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.
South Africa’s Steinhoff International Holdings NV is in talks with insurers to help settle lawsuits instituted against the retail group by claimants who lost money when it revealed holes in its accounts in December 2017, the firm’s CFO said on Monday. Litigation remains a significant outstanding challenge for the retailer, which has proposed a $1 billion global lawsuit settlement plan to settle about 90 separate legal claims in the Netherlands, Germany and South Africa. The combined claims of those who have quantified their alleged damages are in excess of 136 billion rand ($9.12 billion), Steinhoff has said. A court must now set a date for convening a creditors’ meeting in which the litigants must vote on the proposal, which the company has indications would be supported by claimants. Click here to read the full article.
Australian bank Westpac has agreed to a $25 million deal settling claims that it conspired with a cabal of banking institutions to rig the price of derivatives based on an Australian foreign exchange benchmark. Tuesday’s proposed deal would also compel Westpac, which denied all illegal conduct or wrongdoing, to turn over information related to the alleged price-fixing conspiracy. This would, according to the investors, strengthen cases against Westpac’s co-defendants and lead to similarly-structured deals with the accused conspirators. In a memorandum, representatives for the proposed class expressed confidence that the newly announced deal would lead to further victories against defendant banks. Click here to read the full article (subscription may be required).
Following the Court’s judgment in the Burford case, it will be much more difficult for companies which consider they are the victims of market manipulation themselves to bring claims. This is because the Court effectively found that the causes of action which Burford sought to bring against alleged manipulators were not in fact open to them to bring. Through these findings, it is likely that any company seeking to bring claims in connection with alleged market manipulation would need to seek to have its shareholders form a class action against the alleged manipulators in order for any claim to be sustainable. In light of this case, it is likely that we will see any civil claims for market abuse being run as shareholder class actions going forward. Where companies consider that they are victims of market abuse, we may see companies resorting to a judicial review of the FCA’s decisions, where it has concluded that market abuse has not taken place. Click here to read the full article.
Seyfarth Shaw expects the rise in SPAC transactions to be accompanied by the continued filing of securities suits in the coming months and years. Much of the litigation will be no different than typical disclosure-related suits that might follow any public company disclosure, but certain unique aspects of the SPAC structure could create additional litigation risks. Click here to read the full article.
On Feb.16, the First Department Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court issued a widely anticipated ruling in In the Matter of Sundial Growers Inc., in which it affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of a putative class action brought under the federal Securities Act. This ruling marks the First Department’s second consecutive decision rejecting Securities Act class action claims within a matter of months, signaling a growing backlash against the influx of these suits into state courts following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Cyan Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund. And while this ruling is welcome precedent to public companies and their backers named as defendants in these suits, it also leaves key legal issues unresolved, including a split among trial court judges over whether New York’s heightened pleading standards apply to these claims. Click here to read the full article (subscription may be required).
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