Court showdown looms for SEC private adviser rules

Legal victory for the regulator would establish new powers of prohibition, critics claim

“There’s a whiff of litigation in the air,” said William Birdthistle, director of the SEC’s division of investment management, in May at a conference hosted by the Managed Funds Association.

He was met with polite laughter from the audience, but underlying the decorum the stage was being set for a pivotal legal battle.

At this same conference, Bryan Corbett, president and CEO of the MFA, alluded to preparations for potential lawsuits.

Now the biggest legal battle over US regulation of private

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