Volkswagen - Absent ad-hoc announcement
We aim to initiate a class action suit (Kapitalanleger-Musterverfahren) with regard to the recent events at VW. According to German law, in particular § 37b WpHG ("securities trading act"), an issuer of shares is liable for damages, if they do not publish insider information immediately. Investors who have bought their shares after the absent ad-hoc announcement, may claim the difference between the price they paid and the current market value (or the selling price, if they have already sold their shares) as damages. The press reports that VW cheated on emission tests, in the US and in other countries, as early as 2009. The legal question to be resolved is, which event triggered the "ad hoc" reporting obligation – the first manipulation of the emission tests or the start of the investigation by the authorities.
The statutory limitation of § 37b WpHG is three years, starting with the absent ad-hoc announcement, or one year, starting with the investors' knowledge of the omission. All investors who have bought VW shares since May 2014 should have increased chances of success, as VW supposedly had knowledge of the investigation of the American authorities at that time and was thus obliged to issue an ad-hoc announcement disclosing this knowledge. We aim to initiate a class action suit (Kapitalanleger-Musterverfahren) as soon as possible. This requires at least 10 plaintiffs to file a suit and apply for the opening of a "Kapitalanleger-Musterverfahren". Once this "Musterverfahren" has been opened, all investors may join the proceeding by simply registering for it. The costs of this registration amount to only about 1/6th of the costs of a "regular" lawsuit. It is not necessary to be a German citizen or to have residence in Germany to participate in the "Kapitalanleger-Musterverfahren" or to file an individual suit against VW in Germany.
Effective and economical
In our opinion, the most effective way for VW shareholders to enforce their rights is to participate in a class action suit ("Kapitalanleger-Musterverfahren"). In order to prevent the shareholders’ rights from becoming time-barred, we aim to proceed quickly. Additionally, we offer to represent shareholders in conciliatory proceedings, which suspend the statutory limitation and might also result in a settlement with VW. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.