Michael F. Connolly, Co-Chair of the firm’s Litigation Department, was quoted in a Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article on June 27, 2019 about the recent Appeals Court decision in the case of von Schönau-Riedweg, et al. v. Rothschild Bank AG, et al. The article, “Investor’s Suit Against Foreign Bank Revived,” analyzes the appellate decision reversing the Superior Court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claims against a Swiss bank for lack of jurisdiction. In a well-reasoned opinion, the Appeals Court held that a former employee investor advisor had actual and apparent authority to be an agent of the bank for the purposes of long-arm jurisdiction. The Appeals Court also held that even if the advisor originally pursued the Massachusetts investments without the bank’s authorization, a fact finder could determine that the bank ratified the advisor’s conduct, either affirmatively or through passive acquiescence. While there were some fact rendering this a close call, the Appeals Court held that there was enough evidence that the plaintiff had made a prima facie showing that the advisor was operating as the bank’s agent allowing the lawsuit to proceed against the foreign bank in Massachusetts.
From the article:
Meanwhile, for Boston attorney Michael F. Connolly, the case is “another instance where the Massachusetts courts are saying that foreign businesses that do business in Massachusetts — even if they don’t think they’re doing business in Massachusetts — will be hailed into Massachusetts court for wrongdoing by their employees.”
Read the full article on Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (subscriber content).