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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

German court short-cuts VW investor claims

The Landgericht (regional court) in Braunschweig (or Brunswick, as we know it) is using a class-action style approach to deal with the claims of numerous VW investors relating to misrepresentations of capital markets data, according to its press release (in German). It will select one case as a model for some 170 other similar claims, most of them from private investors. The largest case, filed by lawyer Andreas Tilp, includes the claims of 277 institutional investors and is worth €3.26 billion.

The selected representative plaintiff will be named in the final quarter of the year. Model proceedings of this sort - the closest the German system has to US class actions - can resolve generic or common issues, but unlike American cases cannot deal with individual claims. The priocedure was introduced in 2005 following a case involving Deutsche Telekom which was the subject of thousands of claims over prospectus fraud.

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