The parties in the case targeting banks like Barclays, RBS, , Citi, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase & Co, and Bank of America Corporation, refuse to hold settlement discussions.
The parties in a Forex benchmark rate fixing case refuse to settle. In a Letter sent to Judge Lorna G. Schofield of the New York Southern District Court on January 18, 2018, the plaintiffs and the defendants in the case captioned Nypl v. JP Morgan Chase & Co. et al (1:15-cv-09300), state that they do not believe settlement discussions would be productive at this time.
The Letter was filed in response to an earlier Court Order instructing the parties to advise whether to refer the case to a Magistrate Judge, the District’s Mediation Program, or a private mediator. The parties stated that such a referral is not necessary.
The case involves some of the world’s biggest banks, such as Barclays PLC (LON:BARC), Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (LON:RBS), Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), HSBC, JP Morgan Chase & Co, and Bank of America Corporation.
The latest arguments have centered around evidence, with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) intervening in early December by seeking a discovery stay extension. That motion, however, has run counter the plaintiffs’ plans concerning deposition taking from senior executives of defendant banks. Whereas the plaintiffs had argued that the deposition taking should proceed in a swift manner, the DOJ had insisted on the stay.
On December 19, 2017, Judge Lorna G. Schofield sided with the DOJ and granted its application for a three month-extension of the discovery stay. Thus, the stay was extended until March 8, 2018.
Let’s recall that the plaintiffs had requested to take depositions from:
- Stuart Alderoty, Esq., former Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel, HSBC Bank USA, N.A.;
- Marc Moses, Executive Director and Group Chief Risk Officer, HSBC Holdings plc;
- James Fuqua, Esq., General Counsel, UBS Securities LLC, Investment Bank Americas;
- Axel Weber, Chairman of the Board of Directors, UBS Group AG;
- Matthew Fitzwater, Esq., Global Head of Litigation, Investigations, and Enforcement, Barclays PLC;
- Rohan Weerasinghe, Esq., General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Citigroup, Inc.;
- Stephen Cutler, Esq., former General Counsel and current Vice Chairman, JPMorgan Chase & Co.;
- James Esposito, Esq., Global General Counsel, NatWest Markets and General Counsel (Americas), Royal Bank of Scotland.
The plaintiffs had argued that there is no court order that would “prohibit the taking of depositions of those very persons who signed the criminal Plea Agreements and Deferred Prosecution Agreement in which they acknowledged a vast price-fixing scheme covering many years and affecting billions of dollars stolen from unsuspecting victims”.
The DOJ had insisted that the proposed stay protects the integrity of ongoing grand jury investigations and cases, and is fair to the plaintiffs, particularly at this relatively early stage of discovery in their civil case.