Troutman Pepper has been recognized for its exceptional work in the field of Banking & Finance and Financial Services Law in the 14th edition of Best Law Firms®. Our firm’s National Tier 1 rankings include Banking and Finance Law, Financial Services Regulation Law and Banking & Finance Litigation.

On October 19, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dismissed its claims against Ripple Labs, Inc. (Ripple) executives Bradley Garlinghouse and Christian Larsen for allegedly aiding and abetting Ripple’s violations of the Securities Act with respect to its “institutional sales” of XRP. The Southern District of New York had deemed “institutional sales” to be unregistered securities in its July summary judgment decision, however, at that time the court reserved judgment as to the aiding and abetting claims against the executives. The matter was set for trial in 2024.

In its highly anticipated decision, the Second Circuit has answered the question of whether a syndicated term loan qualifies as a “security” with a definitive “no”. On August 24, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its ruling, affirming the lower court’s holding in Kirschner[1] that leveraged loans are not securities. After the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) declined to submit a brief, the court determined, in its application of the Reves test, that three of the four Reves factors weighed against concluding that the complaint plausibly alleged that the loans in question are securities.

On August 9, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres requesting leave to file an interlocutory appeal in SEC v. Ripple Labs, Inc. as to the two adverse liability determinations in her July 13, 2023 order. That order granted partial summary judgment in Ripple Labs’ favor regarding the sale of its XRP token. As we previously discussed here, the court held in deciding cross motions for summary judgment that defendants’ “programmatic” offers and sales to XRP buyers over crypto asset trading platforms and Ripple’s “other distributions” in exchange for labor and services did not involve the offer or sale of securities under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in SEC v. W.J. Howey Co.

Taxpayers have long attempted to limit the application of the Self-Employment Contributions Act (SECA ) taxes to income that is akin to employment income and not investment, or passive income, by relying on Code §1402(a)(13).[1] That section provides that the SECA base excludes the distributive share of income or loss of a limited partner other than guaranteed payments to that partner for services actually rendered to or on behalf of the partnership.

In a long-awaited decision in SEC v. Ripple Labs, Inc., U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres of the Southern District of New York held that Ripple Labs, Inc.’s (Ripple) XRP token is not, in and of itself, a security requiring registration. Although the decision is being regarded by many as a victory for both Ripple and the crypto industry, the nuances in the decision may result in an appeal from both sides.

Mindful of the impending retirement of many millions of investors in the “baby boomer” generation, which hold a substantial amount of the world’s wealth, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) continues to heavily monitor its member firms supervision of their registered financial advisors who service vulnerable and elderly investor customers. For example, last month FINRA suspended a former David Lerner Associates (DLA) branch manager for failing to properly supervise sales of interests in two illiquid oil and gas limited partnerships. The suspended manager at issue approved these transactions, which carried a high degree of risk, to some senior investors with insufficient tolerance for risk. Ultimately, FINRA concluded that the supervising branch manager failed to “conduct a reasonable analysis” of the suitability of those investments for the elderly customers or within 30 days of their risk tolerance increasing.

A contentious divide in the leadership of Republic First Bancorp, Inc. (Republic First) has now resulted in a third lawsuit against the company, this one filed by shareholders. Early last year, Republic First’s eight-person board of directors was evenly split into two camps: one led by former Republic First CEO, Vernon Hill, II, and another led by Harry Madonna, who had been CEO of Republic First prior to Hill. The two groups held conflicting views on the future of Republic First, with Hill’s faction seeking an expansion of retail banking operations and Madonna’s in favor of selling the company. The dispute between the two groups quickly became a public issue as Madonna’s group of directors issued a press release in March of 2022 accusing Hill and his associates of self-dealing and mismanagement. As a result of the letter, Republic First’s independent auditor expressed concerns about its forthcoming work with the company, and Republic First was unable to file its Form 10-K for the 2021 fiscal year until those concerns were addressed and the audit completed.

Firm Lands 58 Practice Area and 144 Attorney Recognitions in Latest Guide

Troutman Pepper, a national law firm with more than 1,200 attorneys in 23 strategically located cities across the United States, achieved 58 national and statewide practice area rankings in the latest edition of Chambers USA.

This year’s guide also recognized 135 firm attorneys

Troutman Pepper earned 17 nationwide practice rankings in The Legal 500 United States 2023, an independent ranking authority of law firms around the world.

The Troutman Pepper finance practices was ranked in the following nationwide areas:

  • Finance: Project finance: energy and power
  • Finance: Commercial lending: advice to borrowers

Notably, this year Troutman Pepper also earned