follow-on civil litigation

seadrillIn a prior post, I noted that among the implications of the international trade sanctions is the possibility that companies affected by sanctions could face D&O claims. Among the risks the sanctions program presents is the possibility that a company dealing with sanctions-related issues could face a follow-on securities lawsuit, as investors seek to hold the company and its senior officials liable for share prices declines following disclosure of sanctions-related issues.

In the Seadrill Limited Securities Litigation, a securities class action lawsuit pending in the Southern District of New York, investors sued the company, a subsidiary, and certain of its directors and officers, for the company’s elimination of its dividend and loss of significant business with a Russian oil company subject to international sanctions following Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea. On June 20, 2016, in an interesting opinion (here), Southern District of New York Lorna Schofield granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the Seadrill case. Due to the case’s factual circumstances, the opinion makes for some interesting reading. In any event, the case represents an important example of the possibilities for D&O claims arising from sanctions-related issues.
Continue Reading Russian Trade Sanctions-Related Securities Lawsuit Dismissed

petrobrasIn an interesting opinion addressing several of the critical issues in the U.S. securities lawsuit arising out of Petrobras bribery scandal, on July 30, 2015, Southern District of New York Judge Jed Rakoff denied in part and grated in part the defendants’ motions to dismiss. Among other things, Judge Rakoff rejected the company’s “adverse interest” argument, in which the company had tried to argue that the complicit corporate executives’ knowledge of the bribery scheme and consequent awareness of the misrepresentations of the company’s financial condition could not be attributed to the company. However, Judge Rakoff dismissed the claims asserted under Brazilian law on behalf of shareholders who purchased their Petrobras shares on the Bovespa, the São Paulo Stock exchange, ruling that these shareholders’ claims were subject to the mandatory arbitration clause in the company’s bylaws. A copy of Judge Rakoff’s opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading Petrobras Securities Suit: Judge Rakoff Rejects Company’s “Adverse Interest” Argument; Rules Brazilian Investors Must Arbitrate Brazilian Securities Law Claims

del1One of the more distinct litigation phenomena in recent years has been the rise of multi-jurisdiction litigation, particularly in connection with merger objection litigation. Corporate advocates and defense attorneys have decried this development, as it has forced companies facing litigation to have to fight a multi-front war and to incur increased defense expense. At its

ochThere is no private right of action under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), but as I have frequently noted in prior posts, news of an anti-bribery investigation frequently is followed by a shareholder lawsuit based on allegations relating to the investigation. The latest example of this type of follow-on civil action involves the investment

In my year-end survey of corporate and securities litigation, one of the trends I noted regarding the litigation that had been filed in 2013 was the rise in lawsuit filings following in the wake of governmental investigations and regulatory actions, particularly with respect to investigations and regulatory actions outside the United States. If two

On October 30, 2013, the SEC announced  another whistleblower bounty award under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. Although the size of this latest award ($150,000) is relatively modest compared to the recent $14 million award (about which refer here), the most recent award does suggest that awards under the whistleblower program are gaining momentum.

As many readers will recall, a couple of years ago there was an intense barrage of securities litigation class action lawsuit filings against U.S.-listed Chinese companies. Many of the cases involved Chinese companies that obtained their U.S. listings by way of a reverse merger with publicly traded shell, and almost all of the cases involved alleged