US / UK - A class action case brought against Vodafone by investors including the Lothian pension fund, which was initially dismissed over jurisdictional issues, has been reopened by judges in New York.
In reopening the case, P. Kevin Castel, the US District Judge in charge of the issue, said the original motion to dismiss had overlooked the joining of the Sterling Heights Police & Fire Retirement System as plaintiff.
At the time, the Sterling Heights fund's counsel had stated to the Court that Sterling Heights would be added "as an additional plaintiff to address any perceived concerns about (Lothian's) ability to represent the entire class…in the litigation".
Coughlin Stoia founding partner Patrick Daniels, who is representing Lothian in the case, said the situation highlighted the need for UK and EU investors to fight to protect their claims in US class actions.
He said it was part of a growing trend, which (started with?) the action against RBS Group, brought by the Merseyside and North Yorkshire pension funds was part of (Globalpensions.com; 16 March 2009), whereby UK investors had woken up to the idea of pursuing class action cases abroad.
Daniels said: "It is simply not a given that everyone will always be included. The RBS case is significantly different than Vodafone in that a much larger part of the misconduct at RBS was conducted and concealed directly by and through the US operations, but the issues are the same.
"UK funds are increasingly monitoring their US class action claims and taking steps to protect their interests where needed."
Vodafone could not be immediately contacted for comment.
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