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Peter J. Henning follows issues involving securities law and white-collar crime for DealBook’s White Collar Watch. As Congress works on the final version of the financial regulatory bill, a major change in liability for corporate law firms, accounting firms and investment banks has been inserted into the measure. House members of the conference committee agreed to add a provision offered by Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, to restore aiding and abetting liability for private securities fraud cases.

The impact of the amendment is significant because it expands the potential defendants in securities fraud class actions to include more than just the company accused of making misstatements or omissions, and these are defendants with deep pockets.

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