FNC dismissal of BP derivative litigation affirmed

City of New Orleans Employees’ Retirement System v. Hayward affirmed the dismissal, on forum non conveniens grounds, of putative shareholder derivative suits against BP arising from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.  No. 12-20019 (Jan. 16, 2013, unpublished).  Among other factors discussed, the Fifth Circuit noted and gave weight to the points that: (1) plaintiffs were “phantoms” for FNC purposes because of their attenuated interests in the case, (2) technological advances did not make geographical issues irrelevant in an FNC analysis [key witnesses and documents being located in the UK rather than Louisiana], (3) the UK had a substantial interest in applying its own, relatively new Companies Act, and (4) the BP derivative cases comprised one-third of the U.S. court’s MDL docket.

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