Petrobras International Litigation
SETTLEMENT FUND: TBD
FILING DEADLINE: TBD
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Investors who purchased Common and Preferred shares of Petrobras and/or Bonds issued by Petrobras Global Finance B.V. or Petrobras International Finance Company S.A. anytime before July 28, 2015 should confirm their eligibility today.
Common and Preferred shares of Petrobras and/or Bonds issued by Petrobras Global Finance B.V. or Petrobras International Finance Company S.A.
For nearly a decade, Petrobras allegedly engaged in a massive corruption scheme that went unchallenged until 2014, when, on October 27, 2014, it issued a press release stating that certain of its key executives were being investigated in connection with bribery and money laundering. Since then, prosecutors and federal police in Brazil have unearthed the countrys largest-ever corruption scandal by linking a ring of black-market money changers to a price-fixing and political kickback scheme at the state-run oil company.
This is a collective legal action against Petroleo Brasileiro SA for investors who purchased Petrobras securities in transactions outside of the United States, primarily securities issued in Brazil, the Netherlands and Spain. The action is alleging violations of the federal securities laws by defendants for purportedly concealing a multi-year, multi-billion dollar bribery and kickback scheme.
The Netherlands currently has two separate collective redress mechanisms: A representative collective action (governed by Article 3:305a of the Dutch Civil Code) and a class settlement mechanism, also called WCAM, (codified in sections 7:908-7:910 of the Dutch Civil Code and Articles 1013-1018 of the Dutch Civil Procedure Code) based on an opt-out system. In a collective action, the scope is limited for the representative entity to submit a claim for a declaratory judgment or seek injunctive relief. However, WCAM proceedings allow parties, including international investors, in a collective settlement to try to make the settlement binding on all, international members of a group unless members opt out. WCAM may be used only to settle claims on a classwide basis, not to prosecute them. The foundation and the compensating party must enter a contract before presenting it to the Amsterdam Court of Appeal which has exclusive jurisdiction over WCAM proceedings. Sine US Supreme Court’s decision in Morrison v. National Australian Bank, which limited non-U.S. shareholders ability to file securities claims in the US, WCAM proceedings have been used to pursue internationally binding settlements. These include the Royal Dutch Shell settlement in 2009, the former Converium Holding AG settlement in 2012, and the Ageas settlement in 2016. WCAM proceeding can be and have been used for global settlements with relatively little connection to the Netherlands. It is recognized that the Netherlands is the only national legal system in the EU that authorizes opt-out collective settlements.
June 2018: The Dutch Class Action Against Petrobras Moves Forward
To learn more about this recent ruling, you can read Battea Global Litigation Research’s “Petrobras Litigation Research Report & Point of View” here. This in-depth research report includes a detailed analysis of the May 26, 2021 ruling and the damages in the Netherlands class.
September 2018: The Dutch Court ruled for granting jurisdiction in the Netherlands.
The Court set a date of September 1, 2021 for Stichting Petrobras Compensation Foundation (SPCF) to submit its further arguments and facts regarding the merits of the case and specifically the arguments that support SPCF’s allegations that Petrobras violated investors’ rights under applicable laws as previously determined by the Court in Rotterdam.
The Foundation is confident that it will prevail against Petrobras on the merits of the fraud allegations. If this happens, Petrobras will be subject to a binding judgement for damages in the EU.