On Monday, March 29, 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd., No. 08-1911. This is the first time that the U.S. Supreme Court accepted a case that involved transnational securities fraud and the extraterritorial application of the U.S. securities laws. Accordingly, the case has important implications for non-U.S. shareholders and international public companies.
By way of background, a group of Australian investors brought suit in 2003 against National Australia Bank ("NAB), which is based in Melbourne, Australia and its wholly owed subsidiary, HomeSide Lending ("HomeSide"), which was based in Jacksonville, Florida. HomeSide was, at one time, the sixth largest mortgage service provider in the United States.