Costs blow strikes Fair Work funders

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 9-Oct-19

Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox has welcomed the Federal Court’s ruling that litigation funder August Ventures should provide security for employers’ costs in a class action over alleged breaches of workplace laws. Willox hopes the ruling will make Fair Work class actions less attractive to litigation funders, while he has called for such businesses to be subject to greater regulation. There are currently 11 class actions before the Federal Court involving ­alleged breaches of the Fair Work Act.

CORPORATES
FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUGUST VENTURES, ADERO LAW, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, WORKPAC PTY LTD

AMP hit with new class action

Original article by Samantha Bailey
The Australian – Page: 20 : 27-Jun-19

AMP says it will "vigorously" defend a class action launched by law firm Slater & Gordon, which alleges that superannuation fund members were charged excessive fees. Slater & Gordon is the second law firm to file a class action on behalf of AMP’s super fund members, with Maurice Blackburn having done so in May. Maurice Blackburn is also pursuing a separate class action against AMP over its compliance with disclosure obligations.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, THERIUM LITIGATION FINANCE

No-win, no-fee prevails in AMP class action face-off

Original article by Michael Pelly
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 24-May-19

Five law firms filed class actions against AMP in the wake of ‘the fee for no service’ scandal that was unearthed by the banking royal commission. However, NSW Supreme Court Justice Julie Ward ruled on 23 May that only one action, which is a combined effort between Slater & Gordon and Maurice Blackburn, can proceed. Ward said Maurice Blackburn will have to put up $5 million as security for AMP’s expenses, while AMP advised in a statement that it intend to vigorously defend the class action.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART AND SULLIVAN LP, SHINE LAWYERS, PHI FINNEY McDONALD PTY LTD

IAG faces action over sales tactics

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 30 : 12-Apr-19

Law firms Johnson Winter & Slattery and Bannister Law have filed a class action against Insurance Australia Group. The lawsuit will allege that IAG subsidiary Swann Insurance engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct with regard to the sale of add-on car insurance, which IAG has ceased offering. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission questioned the value of add-on insurance in 2017, while such policies also attracted scrutiny by the Hayne royal commission.

CORPORATES
INSURANCE AUSTRALIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX IAG, SWANN INSURANCE (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, JOHNSON WINTER AND SLATTERY, BANNISTER LAW, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Westpac faces class action on loans

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 24 : 22-Feb-19

Westpac intends to defend a class action launched by Maurice Blackburn on behalf of home loan customers. The law firm will contend that Westpac breached its responsible lending obligations by failing to sufficiently assess borrowers’ capacity to repay the loan and to verify information about their financial circumstances. Westpac had been subject to similar legal action by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission in 2018, and that case will return to court after a settlement was rejected by the presiding judge.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

BHP class action down to one

Original article by Ben Butler
The Australian – Page: 15 : 19-Dec-18

The Federal Court has ruled that Phi Finney McDonald’s class action against BHP over the Samarco tailings dam disaster in Brazil can proceed. Rival law firms Maurice Blackburn and Johnson Winter & Slattery had also proposed class actions against the resources group, but Justice Mark Moshinsky expressed a preference for Phi Finney McDonald’s funding model. He also noted that the firm’s case was more advanced in terms of preparation.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, PHI FINNEY McDONALD PTY LTD, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, VALE SA, G&E KTMC FUNDING, HARBOUR FUND IV, ROBBINS GELLER RUDMAN AND DOWD LLP, LOS ANGELES COUNTY EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT ASSOCIATION

CBA faces first suit over low returns

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 21 : 11-Oct-18

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has indicated that it will "vigorously" defend a class action launched by Slater & Gordon. The law firm contents that wealth manager Colonial First State had invested its superannuation clients’ money in CBA-owned funds that had very low returns, when it could have invested the money in higher-returning funds controlled by CBA or other banks. Other banks and financial institutions have also been targeted by class action lawyers in the wake of the financial services royal commission.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GROUP LIMITED, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, COMMONWEALTH FINANCIAL PLANNING LIMITED, BW FINANCIAL ADVICE, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, MLC LIMITED, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD

BHP faces new dam burst case

Original article by Ben Butler, Matt Chambers
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 4-Oct-18

Law firm Johnson Winter & Slattery has filed a class action against BHP Billiton on behalf of the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association. The US pension fund alleges that the value of its stake in BHP fell sharply after the miner’s shares were heavily sold down in the wake of the Samarco iron ore tailings dam collapse in November 2015. BHP is already subject to two Australian lawsuits over the disaster. Meanwhile, prosecutors in Brazil’s state of Minas Gerais are believed to be poised to announce the settlement of a civil claim against BHP and Vale.

CORPORATES
BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, LOS ANGELES COUNTY EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT ASSOCIATION, JOHNSON WINTER AND SLATTERY, VALE SA, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, PHI FINNEY McDONALD PTY LTD, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, SAMARCO MINERACAO SA

Firms face off in AMP class action

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 19 : 30-Aug-18

A class action lawsuit against AMP over its fee-for-no-service is likely to be heard in the Supreme Court of New South rather than the Federal Court. Four law firms filed separate class action applications in the Federal Court, but Justice Jonathan Beach has ruled that they should be transferred to the Supreme Court where a competing lawsuit had already been filed. Justice Beach criticised the law firms, noting that their class actions are on behalf of a similar body of shareholders and cover similar grievances. Only one of the class actions will be permitted to proceed.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART AND SULLIVAN LP, PHI FINNEY McDONALD PTY LTD, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, SHINE LAWYERS, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

More join BHP Samarco class action

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 23-Jul-18

More than 3,000 investors have agreed to participate in Phi Finney McDonald’s class action against BHP Billiton. They will seek damages for losses they incurred as a result of the Samarco iron ore tailings dam disaster in Brazil. The class action includes investors in BHP’s shares listed in Australia, the UK and South Africa. The class action will contend that BHP was aware of technical problems at Samarco and knew that there was a risk that the dam would collapse.

CORPORATES
BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, PHI FINNEY McDONALD PTY LTD, VALE SA, SAMARCO MINERACAO SA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, BOART LONGYEAR LIMITED – ASX BLY, TIMBERWEST FOREST LIMITED