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

Directors hit in Hayne fallout

Original article by Alice Uribe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 9-Jul-18

Providers of directors’ and officers’ insurance have increased their premiums by an average of 70 per cent over the past six months due to costs incurred as a result of class actions. Eden Fletcher of Aon Risk Solutions notes that providers have moved to prevent further losses on class action policies they offer by inserting exclusions that would see them refuse to cover companies hit by class actions resulting from the banking royal commission. There are potentially up 20 class actions pending as a result of the royal commission, with AMP alone facing five lawsuits over its fee-for-no-service scandal.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AON RISK SERVICES AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, CHUBB CORPORATION, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN LAW REFORM COMMISSION, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN, RABOBANK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, QBE INSURANCE GROUP LIMITED – ASX QBE, AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF COMPANY DIRECTORS, AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP INCORPORATED, XL CATLIN

Law firm hits CBA with class action suit

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 20 : 3-Jul-18

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia faces another class action over its money-laundering scandal. Law firm Phi Finney McDonald has filed a lawsuit on behalf of investors who bought CBA shares between 16 June 2014 and 3August 2017. The firm alleges that CBA’s failure to inform the market about the scandal constituted a breach of its disclosure requirements. The class action will allege that investors incurred loss and damage due to the bank’s inaction.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, PHI FINNEY McDONALD PTY LTD, THERIUM PTY LTD, CALIFORNIA STATE TEACHERS’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM, TEACHERS’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF TEXAS, MASSACHUSETTS PENSION RESERVES INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT BOARD, COLORADO PUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT ASSOCIATION, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, IMF BENTHAM LIMITED – ASX IMF

AMP hit with fourth class action

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 23 : 8-Jun-18

Slater & Gordon is the latest law firm to formally file a class action lawsuit against wealth manager AMP in the wake of revelations that it charged clients for services that were not provided. Three other law firms have filed class actions to date, while Maurice Blackburn has yet to do so. Meanwhile, Kieren Chidgey of UBS estimates that financial planners who are affiliated with AMP and ANZ Bank are currently the least qualified to meet the new minimum education requirements for the sector that take effect in 2019.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART AND SULLIVAN LP, SHINE LAWYERS, PHI FINNEY McDONALD PTY LTD, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, BELL POTTER SECURITIES LIMITED

Fourth bid for AMP class action

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

Maurice Blackburn is the latest law firm to propose launching a class action against wealth manager AMP in response to the scandals exposed by the banking royal commission. Phi Finney McDonald and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan have filed class action lawsuits to date, while Slater & Gordon has also flagged possible legal action on behalf of AMP shareholders. Andrew Watson of Maurice Blackburn stresses factors other than the lowest commission rate will determine which class action is allowed to proceed.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, PHI FINNEY MCDONALD PTY LTD, QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART AND SULLIVAN LP, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, INTERNATIONAL LITIGATION FUNDING PARTNERS INCORPORATED, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, IMF BENTHAM LIMITED – ASX IMF