as a Senior Derivatives Adviser and Attorney Fellow at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where she helped develop new regulatory approaches to the derivatives markets and participated in the agency’s development of an implementation program for the Dodd Frank Act. Previously, Ms. Ervin led the derivatives practice at a major international law firm and served for more than ten years as Deputy Director and Chief Counsel of the Division of Trading and Markets of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. She is the co-author of Derivatives Regulation, a leading treatise on the subject, has written extensively on derivatives regulatory issues and is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education programs. She is a former chair of the Derivatives and Futures Committee of the American Bar Association and the Futures Committee of the New York City Bar Association.