Experienced Attorneys Ensure Fair Practice in Commodities Markets
Unparalleled Success Litigating Commodities Manipulation Cases
Lowey Dannenberg Cohen & Hart, P.C. is a leading authority in litigating high stakes class actions under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and has served as counsel in the four largest class action recoveries in the history of the CEA
Landmark Class Action Recoveries.
- Sumitomo. Lowey Dannenberg served as one of three executive committee members in In re Sumitomo Copper Litigation, Master File No. 96 CV 4854 (S.D.N.Y.). Plaintiffs’ counsels’ efforts in Sumitomo resulted in a settlement on behalf of the certified class of copper futures traders in excess of $149 million, which is the largest class action recovery in the history of the CEA. In re Sumitomo Copper Litig., 182 F.R.D. 85, 95 (S.D.N.Y. 1998).
- Natural Gas. Lowey Dannenberg served as Co-Lead Counsel in In re: Natural Gas Commodity Litigation, Case No. 03 Civ. 6186 (S.D.N.Y.), a certified class action on behalf of New York Mercantile Exchange (“NYMEX”) natural gas futures traders against the nation’s largest natural gas marketing companies. Similar to cases Lowey Dannenberg is actively litigating today, the case involved the false reporting of transaction data by market participants to publications that compile and publish price benchmarks used to settle and price global trade. It was alleged that these false reports undermined the entire pricing structure in the U.S. natural gas market, including the prices of NYMEX natural gas futures contracts. Total settlements obtained in this complex litigation amounted to nearly $101 million, the third largest recovery in the history of the CEA.
- Amaranth. Lowey Dannenberg was Co-Lead Counsel in In re: Amaranth Natural Gas Commodity Litigation, Case No. 07 Civ. 6377 (SAS) (S.D.N.Y.), a certified class action involving the manipulation of NYMEX natural gas futures and options contract prices by Amaranth Advisors LLC, one of the largest natural gas hedge funds prior to its widely-publicized collapse in September 2006. On April 11, 2012, the Honorable Shira A. Scheindlin, District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York, approved a $77.1 million settlement. The settlement was more than ten times greater than the $7.5 million joint settlement achieved by government regulators and represents the fourth largest class action recovery in the history of the CEA.
- PIMCO. In addition, Lowey Dannenberg served as counsel to Richard Hershey, a lead class representative in Hershey v. Pacific Investment Management Corp., a certified class action alleging manipulation by PIMCO of the multi-billion dollar market of U.S. 10-Year Treasury Note futures contracts. The case settled in 2011 for $118.75 million, the second largest recovery in the history of the CEA.
Continuing Prosecution of Leading CEA and Market Manipulation Class Actions.
- Yen-LIBOR/Euroyen TIBOR. Lowey Dannenberg is court-appointed Lead Class Counsel in a proposed class action against the numerous financial institutions responsible for the setting of the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) for the Japanese Yen and the Euroyen Tokyo Interbank Offered Rate. The lawsuit alleges that the Defendants manipulated these global benchmark rates in an artificial direction that financially benefitted their Yen-LIBOR and Euroyen-based derivatives positions. Defendants named in the lawsuit have already pled guilty to criminal charges of price fixing and paid billions in fines to regulators. Further, Defendant UBS AG has been granted conditional leniency from the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) pursuant to the Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Act (“ACPERA”) for alleged anticompetitive conduct relating to the Euroyen market. On April 15, 2013, Lowey Dannenberg filed a Second Amended Complaint on April 15, 2013 that names over 30 Defendants, is over 300 pages, and contains claims for alleged antitrust violations, CEA violations, and unjust enrichment. On March 28, 2013, the Court sustained Plaintiff’s Commodity Exchange Act claims, holding that Plaintiff adequately alleged both primary and aiding and abetting claims for manipulation against all thirty-two Defendants. The case is currently pending before Judge George B. Daniels. Laydon v. Mizuho Bank, Ltd. et al., Case No. 12-cv-3419 (S.D.N.Y.).
