FAQ on the Wirecard Scandal: Lawsuit against EY
Frequently asked questions on the Wirecard scandal and the claims for damages against the involved auditors Ernst & Young (EY):
All investors affected by the Wirecard scandal who have invested in shares of Wirecard AG together with their derivatives (e.g. warrants w/o knock-out threshold, certificates, contracts for difference) and/or bonds issued by Wirecard AG.
Please note that you must have purchased Wirecard shares between January 1, 2010 and midnight on June 17, 2020. The decisive factor here is the time of the placed order, even if the booking in the securities account was made later.
If you only acquired your shares after Wirecard AG issued the press release at around 11 a.m. on June 18 to the effect that EY would refuse to issue the audit certificate, the question whether you can successfully participate in a lawsuit against EY depends on your personal and credible level of knowledge.
Based on the current situation, a lawsuit against EY seems most promising. In principle, a lawsuit against Wirecard AG is possible and promising, but we do not believe that it is economically promising due to the risk of insolvency. Moody’s has already devalued the company at a junk level. Nevertheless, we are also considering this option for you.
Update: Wirecard AG filed for bankruptcy on June 25, 2020 – thus, it fails as a solvent counterparty for the successful enforcement of possible claims for damages by investors!/span>
Our lawsuit against EY is essentially based on the circumstance of missing balance confirmations and the issuance of a culpably false audit certificate for the consolidated financial statements of Wirecard AG. EY is therefore liable to investors for intentional immoral damage in accordance with Section 826 of the German Civil Code (BGB) and in accordance with the principles of the agreement with protective effects in favour of third parties in accordance with Section 311 (3) of the German Civil Code (BGB).
EY has limited its liability towards its contractors for its respective activities there. However, this does not affect liability in the external relationship, and is therefore irrelevant to an action for damages brought by the investor due to the issue of a culpably false audit certificate for the consolidated financial statements of Wirecard AG.
Since we assume that the damage was caused intentionally, it is not to be expected that EY’s insurance company will have to pay for the damage. However, since EY achieved a turnover of over 2 billion euros in Germany alone last year and is also part of the international EY Global group of companies, legally existing claims for damages will also be economically enforceable.
We consider the chances of success of our lawsuits against EY to be good – the underlying facts (the missing balance confirmations) are not in question. In addition, we assume that further defaults by EY will be uncovered, which will support our lawsuit. We have already compiled extensive material on this matter.
Schirp & Partner, in cooperation with attorney Dr. Marc Liebscher, is seeking to file further lawsuits against EY and to obtain litigation financing for those investors who so desire.
Yes, however, a lawsuit against the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bafin) and/or the German Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel (FREP/DPR) is the legally less certain way than a lawsuit against EY.
However, a lawsuit against BaFin/DPR is recommended for all injured parties who do not wish to take action against EY for economic or personal reasons (e.g. because the legal expenses insurance excludes the entry in cases of capital investments but at the same time covers state liability, or because the injured party is himself an employee of EY).
Please note that in any event it would be necessary to file two separate actions, as they are based on different bases of claim and the respective jurisdictions are not identical.
Due to cost-benefit considerations, we are currently not planning to file a lawsuit under the KapMuG (Capital Investor Model Case Act) or a model declaratory action, but are preparing several class actions for filing.
You are free to decide whether to sell or hold shares/bonds/derivatives of Wirecard AG. This is irrelevant for the lawsuit. A sale that has already taken place or is currently taking place has no effect; any proceeds achieved are only to be taken into account in the amount of your loss. Decisive for the claim for damages is the exact time at which the securities were held. Please understand that we cannot make any recommendation in this regard.
Your loss corresponds to the amount in dispute in the lawsuit and is made up of the purchase value of your securities, including acquisition costs and any commissions paid. To mitigate your loss, any dividends received and, if you have sold the securities, the net proceeds of the sale must be deducted.
We will offer private investors to participate in a so-called class action lawsuit. In this lawsuit, several plaintiffs are combined in one lawsuit. This can considerably reduce the amount of costs to be borne in the event of defeat. The litigation cost risk in the event of a defeat is made up of the company’s own legal costs, the opposing party’s legal costs and the court costs. The costs are based on the German Lawyers’ Fees Act and your individual loss. Please contact us without obligation so that we can inform you about your risk of legal costs.
In addition, we are in negotiations with various litigation financiers. A litigation financier would bear the cost risk for you (if your case would be taken over) and in return, however, would retain a certain percentage of the sum obtained for you in the event of a successful outcome; this is usually one third.
If you already had legal expenses insurance at the time of the investment and the insurance also covers disputes in the capital market, we will submit a cover request free of charge.
Yes. Claims for damages exist regardless of the domicile of the custodian bank or the nationality of the security holder and can be asserted in Germany.
Yes, that is possible. However, you should bear in mind that this may result in double fees. In the event of winning the case, however, the damage will in principle only be compensated once.
Please send us all purchase statements for your shares/derivatives/bonds. If you have sold securities in the meantime, we need the respective sales statement. We also need the signed mandate documents (mandate contract with remuneration agreement, power of attorney, revocation instructions). These documents are available for download here.
How to reach us
Schirp & Partner Rechtsanwälte mbB
Leipziger Platz 9
10117 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)30 – 327 617 0
Fax: +49 (0)30 – 327 617 17
Legal Advisory Label
Please take note that we can not answer consultatively here. If you happen to request that anyways, you may give us full power of attorney. For that, simply download this form, sign it and return it to us.
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