We had covered the jurisdictional journey of the various claims brought by hedge funds against Porsche in relation to the failed Volkswagen take-over before. To the best of my knowledge, courts in London, New York – both federal and state court, so New York counts twice – Stuttgart, Braunschweig and Hannover have been dealing with various aspects of these claims so far. Der SPIEGEL now reports that new claims have been issued in Frankfurt.
The Frankfurt plaintiffs seek damages in the order of EUR 1.8 billion. What appears to be new, apart from the venue, is the fact that the claims are not only brought against Porsche, the legal entity, but also against Ferdinand Piech and Wolfgang Porsche in person. Piech and Porsche both are members of the Porsche supervisory board and members of the family controlling Volkswagen and Porsche. In his capacity as a supervisory board member, Piech has already been involved in litigation emanating from the Porsche/Volkswagen take-over saga.
The new claims are being brought under a tort law theory, namely Sec. 826 German Civil Code (BGB). This would require claimants to show that the defendants did intentionally cause them damage in a manner that violated public policy (gute Sitten). A very substantial hurdle indeed.