Lawyers fear slowdown after Hayne sugar hit

Original article by Michael Pelly, Edmund Tadros
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 34 : 28-Jun-19

The latest Law Partnership Survey shows that the number of partners at participating firms has increased by 2.8 per cent in the first half of 2019, and by 3.2 per cent in the last year. Meanwhile, Herbert Smith Freehills and Allens are among the firms that have recorded strong growth in non-partner fee-earners in the last six months. Some lawyers are upbeat about the outlook for the legal services sector, noting that law firms are continuing to gain work in the aftermath of the financial services royal commission.

CORPORATES
HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS PTY LTD, ALLENS, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, KING AND WOOD MALLESONS, ARNOLD BLOCH LEIBLER, DLA PIPER, LANDER AND ROGERS, CLAYTON UTZ, MINTER ELLISON, CORRS CHAMBERS WESTGARTH, MILLS OAKLEY LAWYERS PTY LTD, JOHNSON WINTER AND SLATTERY, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Slaters and Shine hold merger talks

Original article by Luke Housego
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 20 : 11-Jun-19

Senior board members of law firms Shine and Slater & Gordon were recently overheard discussing the possibility of a merger. The two firms are the second and third biggest firms in Australia’s plaintiff law sector, behind market leader Maurice Blackburn. Shine and Slater & Gordon are very close in terms of market capitalisation; Slater & Gordon has a market value of $129 million, compared to Shine’s market value of $113 million.

CORPORATES
SHINE LAWYERS, SHINE CORPORATE LIMITED – ASX SHJ, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP

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

Mallesons in conflict over Capilano Honey takeover

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 4-Sep-18

Law firm Mallesons was understood to be advising Wattle Hill and ROC Partners on their agreed $190 million takeover bid for Capilano Honey, announced in August. However, it removed itself from that process after revealing it had been involved in the commissioning of a report that was highly critical of Capilano’s products, with the report alleging it and a number of other honey producers had products that had tested as "adulterated". Capilano has denied the claims, while it is believed Minter Ellison has replaced Mallesons as the law firm adviser on the Capilano bid.

CORPORATES
MALLESONS STEPHEN JAQUES, WATTLE HILL, ROC PARTNERS PTY LTD, CAPILANO HONEY LIMITED – ASX CZZ, MINTER ELLISON, MACQUARIE CAPITAL PTY LTD, PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS, HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS PTY LTD, BEGA CHEESE LIMITED – ASX BGA, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Class action firm challenges CFMMEU

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 27-Aug-18

Class action law firm Adero Law is challenging an agreement involving the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union. The CFFMEU had secured a 2017 court decision to have an enterprise agreement provided by One Key Workforce, a mining subsidiary of labour hire firm Fircroft, deemed invalid. It has agreed not to pursue the decision if Fircroft pays its members $3.5 million to cover alleged underpayments and enters into an improved labour agreement with the CFMMEU. Adero Law contends that the deal with Fircroft is not in the interest of clients who are former One Key employees and who were not CFFMEU members. CFFMEU president Tony Maher says its agreement does not stop non-union One Key workers seeking compensation for underpayments.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, ADERO LAW, ONE KEY WORKFORCE, FIRCROFT GROUP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Freehills leads on promoting women partners

Original article by Michael Pelly, Edmund Tadros
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 31 : 6-Jul-18

Law firms taking part in the annual "Australian Financial Review" Law Partnership Survey added 290 partners in the first six months of 2018, of which 126 were women. A total of 43 firms appointed new partners, with HWL Ebsworth Lawyers adding the most. Herbert Smith Freehills promoted eight women to the role of partner, but it did not promote any men. Richard Spurio of Allens said its target for women to comprise at least 35 per cent of its partners was achieved in 2017, five years ahead of schedule.

CORPORATES
HWL EBSWORTH PTY LTD, HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS PTY LTD, ALLENS, MORAY AND AGNEW, MADDOCKS, MACPHERSON AND KELLEY LAWYERS PTY LTD, ASHURST AUSTRALIA, COLIN BIGGERS AND PAISLEY

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

AMP faces $2b class action

Original article by Misa Han
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 10-May-18

AMP has declined to comment on a move by law firm Quinn Emanuel to launch a class action against the embattled financial services group. The class action is open to investors who bought AMP shares between 4 May 2013 and 18 April 2018. Several other law firms may also pursue class actions against AMP following the banking royal commission’s revelations that the group had charged fees for services that were not provided and had lied to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART AND SULLIVAN LP, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, PHI FINNEY McDONALD PTY LTD, SHINE LAWYERS

Three lawsuits looming for AMP

Original article by Ben Butler, Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 24-Apr-18

AMP has declined to comment on reports that it may face multiple class action lawsuits after the misconduct of its financial planners was exposed by the banking royal commission. Slater & