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Consolidated Class Action Lawsuits On Behalf Of Gold And Silver Investors To Proceed

DATE: October 6, 2016

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. Oct. 6, 2016 – Judge Valerie Caproni of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued two lengthy opinions on October 3 permitting consolidated class action lawsuits on behalf of proposed classes of investors in physical gold and gold derivatives and physical silver and silver derivatives to proceed to discovery.

The cases concern the London Gold Fix and the London Silver Fix, which are key benchmark rates for gold, silver, and related financial instruments.  For many years, The Bank of Nova Scotia, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, and Société Générale met in private to conduct the Gold Fix.  Similarly, for many years, The Bank of Nova Scotia, Deutsche Bank, and HSBC met in private to conduct the Silver Fix.  The investor Plaintiffs (who sold physical gold and silver and related futures and options contracts on these metals) accused the Fixing Bank Defendants of utilizing their preferred positions at the Gold and Silver Fixes to collude and effectively “name their own” Fix price and thereby gain an unfair advantage with respect to the contracts, derivatives, and physical positions that they held in the market, all of which were correlated to the Fix price in one way or another.

In her opinion, Judge Caproni concluded that the investor Plaintiffs had sufficiently stated a claim for conspiracy in restraint of trade against the Fixing Bank Defendants.  Judge Caproni further determined that the investor Plaintiffs have standing to bring antitrust and Commodity Exchange Act claims against the Fixing Bank Defendants.  The investor Plaintiffs had also named UBS as a defendant in both cases, but Judge Caproni dismissed UBS as a defendant noting that it was not a party to either the Gold or Silver Fix.  Judge Caproni also dismissed certain claims brought by ETF investors.

The cases will now proceed into discovery.

Judge Caproni previously appointed Berger Montague, led by managing shareholder Merrill G. Davidoff, as co-lead counsel in the case concerning the Gold Fix.  Berger Montague is also class counsel in the case concerning the Silver Fix.  Prior to Judge Caproni’s ruling on the motions to dismiss, the investor Plaintiffs entered into settlements in both cases with defendant Deutsche Bank.


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