Harris Associates, the Investment Company Institute, the Mutual Fund Directors Forum and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce fired their first salvos in the Supreme Court fee case through separate briefs, claiming that market forces and diligent fund trustees keep fees low and negotiated at “arm’s length” bargaining between the investment advisor and the board. They also argue that due to the greater service afforded to retail investors, institutional fees are understandably lower.

The case that the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear in November, Jerry N. Jones et al. v. Harris Associates LP, claims that the Oakmark Funds charge individual investor excessive fees. District and federal courts ruled in favor of Harris, but a judge for the Appeals Court for the Seventh Circuit kicked the case over to the Supreme Court, saying that only in cases of fraud have investors ever won.

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