FRT’s Fast Five: Week ending May 31, 2019

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. Steinhoff to Face Shareholder Class Action in Germany

Steinhoff will face a class action before a German regional court, dragging shares in the South African furniture retailer down by as much as 10 percent on Thursday, as the fallout from its billion-euro accounting scandal continues. Steinhoff already faces around 6 billion euros ($6.68 billion) worth of legal claims following the fraud. A court in Frankfurt, where the company has a secondary stock-market listing, decided to bundle various cases brought by shareholders against the company and transfer them to a higher regional jurisdiction in the form of a class action. Shareholders will ask German judges to state that Steinhoff’s balance sheets for 2013, 2014 and 2015 were incorrect in the hope of winning financial compensation. Click here to read the full article

2. BHP Faces Beefed Up Class Action Over Samarco Disaster

BHP is facing the prospect of a seriously a beefed-up class action over its Samarco dam collapse after a court ruled two class actions against the miner should be combined. Maurice Blackburn last week partly won its appeal against a Federal Court decision last year that threw out its class action claim against BHP in favor of a separate class action brought by boutique law firm Phi Finney McDonald (PFM). The Full Court of the Federal Court found that Maurice Blackburn and PFM should find a way to work together. The decision means BHP will now face a much stronger class action claim with Maurice Blackburn and PFM pooling the thousands of investors who have signed up into a single claim. Click here to read the full article.

3. UBS Free of 17-Year-Old Securities Suit Over Enron Stock

A group of UBS Financial Services Inc. investors can’t revive their suit accusing the company of helping Enron Corp. defraud them, the Fifth Circuit said May 24. The investors blamed UBS for losses suffered when Enron collapsed in 2001 after a massive accounting fraud scandal. But they didn’t sufficiently allege that UBS was responsible for their Enron related losses, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit said, affirming the dismissal by a lower federal court. Click here to read the full article (subscription may be needed).

4. State Court Stays Discovery Under the PSLRA During Pendency of Motion to Strike

On May 15, 2019, Judge Charles T. Lee of the Connecticut Superior Court at Stamford granted a protective order staying discovery pending a motion to strike in an action alleging violations of the Securities Act of 1933 against an issuer, certain officers and the underwriters in connection with an initial public offering (City of Livonia Retiree Health & Disability Benefits Plan v. Pitney Bowes Inc.) Though there have been decisions going both ways on the issue of whether the PSLRA discovery stay applies in state court, this is the first opinion to analyze the issue thoroughly in the wake of Cyan and should serve as persuasive authority in other jurisdictions. Click here to read the full article.

5. A Race to the Bottom? Traditional Funder Backed Class Actions No Match for ‘No Win, No Fee’ Proposal

On May 23, the Chief Judge in Equity, her Honour Justice Ward handed down a decision finally ending the skirmish between five law firms who all filed competing class actions against AMP last year. Her Honour found that the consolidated Komlotex/Fernbrook proceeding (to be run only by Maurice Blackburn) presented itself as the most attractive vehicle for potential group members and permanently stayed the remaining three proceedings. In circumstances where we have seen at least 78 (almost all funded) shareholder class actions filed in the Federal Court since 2002, the AMP decision is unlikely to make a dent in shareholder class action popularity in Australia. That said, the decision may give funders reason to pause before investing in proposed class actions where one (or several) has already been filed. The decision may also result in a rise in ‘no win no fee’ backed class actions, which bypass funders completely. 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 does 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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