Royal Bank of Scotland plc (United Kingdom)
£800 million (over 1 billion U.S. dollars) settlement in 2016
DRRT reached a £800 million settlement with Royal Bank of Scotland plc (“RBS“) in the case arising from the April 2008 rights issue on behalf of over 300 institutional investors from all over the world. A six-month trial was due to start in March 2017. Working with local solicitors from the London boutique litigation firm Stewarts Law, the settlement with RBS marks another successful case resolution for DRRT clients. It adds to the settlement with Olympus for ¥11 billion in Japan. The RBS settlement represents a significant step for investor loss recovery efforts in Europe. Not only is it the second largest settlement of its kind in European history, following the March 2016 Fortis/Ageas settlement, it also ranks among the top 15 settlements in the history of global shareholder litigation. This resolution provides a remarkable recovery per share, rarely seen in group or class action settlements of its kind and size, and a mutually desirable end to expensive and complex litigation. Investors represented by DRRT and Stewarts Law will receive 41p for every share purchased in the 2008 Rights Offering.
Ageas NV/SA fka Fortis (Netherlands)
€1.2 billion (1.27 billion U.S. dollars) settlement in 2016
Stichting Investor Claims Against Fortis (“SICAF“) has reached an agreement with Ageas NV/SA (“Ageas“) pursuant to which Ageas will pay an amount of €1.2 billion to eligible shareholders covered by the settlement. This is the largest settlement of investor claims in Europe so far. SICAF represents over 150 institutional investors from various parts of the world (U.S., Canada, U.K., Continental Europe, Asia) on whose behalf two separate court actions were filed against Ageas and other defendants in Utrecht between 2011 and 2012 seeking damages on their investments in Fortis shares in the period from May 2007 to October 2008. The active involvement of the litigating institutions in the Dutch court and the involvement of our Foundation in a leading role in the Dutch litigation since 2011 contributed significantly to this historic settlement. SICAF is proud to have played a prominent role in the negotiations and mediation process and appreciates the support from its board of directors as well as local counsel in this matter. The settlement is subject to the approval of a court in the Netherlands in accordance with the Dutch Act on Collective Settlements (Wet Collectieve Afwikkeling van Massaschades).
¥11 billion (92 million U.S. dollars) settlement in 2015
In 2013, DRRT reached a JPY 11 billion settlement for the benefit of its group of investor clients, which was not official until signed by Olympus on March 27, 2015, putting an end to litigation commenced in 2012 over the consequences of the accounting fraud committed by the company in the years before. This settlement ended a long settlement agreement drafting process following the early, pre-judgment mediation and preliminary settlement in October 2013. DRRT, in cooperation with its Japanese local counsel, has spearheaded this unique Japanese group litigation and broken new ground in Japanese securities litigation which resulted in the biggest settlement of its kind in Japanese history. While the details of our group’s settlement remain confidential, we are confident that our own outcome is significantly superior to any other settlement. Moreover, our settlement has resulted in an earlier payment to our clients compared to other settlements and our clients have remained anonymous, while investors of other groups have been made public. DRRT is proud to have successfully overcome the challenges involved in a “new“ shareholder litigation jurisdiction.
Gildan Activewear Inc. (Canada)
22.5 million U.S. dollars class action settlement in 2010
Gildan Activewear Inc. (“Gildan“) materially increased its stock price due to issuance of misleading earnings guidance for the fiscal year 2008, misleading statements that its Dominican Republic manufacturing facility was operating at a comparable scale of production to its more mature Honduras manufacturing facility, and the failure to make timely disclosure of alleged adverse events affecting the productivity of its Dominican Republic textile manufacturing facility. Based on this, Gildan’s shares rose to over USD $46 per share. Following Gildan’s announcement on April 29, 2008 reducing its fiscal 2008 earnings guidance, Gildan’s stock price fell 30%. DRRT together with the Canadian lead counsel successfully represented a major German investment company as lead plaintiff in this case, which had also been filed in the United States but was dismissed there. This case represents a successful selection of the most appropriate forum for litigating shareholder claims under this circumstance.
Sky Deutschland AG (fka Premiere) (Germany)
This case seeking €242.5 million was resolved in October 2010 for a group of international institutional investors, including major U.S. investors. Investors made claims for compensation alleging violation of securities laws relating to the proper accounting and reporting of subscription numbers of pay-TV cable subscribers between 2005‐2008. DRRT funded the litigation and cooperated with a local German specialty law firm in this matter, reaching a pre-litigation out‐of‐court settlement in 2010. The recovery for prospectus liability claims was almost 50%.
Royal Dutch Shell plc (Netherlands)
$381 million Dutch settlement in April 2007 plus 80% out of the $120 million SEC settlement in the United States (also for non-U.S. investors) On April 11, 2007, Royal Dutch Shell plc signed a settlement agreement to compensate non-U.S. investors for the damages caused by various false statements of the company, relating primarily to its proved oil reserves from 1999 to 2003. The settlement agreement provides relief in the amount of $352.6 million, and an additional sum of $28.4 million was available to align the relief under the non-U.S. settlement agreement with the funds under the U.S. settlement. Royal Dutch Shell furthermore agreed to pay interest as per April 1, 2008. On May 29, 2009, the Dutch Court of Appeals declared the settlement binding on all members and represented investors and a payout of the funds took place mid-2011. DRRT was instrumental in negotiating this Dutch foundation settlement for the entire non-U.S. class and brought in over 25% of all participants in the foundation at a time when the non-U.S. investors were facing dismissal from the U.S. class action for lack of jurisdiction. The result was the first “class-action-type“ settlement in securities litigation matters in Europe under the then fairly new WCAM statute.