A New York federal judge has given preliminary approval to the $38 million settlement between Deutsche Bank AG and a class of silver investors. The settlement was in multidistrict litigation accusing the German bank, along with other major banks, of conspiring to fix the price of silver. U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni approved the settlement. Judge Caproni said that the settlement was a fair, reasonable and adequate end to the investors’ claims against the German bank. Judge Caproni said in her order:
The court finds that the settlement agreement was entered into at arm’s length by experienced counsel and is sufficiently within the range of reasonableness.
In addition, Judge Caproni certified, for the purposes of the settlement, a class of investors who participated in U.S.-related trades of silver or silver derivatives dating back to January 1999. Lowey Dannenberg Cohen & Hart PC was named class counsel. The suit had alleged Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings PLC and Bank of Nova Scotia colluded to fix the price of silver futures to ensure the banks received high returns as part of The London Silver Market Fixing Ltd., which has set the price of physical silver since 1897.
In October 2014, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralized the litigation in the Southern District of New York. UBS AG, which was also named in the suit, already secured its exit from the dispute. The bank had argued in its own motion that it should be removed from the case because the plaintiffs admitted UBS had no role in the silver-pricing company at the heart of the alleged scheme. UBS said the allegations against it were inadequate and implausible. Judge Caproni agreed early last month, dismissing the claims against UBS on the grounds that the investors failed to state a claim against the Swiss bank.
The plaintiffs are represented by Barbara J. Hart, Vincent Briganti, Geoffrey M. Horn, Raymond Girnys, Christian P. Levis and Michelle E. Conston of Lowey Dannenberg Cohen & Hart; and James J. Sabella, Robert G. Eisler, Charles G. Caliendo, Peter A. Barile III of Grant & Eisenhofer. The case is In re: London Silver Fixing Ltd. Antitrust Litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
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