Rising Risks for PE Firms to Monitor Amidst Changing Antitrust, Whistleblower and Sanctions Landscape

The Biden administration has been very focused on PE firms and has invoked previously unused enforcement tools to target the industry, including lawsuits based on conduct by a firm’s portfolio company. With greater public scrutiny of PE firms generally, and their investments in industries like healthcare in particular, firms should be aware of new legal risks from regulators and private plaintiffs alike. Firms seeking to avoid regulatory scrutiny or enforcement actions – and the potentially steep legal fees or penalties that accompany them – should be particularly aware of new developments in the areas of antitrust, False Claims Act violations and Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions compliance. This guest article from MoloLamken attorneys Lauren M. Weinstein, Lauren F. Dayton and Robert Y. Chen details the recent threats posed via each of those avenues and offers scenarios that GCs and CCOs of PE sponsors should avoid to mitigate those risks. For other risks that PE sponsors face, see “2024 SEC Examination Priorities: New Approaches to Old Areas of Concern” (Dec. 14, 2023); and “SEC Risk Alert and Accompanying Checklist Explains Examinations Process and Identifies Key Documents to Have Ready” (Nov. 2, 2023).

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