Siskinds LLP and Koskie Minsky LLP announce court approval of $117 million settlement with Ernst & Young LLP in Sino-Forest class action

TORONTO and LONDON, ON, March 20, 2013 /CNW/ - Siskinds LLP and Koskie Minsky LLP, class counsel in the Sino-Forest class action, are pleased to announce that the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has approved a C$117 million settlement with Ernst & Young LLP in the Sino-Forest class action. Ernst & Young LLP was Sino-Forest's auditor from August 16, 2007 until its resignation on April 4, 2012.  The agreement provides for Ernst & Young to pay C$117 million in settlement of all claims arising from its dealings with Sino-Forest.

The settlement is the largest settlement by an auditor in Canadian history, by a large margin, and is one of the largest-ever auditor settlements worldwide.

In approving the settlement, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice stated in its decision released today that "the Ernst & Young Settlement is fair and reasonable" and it "provides substantial benefits to relevant stakeholders".

The manner of allocation of the settlement proceeds to Class Members will be determined by the Court at a later date.

The class action alleges that Sino-Forest, certain of its directors and officers, auditors and underwriters misled investors concerning the business and accounting at the collapsed timber trader. The plaintiffs include the trustees of the Labourers' Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada and the trustees of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 793 Pension Plan for Operating Engineers in Ontario.

The Siskinds securities class actions team has offices in London, Toronto, Montreal and Québec City. The team, comprised of 15 lawyers admitted to practice in Ontario, Quebec, New York State, and the states of Queensland and Victoria in Australia, acts exclusively for investors. Siskinds' securities class actions team is complemented by lawyers in Siskinds' affiliate, Siskinds, Desmeules, based in Quebec City.

Koskie Minsky LLP, based in Toronto, is one of Canada's leading firms in the areas of class actions, trade union labour law, employment Law, civil litigation and pension & benefits.  Its class actions team, led by Mr. Kirk Baert, has been a leader in class actions since 1992 and has prosecuted many of the leading cases in the area.

The litigation continues against Allen T.Y. Chan, W. Judson Martin, Kai Kit Poon, David J. Horsley, William E. Ardell, James P. Bowland, James M.E. Hyde, Edmund Mak, Simon Murray, Peter Wang, Garry J. West, BDO Limited, Credit Suisse Securities (Canada), Inc., TD Securities Inc., Dundee Securities Corporation, RBC Dominion Securities Inc., Scotia Capital Inc., CIBC World Markets Inc., Merrill Lynch Canada Inc., Canaccord Financial Ltd., Maison Placements Canada Inc., Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.

SOURCE: Koskie Minsky LLP

For further information:

Media contacts:
A. Dimitri Lascaris
(519) 660-7844


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