In 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.
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