Barclays Private Equity France S.A.S. in Successful Dismissal of Securities Claims

March 22, 2006

Cleary Gottlieb earned dismissal of federal securities law and common law claims brought against Barclays Private Equity France S.A.S. in the Southern District of New York. The claims were brought by the former controlling shareholder of the Fauchon Group, who alleged that he had been improperly squeezed out by the Group's minority shareholders, including Barclays. Judge Harold Baer, Jr., granted Cleary Gottlieb's motion to dismiss the case on forum non conveniens grounds.

Cleary Gottlieb persuaded Judge Baer that the French courts would provide a more appropriate forum for the dispute than the Southern District of New York. Cleary Gottlieb argued that France was an adequate alternative forum and that the private and public interest factors weighed in favor of the French forum: the majority of the defendants was French; the conduct at issue occurred in France; French law governed the plaintiff’s claims; the majority of the witnesses and documentary evidence was located in France or elsewhere in Europe; and the adjudication of this quintessentially French dispute would impose an undue and unnecessary burden on the New York court.