The Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed their final legal briefs last week in the U.S. Court of Appeals, shedding some light on how each camp will argue their side of the independent chairman rule when the case's oral proceedings begin next year.

Last year, the SEC approved a rule that requires fund companies to install an independent chairman on each of their mutual fund boards. In addition, 75% of the directors who sit on those boards must be independent from the fund. The rule's intent is to mitigate circumstances where a fund-affiliated board member might put the interests of the fund ahead of the investor. Previously, the rule called for 40% of the board to be independent. There was no independent chairman requirement.

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