CommoditiesKirby McInerney has decades of experience representing investors in litigation relating to the manipulation of physical commodities, commodity futures, and related derivative products.
The firm’s experience in commodities manipulation, in cases brought under the Commodities Exchange Act or under the Sherman Act and state law analogs, spans the markets for gasoline, propane, cement, concrete, steel, potash, silver, and even fixed income products. In recent years, KM has been involved in some of the most cutting edge areas of commodity futures manipulation cases. KM also participated in a seminal case involving Sumitomo Corporation’s manipulation of the copper market.
KM attorneys are exceptionally well versed in commodities markets and litigation. In fact, David Kovel, who leads KM’s Commodities Litigation practice, worked in the commodities export markets prior to embarking on his legal career. As a commodities trader, Mr. Kovel took financial risk in futures and options markets and traded in physical markets in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He became a specialist at trading in futures delivery markets and understanding the relationship between futures prices and the physical spot markets.
Examples of KM’s experience in physical commodities, commodity futures, and related derivative product litigation include:
- In re LIBOR-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-md-02262 (S.D.N.Y.). KM filed the first LIBOR manipulation lawsuit on behalf of investors and currently serves as court-appointed co-lead counsel for the exchange-based class alleging the fixing of prices of a benchmark interest rate. The case has resulted in partial settlements of $187 million which combined represent the largest recovery in a “futures-only” commodities class action litigation.
- Dennis v. The Andersons, Inc. et al., No. 20-cv-04090 (N.D. of Ill.). Co-lead counsel of a putative class of exchange-based investors alleging monopolization and manipulation of Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat futures contracts in violation of federal antitrust and commodity exchange laws.
- Sullivan v. Barclays PLC, No. 13-cv-02811 (S.D.N.Y.). Class counsel in the benchmark rate antitrust litigation on behalf of a putative class of investors who traded derivative products linked to Euribor, including futures and options contracts on the NYSE LIFFE exchange. The case has already resulted in partial settlements of more than $300 million.
- In re Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation, No. 13-cv-07789 (S.D.N.Y.). Special fiduciary representation for the exchange-based investors of futures and options in class action alleging the manipulation of the FX market. The case has already resulted in partial settlements of more than $2.3 billion.
- In re Commodity Exchange, Inc., Gold Futures and Options Trading Litigation, No. 14-md-02548 (S.D.N.Y.). Counsel for plaintiff on behalf of gold purchasers in a market manipulation case. The case has already resulted in partial settlements of $60 million.
- In re Crude Oil Commodity Futures Litigation, No. 11-cv-03600 (S.D.N.Y.). Class counsel on behalf of WTI crude oil futures purchasers in a market manipulation case. The case resulted in a settlement of $16.5 million.
- Wacker v. JP Morgan Chase & Co., No. 15-cv-00994 (S.D.N.Y.). Representation of individual silver futures traders alleging manipulation of silver futures spreads. KM achieved a landmark appellate decision in this case establishing pleading standards for monopolization claims in futures markets.
- In re North Sea Brent Crude Oil Futures Litigation, No. 13-md-02475 (S.D.N.Y.). Sole lead counsel on behalf of a proposed class of Brent crude oil futures traders alleging benchmark manipulation.
- In re Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) Antitrust and Patent Litigation and Related Actions, No. 05-cv-01671 (C.D. Cal). Co-lead counsel in an antitrust class action pertaining to Unocal’s alleged manipulation of the standard-setting process for low-emissions reformulated gasoline in California, which plaintiffs claim caused inflated retail prices. KM obtained a $48 million settlement for indirect purchasers.
- CFTC v. Shak, No. 14-cv-01632 (D.D.C.). Representation of a defendant in a case brought by the CFTC under the Commodity Exchange Act’s newest provisions for violations of an administrative order in the gold futures market.
- In re BP Propane Indirect Purchaser Antitrust Litigation, No. 06-cv-03541 (N.D. Ill.). Co-lead counsel for the propane purchaser class. KM secured a $15 million settlement.
- In re Potash Antitrust Litigation, No. 08-cv-06910 (N.D. Ill.). Member of the leadership group which secured a $13 million settlement for a class of potash purchasers.