German Federal Supreme Court: a pro-forma application for conciliation of an insufficiently specified misselling claim will not be effective to suspend limitation

In a landmark decision dated 18 June 2015, the German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof, “BGH”) decided that pro-forma applications for conciliation (Güteverfahren) do not suspend the limitation period for misselling claims if the applications are too generic and do not contain details of the financial product concerned, the amount invested, the advice given and of the relief sought by way of the application.  The cases determined by BGH related to private investors who had used model form applications for conciliation which had been drafted by lawyers, and offered to the wider public; they have been adopted by a significant number of investors.  The BGH announced that the judgment will mean that a large number of misselling claims by private investors will now potentially be time-barred.

Mathias Wittinghofer, Friso Heukamp and Tilmann Hertel from our Frankfurt office consider the decision further below.  Continue reading