O’Melveny Worldwide

Reuters: 1st Circuit Upholds Fidelity Win in Mutual Fund Fees Lawsuit

March 8, 2021

O’Melveny secured a First Circuit victory for Fidelity after appellate judges rejected plaintiffs’ “pass through” argument that fees charged by Fidelity to mutual funds then injuriously inflated the bills of plan members in alleged violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The court’s decision affirmed the case’s original February 2020 district court dismissal on the grounds that Fidelity “had no control over whether the funds passed the fees on to the plans,” Reuters reported.

“Fidelity is like a supermarket that charges a vendor a fee in return for favorable shelf space,” wrote US Circuit Judge William Kayatta, Jr. “No one would deem that fee to be compensation from the supermarket’s customers.”

Reuters subscribers can read the full article here.