NY Court schedules pretrial conferences in “Last Look” cases against five banks for September

Maria Nikolova

The initial pretrial conferences in the cases brought by Alpari (US) against Goldman Sachs, RBS, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley have all been scheduled for September 12, 2017.

A small update concerning the wave of class action lawsuits brought by now defunct Alpari (US) against six big banks over “Last Look” practices…

Judge Lorna G Schofield of the New York Southern District Court has scheduled the initial pretrial conferences for five of the total of six cases for September 12, 2017. In time for the conferences, the parties have to prepare a joint Proposed Civil Case Management Plan and Scheduling Order.

The parties in each case are also ordered to file a joint letter at least seven calendar days prior to the initial pretrial conference, providing information about the nature of the case, the principal claims and defenses, and the major issues that are most important to resolving the case, as well as a brief description of any motions that any party seeks or intends to file. The letter should also include a computation of each category of damages claimed.

The conferences for the cases against Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (NYSE:RBS), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), Credit Suisse Group AG (VTX:CSGN), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), and BNP Paribas SA (EPA:BNP) have all been scheduled for September 12, 2017. At the moment of publication of this article, there is still no official information on the date for the pretrial conference in the case Alpari (US) has brought against Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C).

All of the defendants, including the six banks and a number of their subsidiaries, are alleged to have caused damage to Alpari (US) and other FX market participants due to Last Look practices. The defendants are accused of breach of contracts on their proprietary trading platforms, breach of contracts on ECNs, as well as of unjust enrichment.

The allegations concern different class action periods and platforms, depending on the defendant.

The Complaints by Alpari (US) mention ECNs too. According to the allegations, some ECNs have granted or continue to grant RBS last-look privileges, including the ability to renege on matched orders and these are Currenex, FXall, and 360T. The same ECNs are alleged to be granting last-look privileges, including the ability to renege on matched orders, to Morgan Stanley too. Currenex is said to be the ECN granting such privileges to BNP Paribas.

In all six cases, the plaintiffs request that the Court “award Plaintiff and Class members damages, punitive damages, and/or restitution in an amount to be determined at trial”. Although the precise amount of damages is not known, Alpari (US) expects that class-wide damages to be “in the hundreds of millions of dollars”.

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