NERA Helps Nasdaq Recoup $78 Million in Breach-of-Contract Damages

07 January 2020

NERA Managing Director Dr. Vinita Juneja assisted Nasdaq, Inc. in their successful case against ETF Managers Group LLC (ETFMG), a fund management firm. In the case, Nasdaq alleged that ETFMG breached its contractual obligations to the International Securities Exchange (ISE), which Nasdaq acquired in 2016. The court cited Dr. Juneja in its decision to award US$78 million in damages to Nasdaq.

ISE initially contracted ETFMG to manage a set of exchange-traded funds and return a portion of their profits to ISE. Nasdaq claimed that upon Nasdaq’s acquisition of ISE, ETFMG began unlawfully withholding profits due to ISE and Nasdaq. ETFMG claimed that an undocumented oral agreement entitled them to retain profits from an extremely successful fund, called HACK, and that Nasdaq had reneged on various obligations to ETFMG.

Dr. Juneja was contracted by Nasdaq to assess the damages owed in recompense for nearly two years of withheld profits and to assess prospective damages for future profits that Nasdaq could have expected from the funds. The court upheld her assessment of retrospective damages and made small changes to her assessment of prospective damages. In his order, District Judge Paul Engelmayer wrote, “The Court found Juneja to be highly qualified, her report and direct testimony affidavit to be careful and well-reasoned, and her demeanor and testimony on cross-examination and redirect to be professional and credible.”

The case is Nasdaq Inc. v. ETF Managers Group LLC, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

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