In a milestone development in the long-running Dutch collective investor action brought against Petrobras and related entities, a Netherlands court has ruled on the merits in favor of the Foundation bringing the action on behalf of investors, holding that Petrobras harmed investors by publishing misleading financial information. Though the case is not done – the Court will next consider certain legal issues pertaining to the investors’ claimed damages – the Court’s recent ruling is an important step in this significant and high-profile case. An English translation of the Court’s July 26, 2023, judgment can be found here. The July 26, 2023, press release of the International Securities Association & Foundations Management Company, the administrator of the Foundation brining the action, which summarizes the rulings in the Court’s judgment, can be found here.Continue Reading Dutch Court Enters Interim Merits Judgment in Favor of Petrobras Investors
Among the topics of principal focus on this site are U.S. securities class action lawsuits, although from time to time I do write about collective investor actions outside the U.S (here, for example). The fact is that in recent years there have been a number of important and interesting developments in collective investor actions outside of the U.S. In a recent paper, “Five Current Class Actions Outside of North American Investors Should Be Aware Of,” Jeff Lubitz, Managing Director, ISS Securities Class Action Services, takes a look at some key cases outside of the U.S. to watch in coming months. A copy of the paper can be found here.
Continue Reading Key Collective Investor Actions Outside the U.S. to Watch
Regular readers of this blog know my view that the rise of collective investor actions outside the United States is one of the most important developments in the world of directors’ and officers’ liability in recent years. The increase in collective investor actions has been particularly noteworthy in Europe. In the following guest post, ISS Securities Class Action Services and the FOX Williams law jointly report on the current state of play in European Class Actions. The ISS SCAS authors are Jeffrey Lubitz, Managing Director, and Elisa Mendoza, Esq., Associate Director. The Fox Williams authors are Andrew Hill, Partner; Anisha Patel, Senior Associate; and Sam Tarrant and Olwen Mair, Associates. A .pdf version of the report is available here. As the authors note, investors increasingly are finding innovative ways to bring such claims and the courts and legislatures across Europe appear willing to find solutions to ease the burden and costs traditionally associated with these actions, making them more accessible to investors. I would like to thank the authors for allowing me to publish their report as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: An Investor Roadmap: The Jurisdictional Differences and Impact of ESG in European Shareholder Class Actions
A court in the Netherlands has ruled that a collective investor action against Petrobras and related entities pending in the court can go forward, notwithstanding the arbitration clause in Petrobras’s articles of association. The defendants had sought to argue that because of the arbitration clause the foundation that was pursuing the Dutch action on behalf of investors had no standing to pursue the claims. The Dutch court’s May 26, 2021 ruling rejecting the defendants’ argument will now permit the action to go forward. A copy of Petrobras’s May 27, 2021 press release about the court’s ruling can be found here. A June 3, 2021 Law360 article about the Dutch court’s ruling can be found here.
Continue Reading Dutch Court Rules Petrobras Collective Investor Action May Proceed
In a development with significant implications both for Petrobras investor claims and for the global pursuit of investor claims generally, a Dutch court has accepted jurisdiction for a securities fraud action filed in the Netherlands against Petrobras, and also ruled that the arbitration clause in Petrobras’s bylaws do not preclude the Dutch proceeding. As discussed below, the court’s rulings could have important global ramifications for the viability of Dutch procedures for investors seeking collective redress, even (as is the case in the Petrobras action) with respect to companies based outside of the Netherlands.
Continue Reading Dutch Court OKs Petrobras Claim Jurisdiction Despite Brazilian Arbitration Clause
On July 13, 2018, the Amsterdam Court of Appeals finally approved the €1.3 billion ($1.5 billion) settlement of a series of shareholder claims against Fortis in the wake of the global financial crisis. The settlement, which had first been announced in March 2016 by Ageas, Fortis’s successor in interest, faced a number of judicial objections and concerns, resulting in changes to the settlement as originally proposed. According to a July 27, 2018 Law 360 article by Jonathan Richman of the Proskauer law firm and Ianika Tzankova of Tilburg University (here), the court’s recent approval “again shows” that the Dutch settlement procedure “remains a viable settlement vehicle for companies wishing to resolve transnational problems on a classwide, opt-out basis.” On the other hand, claimants’ attorneys have questioned whether the court’s rulings on class distribution and attorneys’ fees could discourage institutional investors from seeking to use the Dutch settlement procedures.
Continue Reading Dutch Court Declares Largest-Ever European Investor Claims Settlement Binding
As collective investor actions have become an increasingly global phenomenon, a recurring question has been whether another jurisdiction will emerge as the preferred forum for aggrieved investors to pursue their claims. Among the countries often mentioned in this context it the Netherlands, owing to the country’s collective settlement procedures. In a recent post, I noted a September 2016 decision from the Amsterdam District Court and suggested that the court’s jurisdictional ruling could diminish the usefulness and appeal of the Dutch collective settlement procedures. In the following guest post, Jonathan Richman of the Proskauer Rose law firm clarifies that the Dutch court’s ruling pertained to the country’s collective action procedures, not the separate collective settlement procedures, and that, contrary to my blog post’s suggestion, the court’s jurisdictional ruling arguably does not diminish the collective settlement procedures’ utility. I would like to thank Jonathan for his willingness to publish his article on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Jonathan’s guest post.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Dutch Collective Actions vs. Collective Settlements
As the rise of collective investor actions has gone global, one of the questions that has arisen is whether a country other than the U.S. would become a preferred forum in which investors might pursue their claims, even investors from outside the forum country. Australia is among the countries that have been suggested. Another country that has comes up in this conversation is The Netherlands, which recently was the location of a massive investor settlement. Investors angered by several high profile scandals in other countries have also filed claims in The Netherlands. All of these developments have added to the suggestion that The Netherlands may be becoming a preferred forum for investor actions from around the world.
However, a recent court decision in an investor action filed in the Netherlands against BP and arising out of the Deepwater Horizon platform disaster may suggest that Netherlands collective action procedures may not be available for investors seeking to recover purely financial losses where the alleged wrongdoing took place outside the Netherlands and there are no other factors connecting the case to Netherlands.
Continue Reading Dutch Court Dismisses Collective Investor Action Against BP on Jurisdictional Grounds
In what is by far the largest investor settlement ever under the Dutch collective settlement procedures, several shareholder foundations have reached an agreement to settle the Fortis shareholder claims for a total of €1.204 billion ($1.3 billion). The shareholder foundations’ settlement with Ageas, as Fortis is now known, relates to Fortis’s ill-fated October 2007 participation in the ABN AMRO acquisition just before the global financial crisis. Under a parallel settlement, €290 million ($313 million) of the shareholder settlement will be funded by Fortis’s D&O insurers. The shareholder settlement is subject to the approval of the Amsterdam Court of Appeals. This massive settlement undoubtedly will boost current initiatives by the shareholders of other companies – such as VW, Tesco, and Petrobras – to use the Dutch collective settlement procedures to secure collective investor relief.
A copy of Ageas’s March 14, 2016 press release about the shareholder settlement can be found here. Ageas’s March 14, 2016 press release about the insurance settlement can be found here. The website that Ageas has established for shareholders regarding the settlement can be found here.
Continue Reading Massive $1.3 Billion Settlement of Fortis Investor Actions Under Dutch Collective Settlement Procedures
One of the questions posed in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank is whether the Court’s holding might encourage securities claimants foreclosed by Morrison from U.S. court to attempt to pursue their claims in their home countries or in other jurisdictions.
The January 10, 2011…