On 7 November 2017, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal decided in favour of BP Plc in a securities class action initiated by the Dutch Association of Shareholders (VEB).
VEB had requested a declaratory judgment on the basis of Article 3:305a Dutch Civil Code regarding BP’s liability towards investors who bought, sold, or held BP Ordinary Shares in the period running up to and just after the 2010 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform. The Court of Appeal confirmed a judgment of the Amsterdam District Court granting a motion to dismiss for lack of international jurisdiction filed by BP.
This is a landmark decision on the issue of international jurisdiction in securities class actions. In a separate action that was brought by VEB on behalf of Volkswagen shareholders for loss suffered in relation to the emissions scandal ('dieselgate'), the District Court of Amsterdam stayed its decision on jurisdiction, pending the outcome of the VEB/BP case.
VEB has lodged a further appeal to the Dutch Supreme Court on 6 February 2018. The Dutch Supreme Court has asked preliminary questions to the ECJ before deciding on the matter; the case is now pending at the ECJ.
The Stibbe team consisted of: Fons Leijten, Jeroen Kortmann, Winfried van Hemel and Olivier Schotel. In this matter, Stibbe worked alongside Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.
On 10 November, Jeroen Piersma of the Dutch Financial Times ('het Financieele Dagblad') wrote an article about the court of appeal decision.
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