Frankfurt Courts Limit Scope of New German Bond Act – Direct Impact on Debt Restructuring

Today’s post provides some legal back ground on prominent corporate restructuring matters. Pfleiderer, a manufacturer of engineered wood and laminate flooring, and solar company Q-Cells have been making the headlines in the business press for quite some time now. Both were the brink of insolvency, both had bonds outstanding, the restructuring of which was central to their survival – and in both cases this led to litigation in the Frankfurt courts. Continue reading

Standard & Poor’s Can be Sued in Frankfurt – Update

As reported, the Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) on November 29, 2011 has held it has jurisdiction to hear claims for damages against Standard & Poor’s in relation to losses caused by investing in Lehman certificates. In my opinion, the Court of Appeals has taken a surprisingly liberal approach to assuming jurisdiction; quite honestly, the first instance judgment was more in line with what I would have expected. As a New York lawyer commented: “Seems like the German courts are learning from the US courts on extending their jurisdictional reach!” Continue reading

Lehman Ratings: Standard & Poor’s, New York, NY, can be sued in Frankfurt, Germany

Ruling on the issue of jurisdiction only, the Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) yesterday found in favour of a claimant who has sued Standard & Poor’s, New York, in the Frankfurt courts for damages suffered in relation to investments in financial instruments issued by Lehman Brothers Inc. The claimant had alleged that he had made these investments in reliance on ratings issued by Standard & Poor’s. Continue reading

Freezing Order Frustration

My gut feeling: Germany is a jurisdiction where it is notoriously difficult to get a freezing order even in fraud cases. I do not have any empirical data to back this up, and can not think about a methodology to test my hypothesis. But it appears to be supported by a recent case in the Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht). Continue reading