The Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee has stepped up to serve as co-lead plaintiff in the securities class action against U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH). According to the WSJ, the pension fund is responsible for the pensions of Northern Ireland’s public sector employees and allegedly bought 197,700 Lehman shares between Sept. 13, 2006 and March 31 this year. The fund alleges that the prices it paid were artificially inflated by directors not revealing the true extent of the bank’s exposure to the U.S. subprime-mortgage crisis.
The Northern Ireland fund is joined in the complaint by three U.S.-based pension funds — the Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association, the Government of Guam Retirement Fund and the Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3 Trust Fund — as well as the U.K.’s Lothian Pension Fund, a £3 billion pension plan for Edinburgh public sector workers. This is reportedly the first case in which it has taken the role of lead plaintiff. and was suing for $8 million.
The WSJ notes that “lawyers said they were unaware of other European pension plans taking the role of lead plaintiff in a case brought in the U.S. against a financial institution, as domestic pension programs had usually taken that role.”