F.For more than 160 aggrieved Wirecard investors who are going to court against the auditors of EY (formerly Ernst & Young) before the Stuttgart Regional Court, there is now clarity. On the question of where you can also sue for damages from the auditing company in the event of insolvency, the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Stuttgart has spoken a powerful word: In the future, the Munich Regional Court I alone will have to decide on the lawsuits against EY, whose German seat is Stuttgart (Az. : 12 AR 6/21 to 12 AR 17/21).
When asked by the FAZ, the Stuttgart Regional Court announced that a total of around 300 investor lawsuits had been filed against EY in connection with Wirecard. A judge spokeswoman put the amount of the claims for damages at around 43.3 million euros. Even before the decisions were made, the civil chamber responsible for auditor liability had declared itself not locally responsible in 140 cases.
According to the decisions of the OLG which have now been published, all investor complaints will be referred to Munich in a timely manner. Because the local judiciary also declared that it was not responsible in the past, clarification by the Stuttgart Higher Regional Court was necessary. There one spoke of a “fundamental decision”. The Senate in Stuttgart refrained from submitting a proposal to the Federal Court of Justice. In the future, each individual case will be examined that is presented to the regional court in Stuttgart, but it will then be referred to Munich.
In their lawsuits, investors accuse the auditors of not having checked the allegedly falsified Wirecard balance sheets carefully enough for years. Because of this erroneous “public capital market information”, the court in Munich has exclusive jurisdiction according to the current rulings.