Should Global Securities Fraud Lawsuits By Private Litigants Be Allowed? The SEC Wants To Know

The Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking comments on whether amendments should be made to federal securities laws so that private litigants can file transnational securities fraud lawsuits. Comments are welcomed until February 18, 2011. The SEC says to refer to File No. 4-617.

In its request, the SEC points to the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Morrison v. National Australia Bank. The decision placed significant limits on Section 10(b) antifraud proscriptions’s extraterritorial reach. That said, Congress, through Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s Section 929Y, gave back to the government its ability to file transnational securities fraud charges. It is under the new financial reform law that Congress has ordered the SEC to determine whether a private remedy should apply to just institutional investors or all private actors and/or others.

Included in what the study will analyze are how this right of action could impact international comity, the economic benefits and costs of extending such a private right of action, and whether there should be a narrow extraterritorial standard. The SEC also wants to know if it makes a difference whether:

• The security was issued by a non-US company or a US firm.
• A firm’s securities are traded only outside the country.
• The security was sold or bought on a foreign stock exchange or a non-exchange trading platform or another alternating trading system based abroad.

Related Web Resources:
Morrison v. National Australia Bank (PDF)

US Securities and Exchange Commission

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, SEC (PDF)

SEC Seeks Comments on Extension Of Private Actions to Global Securities Fraud, Alacrastore, October 27, 2010

Institutional investors who have sustained financial losses that they believe were caused by securities fraud should contact our investment fraud law firm right away.