- Euribor. On February 12, 2013, Lowey Dannenberg filed a proposed class action against numerous global financial institutions responsible for the setting of the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (“Euribor”), a global reference rate used to benchmark and price settle over $200 trillion of financial products, including Euribor futures contracts traded on the NYSE LIFFE exchange. Defendants named in the lawsuit have already settled with global regulators, paid billions in fines, and have sought and been granted ACPERA conditional leniency from the DOJ for alleged anticompetitive conduct in the Euribor market. The case is currently pending before Judge P. Kevin Castel. Sullivan v. Barclays PLC et al., Case No. 13-cv-2811 (S.D.N.Y.).
- Swiss Franc LIBOR. On February 5, 2015, Lowey Dannenberg filed a proposed class action against numerous global financial institutions responsible for the setting of the London Interbank Offered Rate for the Swiss Franc (“Swiss Franc LIBOR”). Defendants named in the lawsuit have already settled with global regulators, paid billions in fines, and have sought and been granted leniency by the European Commission for alleged anticompetitive conduct in the Swiss Franc LIBOR and Swiss Franc LIBOR derivatives market. The case is currently pending before Judge Sidney H. Stein. Sonterra Capital Master Fund Ltd. v. Credit Suisse Group AG et al., Case No. 15-cv-0871 (S.D.N.Y.).
- Silver Manipulation. Lowey Dannenberg was appointed Co-Lead Counsel in a proposed class action against the global financial institutions responsible for setting benchmark silver prices. Benchmark silver prices are set each business day following a conference call between Defendants. The Complaint alleges that during each conference call, Defendants actively traded silver-based derivatives knowing the direction the benchmark price of silver will move following each conference call. The case is currently pending before the Judge Valerie E. Caproni. In re London Silver Fixing, Ltd., Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 14-md-2573 (S.D.N.Y.).
- FX Manipulation. Lowey Dannenberg represents United Food and Commercial Workers Union and Participating Food Industry Employers Tri-State Pension Fund in a proposed class action against numerous global financial institutions and leading FX market dealers alleging the manipulation of FX benchmark rates. The Complaint alleges that, in order to carry out their manipulation, Defendants communicated directly with one another in instant message chat rooms. In these chat rooms, Defendants exchanged their confidential customer order information as well as their own trading positions and employed concerted unlawful trading strategies known as “front running” and “banging the close” in and around the time the FX benchmark rates are set. The case is currently before Judge Lorna G. Schofield. In re Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 13-cv-7789 (S.D.N.Y.).
- Optiver Crude Oil, Gasoline and Heating Oil Manipulation. Lowey Dannenberg is Co-Lead Counsel in a proposed class action involving the alleged manipulation of NYMEX light sweet crude oil, heating oil and gasoline futures contracts prices by Optiver US, LLC and other Optiver defendants during March 2007. Lowey Dannenberg filed an Amended Class Action Complaint under seal on May 13, 2013. In re: Optiver Commodities Litigation, Case No. 08-cv-6842 (S.D.N.Y.). In January 2015, the Court granted preliminary approval of a proposed $16.75 million settlement. The case is currently pending before Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska. The initial complaint followed a civil complaint filed in 2008 by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”). In April 2012, the Optiver Defendants settled the CFTC’s charges of CEA violations for $14 million.
- Daniels Trading Rice Manipulation. Lowey Dannenberg is Co-Lead Counsel in a proposed class action alleging the manipulation of Chicago Board of Trade rough rice futures and options contracts during the period of October 1, 2007 and July 31, 2008. On September 26, 2012, the Court sustained Plaintiff’s CEA claims against Daniels Trading and other defendants. In March 2015, the Court granted preliminary approval of a proposed settlement. The case is currently pending before the Honorable John W. Darrah in the Northern District of Illinois. In re: Rough Rice Commodity Litigation, Case No. 11-cv-00618 (N.D. Ill.).
If you or your institution has been harmed, nationally-recognized Lowey Dannenberg, led by its partners Vincent Briganti and Geoffrey M. Horn, has the experience needed to handle your complex litigation needs. You may contact our offices in New York or Pennsylvania online or at 914-997-0500.