The background to the lawsuit is that Nordnet in 2022 hired Vinge as legal advisor in a case with the Financial Supervisory Authority regarding internal governance and control in relation to EU’s short-selling regulation. The case resulted in Nordnet being issued a remark and an administrative fine of SEK 100 million by the Financial Supervisory Authority. The decision was appealed to the Administrative Court, but the appeal was submitted too late, which meant that the case could not be tried on its merits. Vinge has assisted Nordnet with legal advice in the dialogue with the Financial Supervisory Authority throughout the course of the case and was the company’s legal representative in the appeal to the Administrative Court.
“To me, the ability to send the right material to the right authority within the appropriate time frame is fundamental for any lawyer. It is about knowing and acting in accordance with the absolute basics of procedural law. If you fail to do so, you deprive your client of the opportunity to have their say, and that is what has happened in this case”, says Johan Tidestad, Chief Communications Officer at Nordnet.
The decision by the Financial Supervisory Authority to issue the remark and fine was announced on May 25, 2022, with a deadline for appeal of three weeks from the time of notification. Nordnet stated in a press release on May 25 that it had received the decision. The certificate of receival was signed a few days later. The decision was appealed against on June 21 but was rejected, citing that the appeal had been received too late. The Administrative Court made the same assessment as the Financial Supervisory Authority, resulting in Nordnet losing the opportunity to have the size of the imposed sanction tried in a higher court.
“Vinge’s misjudgment of a legally uncomplicated issue has had major financial consequences. In addition, they deny responsibility, claiming that they have not acted in a negligent manner. I believe that you should be able to expect considerably more from Sweden’s largest law firm, both in terms of legal expertise and in terms of the ability to take responsibility for your actions. Our opinion is that we had good grounds for a substantial reduction in the amount of the fine if our case had been tried in court. That opportunity has been taken from us and now we are suing Vinge for negligent advice, claiming damages of SEK 80 million”, says Johan Tidestad, Chief Communications Officer at Nordnet.