Dorda has secured a court victory for German automotive group Volkswagen in six proceedings before the Austrian Supreme Court, successfully arguing in all six proceedings that Austria has no international jurisdiction for investor claims. The Austrian Supreme Court dismissed the claims of Austrian shareholders in final judgment.
According to Dorda, Austrian investors represented by several Austrian law firms went to court in Austria because they felt they had been deceived by Volkswagen in connection with the diesel issue and deemed the Austrian courts to be competent. The Austrian Supreme Court saw things differently in its now-strengthened case-law and ruled in six proceedings that Austria had no jurisdiction for investor claims against Volkswagen. In its rulings, the Court explained that Austria lacked international jurisdiction because the lawsuits had insufficient links to Austria. Instead, it held that the German courts appeared to have international jurisdiction; this is where Volkswagen AG’s registered office is located, as well as where the company lists shares on various German stock exchanges.
The Austrian investor proceedings against Volkswagen were initiated in 2016 and have largely been brought to a close following the six Supreme Court rulings.
Volkswagen was represented by Dorda Partners Andreas Mayr and Bernhard Rieder and Associate Florian Nikolai in the investor proceedings. Mayr commented that: “We are delighted that we were able to successfully represent Volkswagen in each of the proceedings. The landmark ruling of the Austrian Supreme Court will have a positive impact on the investment climate in Austria and has far-reaching consequences for foreign issuers.”