During the more than six years since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Morrison v National Australia Bank, the lower courts have worked out a host of issues about how Morrison applies in a variety of circumstances. One issue that has continued to percolate is the question of how the Morrison decision applies to non-U.S. companies that have American Depository Receipts (ADRs) trading over- the-counter (OTC) in the U.S.
These issues arose again the U.S. securities class action lawsuit that Volkswagen ADR investors filed against the company and related defendants based on allegations involving the company’s recent high-profile vehicle emissions scandal. The Volkswagen defendants argued in reliance on Morrison that the U.S. securities laws do not apply to the OTC transactions in the company’s ADRs. In an interesting January 4, 2017 opinion (here), Northern District of California Judge Charles R. Breyer held that the U.S. securities laws do indeed apply to over-the-counter transactions in the U.S. of Volkswagen’s sponsored Level 1 ADRs.
Continue Reading Court Holds U.S. Securities Laws Apply to OTC Transactions in Volkswagen’s Sponsored ADRs