Goodwin Insights December 16, 2021

The Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument on the Standard for Pleading a Breach of the Duty of Prudence in Excessive-Fee Cases

On December 6, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Hughes v. Northwestern University, a case about the standard for pleading a plausible claim for breach of the duty of prudence when challenging a defined-contribution plan’s investment line-up or recordkeeping arrangements. The Justices seemed uncertain both about how to articulate a pleading rule that would allow plausible claims to proceed while weeding out speculative ones, and also about which category the plaintiffs’ allegations fall into. For further analysis of the Northwestern case, our takeaways from the oral argument are available here, and we discussed the pending appeal before the Supreme Court in the last edition of the ERISA Litigation Update, which is available here.