Raimond Dufour, Willem Heemskerk, Cees Verburg and Susanne Kingma acted as defence counsel for a major international bank in Dutch class action proceedings initiated by Stichting Elco Foundation in 2017.
The foundation asserted that defendants manipulated international interest rate benchmarks (e.g. LIBOR) on a structural basis, thereby affecting the financial markets on a global scale. After the court assumed partial international jurisdiction as to the non-Dutch defendants on 14 August 2019, the court rendered its judgment on the foundation’s admissibility on 9 December 2020.
The court held that even if it would award the foundation’s declaratory claim that defendants acted unlawfully, the foundation’s class members would not benefit from that award because they would have to start from zero in subsequent liability proceedings. Therefore, the court held that in this case collective redress does not offer more effective/efficient legal protection to the foundation’s class members when compared to individual liability proceedings initiated by the class members themselves. On that basis, the court rendered the foundation inadmissible in each of its claims against each defendant.
The Amsterdam District Court judgment can be found here.