Korea’s Woori Bank Lawsuit against Merrill/Bank of America Dismissed

Woori Bank, in Woori Bank v. Merrill Lynch et al., has lost a suit to Merrill Lynch.  The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a complaint filed by Woori Bank, before trial, for failing to file the suit within the statute of limitations.  Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch in 2008.   Motions to dismiss filed by Royal Bank of Scotland and Citigroup are still pending.

Woori Bank claimed in the suit, inter alia, that it has been mislead by Merrill Lynch not revealing information regarding proposed investments by Woori Bank in CDOs.  

A Merrill Lynch motion to dismiss claimed that a three-year statute of limitations, imposed under Korean Law, tolled- Woori didn’t file on time.  Woori, in short, countered that the statute of limitation should not toll until the publication of the U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission published a report in January 27, 2011.  

The Court opined that a sophisticated business should have known earlier than the publication of this report by the U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission of this matter. 

I will be writing more on this matter in the near future.

Sean Hayes may be contacted at: SeanHayes@ipglegal.com.

Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He is the only non-Korean to have worked as an attorney for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a regular member of a Korean law faculty.

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