Last week, Governor Cuomo signed into law a bill to amend the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (“CPLR”) to extend the statute of limitations to six years for financial fraud claims brought under the Martin Act.  One of the strongest blue sky laws in the country, New York’s Martin Act gives wide latitude to the state’s Attorney General to investigate and prosecute financial fraud, both criminally and civilly.  The statute is a particularly useful weapon in the state’s arsenal, as it does not require the Attorney General to prove scienter, or fraudulent intent, in order to prevail.

Continue Reading New York Legislature Extends Statute of Limitations for Martin Act Claims

In the past few years, institutional investors and others seeking to enforce their rights in court have been hit with several negative legal decisions concerning statutes of limitation issues. In 2015, the New York Court of Appeals held in ACE Securities that a claim for breaches of representations and warranties in an RMBS contract accrues when the representations are made, not when a sponsor refuses to cure or repurchase the breaching mortgage loans, rendering certain contractual put-back claims in connection with early-vintage RMBS time-barred under New York’s six-year statute of limitations. Then, last year, the Supreme Court ruled in CalPERS v. ANZ Securities, Inc. that the filing of a securities class action did not toll the three-year statute of repose (the law’s absolute bar to bringing suit) set forth in the Securities Act with respect to direct claims brought by investors “opting-out” of the related class.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Gives Some Defrauded Investors More Time To Seek Recovery

Last week, U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest of the Southern District of New York reinstated a failure-to-notify claim brought by plaintiff Deutsche Bank National Trust Company (the trustee) against defendant Morgan Stanley Mortgage Capital Holdings LLC (“Morgan Stanley”). This notification claim is distinct from the trustee’s claim for breach of contract—based on Morgan Stanley’s alleged breaches of the agreements governing the residential mortgage-backed security (“RMBS”) transaction—and concerns Morgan Stanley’s failure to inform the trustee about alleged misrepresentations made by Morgan Stanley about the mortgage loans which served as the underlying collateral for the securities issued by the Morgan Stanley Structured Trust I 2007-1 (“the trust”).

Continue Reading Federal Court Reinstates Trustee’s Failure to Notify Claim in $306 Million RMBS Suit

On Wednesday, April 12, Justice Ramos of the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court dismissed with prejudice four lawsuits filed by Royal Park Investments SA/NV (“Royal Park”).  The lawsuits alleged fraud and negligent misrepresentation with respect to residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”) sold to Fortis NV/SA (“Fortis”) – formerly an independent Belgian bank that was sold off to BNP Paribas during the financial crisis – between 2005 and 2007.  The claims sought damages totaling $3.7 billion from four of the world’s largest banks: Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, and UBS.

Continue Reading RMBS Cases Seeking $3.7 Billion Dismissed for Lack of Standing

Investment advisor TCW Asset Management Company (“TCW”) scored a major victory last week when an appellate court dismissed a $128 million RMBS fraud suit that was filed against it by two Australian-based Cayman Island hedge funds: Basis Pac-Rim Opportunity Fund (Master) and Basis Yield Alpha Fund (Master) (together, “Basis”).  Basis sued TCW for alleged fraud

On December 7, New York Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten dismissed a $500 million lawsuit against UBS AG (“UBS”) brought by Ace Decade Holdings Limited (“Ace Decade”), a British Virgin Islands company, for lack of personal jurisdiction and forum non conveniens.  Ace Decade alleged that UBS fraudulently induced it to invest in shares of

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently reversed a trial court’s dismissal of the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA’s) residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) fraud claims against Nomura Home Equity Loan Inc.  The appellate court held that the Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) extended all applicable deadlines for

On August 5, U.S. Southern District Judge Victor Marrero denied PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) motion for summary judgment with respect to a $1 billion professional malpractice suit filed by the plan administrator for the now-defunct MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MF Global).

The suit accuses PwC of dispensing negligent accounting advice to MF Global on how to handle

Last week, a German regional court in Braunschweig ordered that shareholder litigation against Volkswagen AG proceed to a German court of appeals.  The 170 separate shareholder suits allege that Volkswagen defrauded investors when it concealed that the company falsified emissions data in 11 million of its diesel vehicles.   Together, the suits bring claims of nearly

Financial services companies and their directors and officers are frequently the target of lawsuits alleging dishonest or fraudulent conduct.  Additionally, federal and state agencies increasingly target directors and officers for misconduct in the management of corporations and are devoting significant resources to investigating companies in the finance sector.

When properly structured, insurance provides one way