Porsche Plaintiffs’ Tour de Germany: Last Exit Braunschweig?

The hedge funds seeking billions of Euros in damages from Porsche’s failed Volkswagen take-over still have not found a court willing to assume jurisdicton to hear their matter: Having started out in Stuttgart, or even in New York, they have been on a trip that looked as if it had ended in Hannover, when the Braunschweig District Court (Landgericht) transferred the matter to Hannover District Court on the basis that the plantiffs relied on competition law theories.

Hannover would be the court with exclusive jurisdiction of competition law matters in the State of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen). The Hannover court, however, did not accept the transfer from Brauschweig, and sent the matter on to the Braunschweig Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht). The Court of Appeals must now act as an umpire between the two lower courts and allocate the matter either to Braunschweig or to Hannover District Court. The legal technicality behind this is the question whether Braunschweig was bound be the initial decision of the Stuttgart court to transfer the case and hence could not itself transfer for a second time to another court.

In any event, by the time the final destination of the round trip is known, almost two years will have gone by without any progress on the merits of the case. Now that’s not German efficiency that Porsche fans expect.





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