DiCello Levitt Wins Second Circuit Appeal in Platinum and Palladium Antitrust Litigation

Mar 06, 2023

Decision reverses the district court’s dismissal of case

NEW YORK, March 1, 2023 – A federal appellate court handed a major victory to a group of platinum and palladium traders, reinstating an antitrust suit against major domestic and foreign precious metals trading institutions for their alleged manipulation of the futures markets for the metals.

On February 27, The Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a significant portion of the Southern District of New York’s ruling in In re Platinum and Palladium Antitrust Litigation, finding that “as traders in that market, the Exchange Plaintiffs” possessed antitrust standing because they “are the most efficient enforcers of the antitrust laws for that injury.”

The decision stemmed from several class actions first filed in 2014 on behalf of a class of traders that accused Goldman Sachs, HSBC, BASF Metals, and ICBC Standard Bank of manipulating the prices for physical and exchange-traded platinum and palladium on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). Until 2014, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, BASF Metals, and ICBC Standard Bank ran and controlled the London Platinum and Palladium Fixing, which set and fixed the benchmark price for platinum and palladium, twice daily. According to the complaint, the defendants’ collusive and anticompetitive tactics artificially depressed the prices for platinum and palladium, causing plaintiffs and the other class members to receive less money when they sold their futures contracts.

In addition to reversing the district court’s ruling on antitrust standing for exchange-trader plaintiffs, the Second Circuit vacated the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claims that the defendants had violated the Commodities Exchange Act, ruling that the plaintiffs had alleged sufficient domestic activity to survive the foreign defendants’ motion to dismiss on those claims. The appeals court also affirmed the district court’s exercise of personal jurisdiction over the foreign defendants.   

“We are pleased with the appellate court’s decision on the most critical aspects of our case and look forward to litigating our clients’ claims to a successful conclusion,” said Matthew Perez, Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel and a partner in DiCello Levitt’s Antitrust and Competition Litigation Group. “Traders should be able to rely on an efficient market free from manipulation.”

In addition to Perez, the DiCello Levitt team includes partner Greg Asciolla and associate Veronica Bosco.

About DiCello Levitt

At DiCello Levitt, we’re dedicated to achieving justice for our clients through class action, business-to-business, public client, whistleblower, personal injury, civil rights, and mass tort litigation. Our lawyers are highly respected for their ability to litigate and win cases—whether by trial, settlement, or otherwise—for people who have suffered harm, global corporations that have sustained significant economic losses, and public clients seeking to protect their citizens’ rights and interests. Every day, we put our reputations—and our capital—on the line for our clients. 

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