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

jonthan richman
Jonathan Richman

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

netherlandsAs 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

netherlandsIn 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