The fall-out from the market turmoil caused by the credit crisis is likely to give rise to an increase in the volume of potential litigation claims against financial institutions.
Arthur Cox has a specialist Financial Services Litigation Group made up of members of our Financial Regulatory Group and our Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group and is uniquely placed to advise financial institutions when facing litigation in Ireland.
Our Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group is the leading litigation practice in Ireland. The Group undertakes work with a large international element, often involving cross-border disputes and jurisdictional issues. We have extensive experience in providing pre-dispute advisory services and advising and managing both formal litigation proceedings and various forms of alternative dispute resolution. Our client base includes a wide range of domestic and multinational institutions in all sectors – banking and financial institutions, insurance companies, media corporations, state and semi-state bodies, professional organisations and private clients.
Our Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group works closely with our Financial Regulatory Group on litigation matters for clients within the financial services sphere. Our Financial Regulatory Group has experience of advising on a very wide variety of regulatory and compliance matters relevant to the financial services industry and combines a detailed understanding of the financial markets and the commercial background to the matters it advises on. The Group advises many of Ireland’s leading financial institutions and investment firms and most of the leading international financial firms and has advised the Irish Banking Federation and other trade bodies on specialist matters.
Our Financial Services Litigation Group has the skills, market knowledge and experience to provide advice to financial institutions and their insurers on a wide range of litigation and pre-litigation matters, such as the following:
- Investigations by the Financial Regulator and/or the Irish Stock Exchange, including investigations relating to lapses or deficiencies in systems and controls and market abuse investigations
- Complaints made to the Financial Services Ombudsman or the Financial Regulator
- Mis-selling claims/Mis-statement claims
- Employee misconduct claims
- Prospectus liability claims
- Claims in relation to breach of fiduciary and other duties
- Contractual claims arising out of the insolvency of financial services firms including termination of hedging arrangements
- Contractual claims arising from defaults under structured products including CDOs, CLOs and ABS
The following is an indication of our experience in the area of financial services litigation:
- Representing Fyffes plc in the successful prosecution of proceedings alleging insider dealing by DCC plc, S&L Investments Limited, Mr James Flavin and Lotus Green Limited in breach of Part V of the Companies Act 1990 (the precursor to the Market Abuse Regulations 2005), arising out of the circumstances of the sale by the DCC Group of its Fyffes’ shareholding in February 2000
- Representing the interests of Ulster Bank Investment Funds Limited in proceedings against the Financial Services Ombudsman in order to set aside directions made by the Ombudsman to make payments regarding the operation of a fund (and in particular our client’s treatment of a deferred tax asset which arose in relation to the said fund)
- Acting on behalf of various financial institutions arising out of claims for compensation for breach of contract and/or negligent misrepresentation in the manner in which products were sold to plaintiffs and the manner in which the funds in which the said monies were invested performed thereafter. Types of products involved include structured and investment products and endowment products. Our work has included acting on behalf of the insurers of a number of financial institutions in interpreting the policies held by the institutions
- Representing a major Asian bank in a Commercial Court dispute arising from a structured CLO-type vehicle domiciled in Ireland involving claims of in excess of €45 million
- Advising a top four firm of independent investigating accountants appointed by the Financial Regulator in relation to their investigation into foreign exchange issues at an Irish bank resulting in restitution to customers in excess of €30 million
- Representing a major publicly quoted international airline in the successful defence of judicial review proceedings brought against it and the Financial Regulator by another international airline alleging breach of the Market Abuse Regulations 2005. These proceedings were struck out following the Court’s determination of all preliminary issues in favour of the Financial Regulator and our client
- Acting for various parties in relation to Government Inquiries set up to investigate issues arising from the non-payment of Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) across the banking sector
- Acting for IIB Bank Limited in relation to a Companies Acts investigation into IIB’s dealings with Ansbacher Bank and in relation to various statutory inquiries in relation to the operation of Ansbacher Bank in Ireland
- Acting for a major Irish financial services firm on the unwind of swaps and repos prior to its examinership
Our Financial Regulatory Group provides a full range of advice to financial institutions and other businesses on Irish regulatory and compliance issues. In particular, we advise clients in relation to regulations applicable to the following areas:
- Bank regulation, regulatory capital and compliance
- Consumer Protection Code and consumer protection generally
- Derivatives and Covered Bonds
- Risk management/governance
- Data protection/privacy and management
- Anti-money laundering
- Market abuse
- Payment services/Cross border transfer of funds