When asked about late trading, several lawyers told hedge funds and other traders that even certain trades taking place at 5:45 would be considered legal, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Seeing that investigations into late trading would begin to spiral in all directions, many traders went to well-known law firms like Akin Gump Straus Hauer & Feld and Piper Rudnick, people close to the current regulation inquiries said.

The gray area in what is a 4 p.m. deadline is the presence of intermediaries – middlemen who allegedly receive a trade before 4 p.m. but do not process it with the fund company until later in the day. New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has expressed vehement disapproval of any post-deadline activity. Spitzer has already charged five individuals with late trading, with one pleading guilty.

Neither of the named law firms would discuss their advice with The Journal, and neither probably will; discussing their discourse with clients could breach confidentiality agreements.

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The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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