The $100 million out-of-court settlement for local investors of the Lehman Brothers-backed Mahogany Capital Limited is a positive development for global investors who have lost savings on complicated financial products.
That is the view of Henry Davis York partner Alex Mufford, who advised Perpetual on the settlement.
The deal, reached in New York in November last year, was successfully won by Perpetual on behalf of 1000 investors and has been kept confidential until this week.
Mufford told Lawyers Weekly that the settlement followed two years of complicated proceedings undertaken in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States and will see investors receive around $100 million of the $125 million they collectively invested into the credit linked notes of Mahogany Capital between 2005 and 2007 returned to them in just a few weeks time.
"Unlike a lot of other investors around the world who invested in similar products, our guys are getting their money back now and they are not still subject to an ultimate outcome in courts in England and the United States which might end up being at odds or in conflict with each other," said Mufford.
He added that the investors involved in Perpetual's settlement ultimately held similar products to those that are currently the subject of class action proceedings against the liquidators of Lehman Brothers Australia in the Federal Court.
"The real difference was, first of all, the investors here were mums and dads and retail investors rather than larger investors taking a couple of million dollars at a time," he said.
Mufford and his team fought the matter in the UK Supreme Court (formerly House of Lords), and was expecting to follow a similar course in the US until the out-of-court settlement was reached.
HDY, which has represented Perpetual since Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in 2008, was assisted by lawyers from Sidley Austin in London, as well as leading UK insolvency barrister Gabriel Moss QC.
HDY's cross disciplinary team was led by Mufford and included partners Scott Atkins and John Martin as well as senior associates Laura Farley and Kylie Lowder.