FRT’s Fast Five: Week Ending March 20, 2020

Financial Recovery Technologies Fast Five provides you with the top news in shareholder class actions. Stay up-to-date on the latest developments in settled (U.S./Canada) claims filing opportunities, Antitrust settlements, Global Group Litigation matters and more. For more information, contact your Financial Recovery Technologies representative or email us.

1. Cruise Line Shareholder Files First Coronavirus-Related Securities Suit

On March 12, 2020, a shareholder of Norwegian Cruise Lines filed a securities class action lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida against the company, its CEO, and its CFO. The complaint purports to be filed on behalf of a class of shareholders who purchased the company’s shares between February 20, 2020 and March 12, 2020. The complaint alleges that the defendants made false and misleading statements or failed to disclose that: “(1) the Company was employing sales tactics of providing customers with unproven and/or blatantly false statements about COVID-19 to entice customers to purchase cruises, thus endangering the lives of both their customers and crew members; and (2) as a result, Defendants’ statements regarding the Company’s business and operations were materially false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times.” Click here to read the full article.

2. Westpac hit with third class action lawsuit over AUSTRAC scandal

Westpac has been hit with a third shareholder class action over allegations the bank failed to properly disclose the risk and extent of alleged anti-money laundering law breaches that are the basis of a lawsuit filed by the financial crimes regulator. Melbourne-based corporate law firm Johnson Winter & Slattery served the country’s oldest bank with the lawsuit on behalf of shareholders who acquired an interest in Westpac securities or equity swaps over the six-year period from December 16, 2013 and November 19 last year. In November last year, financial crimes watchdog AUSTRAC served Westpac with an explosive statement of claim alleging the bank failed to properly vet 23 million payments, some of which could be linked to child exploitation and live child sex shows in the Philippines and other parts of south-east Asia. Click here to read the full article.

3. Here’s why litigation funding is here to stay

Financing more complex, multi-jurisdictional legal battles may soon be the new norm for litigation funders, write Jonathan Tickner and Holly Buick. Investing in litigation funding was once the preserve of hedge funds, but is now a frontier for an increasingly diverse range of investors; from sovereign wealth funds to individuals through crowd-funding and even a recent blockchain platform. While the UK has one of the fastest-growing litigation funding markets, others like Hong Kong, Singapore and offshore jurisdictions follow close behind – part of a global trend that is seeing rules relaxed to accommodate litigation funding. As increasing capital is made available to funders, they will have to innovate in order to find ever more cases to fund. Looking ahead, there is a good chance that funders will find new ways to back more speculative claims, meaning that this valuable solution could soon be accessible to an even broader market. Click here to read the full article.

4. UK Litigation funder liable for uncapped adverse costs

In ChapelGate Credit Opportunity Master Fund Ltd v James Money, the Court of Appeal ordered a funder to pay the full amount of adverse costs. In a significant judgment for commercial litigation funders, the court found that the ‘Arkin cap’ (which can cap a litigation funder’s liability for adverse costs to the amount of funding that was provided) is not a binding rule to be applied automatically in every case involving a litigation funder. Instead, the court considered all of the facts of the case and exercised its discretion in determining whether to cap the litigation funder’s liability for adverse costs. Click here to read the full article.

5. Shareholders’ class action lawyers: We’re not rushing to bring COVID-19 cases

The last week has been a social and economic catastrophe, with markets plunging, recession looming and businesses that seemed perfectly healthy in February suddenly on the brink of failure. You might think those are optimal conditions for shareholder class action lawyers. But experts don’t think there’s going to be an imminent flood of COVID-19 related securities class actions. To the contrary, the plaintiffs’ lawyers said they have no intention of filing reflexive class actions alleging that companies slammed by the pandemic failed to provide adequate risk warnings to shareholders. “Trying to take advantage of a worldwide tragic epidemic disaster?” said Steven Toll of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll. “I just hope those suits aren’t brought.” The underpinnings of the COVID-19 crisis are fundamentally different, the lawyers said, than those of the 2008 crash. Click here to read the full article.

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Founded in 2008, Financial Recovery Technologies (FRT) is the leading technology-based services firm that helps the investment community identify eligibility, file claims and collect funds made available in securities and other class action settlements. Offering the most comprehensive range of claim filing and monitoring services available, we provide best-in-class eligibility analysis, disbursement auditing and client reporting, and deliver the highest level of accuracy, accountability, and transparency available. For more information, go to www.frtservices.com.

This communication and the content found by following any link herein are being provided to you by Financial Recovery Technologies (FRT) for informational purposes only and do not constitute advice. All material presented herein is believed to be reliable but FRT makes no representation or warranty with respect to this communication or such content and expressly disclaims any implied warranty under law. Opinions expressed in this communication may change without prior notice. Firms should always seek legal and financial advice specific to their unique situation and objectives.

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