Westpac takes BBSW case down to the wire

Original article by Sally Patten, Jonathan Shapiro
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 30-Oct-17

National Australia Bank has joined the ANZ Bank in reaching a settlement with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission over rate-rigging allegations. The NAB is understood to have agreed to make a total payment of $A50 million, of which $A10 million would be seen as a penalty and $A20 million would go towards ASIC’s legal costs. The remaining $A20 million would be donated to a consumer protection fund. Westpac, the third bank involved in the bank bill swap rate case, is believed to be still considering whether it should challenge ASIC’s allegations in court.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

‘I wouldn’t apologise for 50k,’ Harrison warns Seven

Original article by Misa Han
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 10-Jul-17

Seven West Media is believed to have incurred legal costs of more than $A1m in its dispute with former employee Amber Harrison. Seven will seek to recover its full legal costs after insisting that Harrison must issue a public apology as part of a deal to settle the case. Harrison had offered to abandon legal action against Seven and accept a permanent suppression order, but with no apology or payment from Seven. The media group had offered to pay her $A50,000 to settle the dispute.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, JOHNSON WINTER AND SLATTERY, AUSTRALIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Maurice Blackburn has $11m bill as horse flu case collapses

Original article by Marianna Papadakis
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 17-Jun-16

Law firm Maurice Blackburn has abandoned its class action against the Federal Government over the horse flu outbreak in 2007. A settlement proposed by the Government contains no compensation offer as there was no admission of liability on the part of the Government for the infection of horses with the virus which escaped from the Eastern Creek Quarantine Station near Penrith, New South Wales. Maurice Blackburn’s legal costs are around $A11 million.

CORPORATES
MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF AGRICULTURE AND WATER RESOURCES, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

J&J to pay $250m for bad hip joints

Original article by Marianna Papadakis
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 1-Apr-16

Johnson & Johnson has reached a conditional agreement with lawyers representing 1,700 Australians who allegedly suffered adverse health effects related to hip replacements. The pharmaceutical and medical devices group agreed to pay $A250 million to settle the case. The class action settlement is yet to be approved by Federal Court.

CORPORATES
JOHNSON AND JOHNSON, DEPUY AUSTRALIA, SHINE LAWYERS, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Newcrest pays $36m to settle class action

Original article by Barry FitzGerald
The Australian – Page: 20 : 23-Feb-16

Gold producer Newcrest Mining has agreed to a $A36m out-of-court settlement in a class action over its disclosure standards. The case was scheduled to begin on 29 February 2016, but Newcrest has decided that a settlement is in the best interests of shareholders. Plaintiff law firm Slater & Gordon initiated a class action on behalf of shareholders with regard to Newcrest’s breach of continuous disclosure requirements in 2012 and 2013.

CORPORATES
NEWCREST MINING LIMITED – ASX NCM, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

Landmark case could cost Visa $20m in fines

Original article by Patrick Durkin
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 2-Sep-15

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has reached a confidential settlement with Visa. The company was accused of abusing its market power. The settlement will be considered for approval by Federal Court judge Michael Wigney on 3 September 2015. Penalties of up to $A20 million are believed to be sought by the ACCC.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, VISA INTERNATIONAL, FEXCO INVESTMENTS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PURE COMMERCE PTY LTD, GLOBAL BLUE HOLDINGS AB, PLANET PAYMENTS, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, TRANSURBAN GROUP LIMITED – ASX TCL

‘Flaw’ in corporate law could hit M&A

Original article by Rick Wallace
The Australian – Page: 21 : 18-Nov-14

Japanese brewing group Asahi has revealed the size of its settlement deal with private equity firms Pacific Equity Partners and Unitas. It will receive $NZ220m ($A200), after claiming it had been misled over the acquisition for $A1.2bn in 2011 of the Independent Liquor business. Legal experts argue the case shows that large corporations are abusing section 18 of the Trade Practices Act, which is designed to protect small retail investors who lack the resources to carry out due diligence. The size of the compromise deal may have a dampening effect on mergers and acquisitions activity in Australia

CORPORATES
ASAHI BREWERIES LIMITED, THE INDEPENDENT LIQUOR GROUP CO-OPERATIVE LIMITED, PACIFIC EQUITY PARTNERS PTY LTD, UNITAS CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, MINTER ELLISON, SCHWEPPES AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, P & N BEVERAGES AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Banks settle case with liquidators of ABC

Original article by Michael Bennet
The Australian – Page: 21 : 8-Jul-14

The liquidators of ABC Learning Centres have reached an in-principle settlement with a syndicate of banks. The compromise was reached just before the case against the lenders was to be heard in the Federal Court of Australia. Bentham IMF was meant to argue that the banks "jumped the creditors’ queue". Child care facilities operator ABC Learning Centres collapsed in November 2008, with debts of $A1.6 billion

CORPORATES
BENTHAM IMF LIMITED – ASX IMF, ABC LEARNING CENTRES LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Disclosure breaches cost Newcrest $1.2m

Original article by Barry FitzGerald
The Australian – Page: 19-20 : 6/19/2014

Gold mining sector leader Newcrest Mining has admitted it engaged in the selective briefing of analysts in 2013. The penalty agreed on in a compromise with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and still to be ratified by the Federal Court is $A1.2m, an all-time high for such a continuous disclosure rules breach. Newcrest also faces the threat of a class action law suit launched on behalf of affected investors by Slater & Gordon. The mining group had staged its own investigation of the breach, with Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council chair Maurice Newman clearing it. However he did not have the same powers as ASIC

CORPORATES
NEWCREST MINING LIMITED – ASX NCM, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. PRIME MINISTER’S BUSINESS ADVISORY COUNCIL, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, ASX LIMITED – ASX ASX, CITIBANK PTY LTD, RBC CAPITAL (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA