Supporters and those in opposition to the Department of Labor's new fiduciary duty rules could probably agree Christmas came early for industry attorneys. Law firms racked up billable hours reviewing the 1,000 pages of rules and advising their clients about compliance strategies, and maybe even helping some consider legal challenges to the rules themselves.

But the new rules aren't the bonanza for legal counsel that was possibly imagined when the industry first learned of DOL's strategy to require an enforceable contractual obligation for advisors to serve their clients' best interests in the face of conflicts of interest.

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