Alexander Reus, Diaz Reus Founding Partner and Head of the Global Securities Litigation practice, on behalf of institutional investors reached an 11 billion yen ($92 million) settlement with Olympus, Japan-based manufacturer of imaging systems and cameras. The settlement, Japan’s largest of its kind, was announced on March 27, 2015 and ended litigation that followed a 2011 public disclosure of accounting fraud exposed by the companies’ former CEO Michael Woodford.
For several years prior to the 2011 disclosure, Olympus misrepresented its financial condition, falsified financial statements, periodic reports, other communications, and hid large operating and investment losses, artificially inflating its stock price, which lead to substantial investor losses.
The Diaz Reus/DRRT Global Securities Litigation legal team broke new ground with an early, pre-judgement mediation and preliminary settlement in October 2013, however, the case faced significant cultural hurdles that stretched the settlement documentation process to this point.
Alexander Reus explained, “Once the fraud was exposed, we introduced the concept of alternative dispute resolution to Olympus as a possible solution to resolving shareholder claims in the Japanese system. This case demonstrates the importance of introducing and pursuing alternatives of loss recovery beyond U.S. courts. Providing the correct alternative is an integral strategy of global investor protection and leads to a successful outcome if done correctly, as shown in the Olympus case. Both sides are now relieved.”
See also: Law360 article Olympus To Pay Investors $92M Over Alleged Fraud (subscription required) and blog post, The Curse of Multi-Jurisdiction Litigation: A Problem for Everyone, Not Just Defendants.