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Southern Europe


July 2016 - Two important Italian rulings on right to withdraw from securities transactions
Two recent rulings establish important principles relating to a retail investor’s right of withdrawal from a securities transaction.

Nov 2015 - Market abuse: the dual-track system in Italy in the aftermath of Grande Stevens 
The decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Grande Stevens & ors v Italy has given impetus for a radical rethink of the dual-track system in Italy for punishing market abuse. This article examines the double-jeopardy elements of the current system and proposals for reform.

Nov 2014 - No insider dealing offence committed where shares of a listed company were traded by officers of the company prior to delisting  
The trade under scrutiny by Consob was put in place between January and February 2008 by various vehicles ultimatley belonging to the president and managing director (the Ultimate Owners) of a listed company (the Target).

June 2014 - Interest rate swap null and void
The Court of Appeal of Milan has declared certain pre MiFID, Italian law governed, OTC interest rate swaps (not based on ISDA model agreements) null and void for lack of "causa" (a concept similar, but not directly comparable, to the common law concept of consideration).

Feb 2014 - Italian Supreme Court rules in favour of banks in municipality swap dispute 
The Italian Supreme Court has put an end to the long standing litigation in Italy between Dexia Crediop SpA (Dexia)/DEPFA Bank plc (Depfa) and the Province of Pisa, an Italian local public body (Pisa), concerning interest rate swap contracts (the Swaps) executed by the parties in 2007.

Sept/Oct 2013 - Reintroduction of compulsory mediation in civil and commercial matters, including finance disputes 
A new law in Italy passed on 21 September 2013 reintroduces compulsory mediation in certain types of civil and commercial disputes, including...

Mar 2013 - Intermediary duties and liability towards investors 
A recent ruling from the Tribunale di Roma (Court of Rome) has absolved an investment intermediary from liability to a client who suffered losses on Lehman and Northern Rock shares transactions executed by the intermediary on the client's behalf.

Dec 2012 - Pro-bank decision in local authorities' swap disputes 
The Italian Administrative Supreme Court has handed down a landmark decision regarding the enforceability of interest rate swap agreements entered into with Italian local authorities.


Dec 2016 - Court dismisses investor claims relating to restructured bank
Three recent Spanish pro-bank judgments dismissed misselling claims by investors in a financial entity which was rescued by the Spanish State during the financial crisis.

July 2016 - Increasing litigation in Spain regarding abusive clauses in mortgage loans
There is a growing tendency in recent years for borrowers in Spain to file claims alleging that certain provisions included in their mortgage loans are abusive or unfair.

Mar 2016 - Sub-participation agreement: recharacterisation risk before Spanish court 
Financial players in the distressed market in Spain are commonly using the LMA sub-participation agreement. However, “sub-participation” is not a concept that has been traditionally recognised under Spanish law. This has given rise to borrowers resisting enforcement, arguing that such an arrangement should be recharacterised as an assignment of claims. Such recharacterisation would be detrimental for distressed debt investors.

Nov 2015 - Spanish Supreme Court applies MIFID to multi-currency mortgage loans 
The Spanish Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo) has recently stated that a multi-currency mortgage loan is a derivative financial instrument and therefore covered by the MiFID regulations.

July 2015 - Pro-bank Arbitration awards annulled by Madrid Court: Should banks be arbitrating in Madrid? 
The High Court of Justice of Madrid (Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Madrid) has annulled five pro-bank arbitration awards in interest rate swaps disputes. The court said that the arbitral tribunals incorrectly interpreted the mandatory Spanish Securities Market Act (the Act), and that this violated Spanish public policy.  

Mar 2015 - Lack of legal standing of distributors in claims regarding nullity of sale and purchase agreements 
This article examines the issue of lack of standing in claims initiated against financial entities which sold but did not issue financial products.

Nov 2014 - ECJ ruling on Spanish foreclosure procedure likely to cause delays 
Under Spanish law a secured creditor cannot directly appropriate real estate assets given as security.

June 2014 - Spanish Subsidiary Sued by IRS Investor Despite IRS being Entered into by UK Parent 
Suing a Spanish subsidiary of an international bank in relation to contracts which the subsidiary is not even party to, is becoming a new trend in Spain.

Feb 2014 - First Spanish court ruling upholding validity of hybrid dispute resolution clause 
Judgment of the Provincial Court of Madrid, 28th Chamber, Auto 147/2013 The Provincial Court of Madrid has upheld a hybrid dispute resolution clause which gave both parties the option of referring a dispute to either international arbitration under the Arbitration Rules of the Netherlands Arbitration Institute (NAI) or the courts of "S-Hertogenbosch (in the Netherlands).

Sept/Oct 2013 - Supreme Court gives first ruling on minimum interest rate provisions in floating rate mortgage agreements 
The Plenary of the Civil Chamber of the Spanish Supreme Court has declared that an interest rate “ground clause” (which specifies a minimum interest rate in a floating rate loan) included in a mortgage loan is valid provided...

June 2013 - Mortgage enforcement proceedings in Spain in the aftermath of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) "judgement of the evicted" 
The ECJ judgement of 14 March 2013 (C-415/11) ruled that certain provisions of Spanish law do not comply with the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Directive 93/13/EC.

Mar 2013 - Multicurrency loans litigation in Spain 
During 2007 and 2008, many banks in Spain offered Spanish consumers the opportunity to subscribe to multicurrency loans.

Dec 2012 - Limitation issues arising in Spanish finance litigation 
Spanish court decisions on the limitation period for "lack of informed consent". Mis-selling claims against Spanish banks have made it difficult to predict with any certainty when the limitation period starts running...