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):

Wirecard EY

Which in­vestors can claim dam­ages against 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.

Why is ac­tion be­ing taken against EY and not against Wir­e­card itself?

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>

On what legal basis can dam­ages be claimed from EY?

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).

What is the li­ab­il­ity amount of EY?

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.

How do you con­sider the chances of suc­cess of the law­suits against EY?

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.

What is your pro­cess strategy?

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.

Wouldn’t the BaFin or the FREP also come into ques­tion as suit­able claimants for dam­ages actions?

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.

Is the fil­ing of an ac­tion un­der the KapMuG or a model de­clar­at­ory ac­tion planned?

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.

Does the sale of my Wir­e­card AG se­cur­it­ies af­fect the claim for damages?

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.

How is my dam­age re­spect­ively the amount in dis­pute cal­cu­lated in legal proceedings?

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.

How much are the lawyer’s fees and court costs in case of a lawsuit?

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.

The se­cur­it­ies ac­count is man­aged out­side Ger­many or I am not a Ger­man cit­izen – can I still par­ti­cip­ate in the class action?

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.

I am already su­ing Wir­e­card AG and am rep­res­en­ted by an­other law firm – can I still or ad­di­tion­ally par­ti­cip­ate in the class ac­tion against EY?

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.

I want to sue EY. What doc­u­ments do I have to submit?

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.

Form Class Ac­tion Lawsuit »

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
E-​Mail: mail@​schirp.​com

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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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