Late in 2010, UBS lost two large arbitration cases: one for $530,000 and a second for $2.2 million. In fact, of eight cases regarding Lehman Brothers structured notes, seven arbitrations have been found for investors, showing that arbitrators question how UBS handled the structured notes.
According to Investment News (01/23/11), UBS sold approximately $1 billion of the Lehman Principal Protected Notes to clients. Attorneys who spoke with Investment News said they have cases pending against UBS, but UBS has started settling cases before they wind up at arbitration.
Although UBS faces arbitration filings for its handling of the Lehman structured notes, so far it only faces regulatory action from one state, Investment News notes. That state, New Hampshire, alleges UBS sold the notes even after it became clear that Lehman Brothers would fail due to subprime mortgages.
READ MORE UBS LEHMAN PRINCIPAL PROTECTED NOTES LEGAL NEWS
In 2008, Lehman Brothers failed, leaving the structured notes virtually worthless. Investors with money in the notes are now filing arbitrations against UBS to recover their losses. The investors allege UBS sold the structured notes even after concern about Lehman's security began.
Winning seven of eight arbitrations is unusual. According to some attorneys, in a good year claimants typically win approximately 50 percent of arbitrations filed. Furthermore, five claimants who have won an award against UBS have reportedly won 100 percent of the damages they sought, also unusual in arbitration cases.