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WSJ Quotes Mark Matthews on UBS Clients' Lawsuit

February 8, 2013

The Wall Street Journal quotes Mark E. Matthews in an article discussing a decision by Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago who refused to allow a group of UBS clients to form a class and seek damages from UBS in connection with secret offshore accounts they held at the Swiss bank.  To read more, please go to WSJ's website.

Excerpt taken from the article.

At one point Judge Posner likened the case before him to one in England, Everet v. Williams filed before 1725, in which a highway robber "sued his partner in crime for an accounting of the illegal profits of their criminal activity."  According to decision, the court refused to hear the case and both parties to it were hanged.

He also rejected a claim that UBS in effect "inveigled" the plaintiffs into committing fraud, adding that the bank didn't have a fiduciary obligation to its customers.  A bank, he said, "has no dutry to treat [customers] as children and illiterates, and thus remind them that they have to pay taxes on the income on their deposits." In summary, he called the  lawsuit a "travesty" and said he was surprised that UBS hadn't asked for the court to impose sanctions on the plaintiffs and their attorneys.

Mark Matthews, a former top IRS official now with Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, said, "Former UBS clients may be very angry with the bank, but it doesn't appear likely they'll be able to recover damages in a class-action suit."


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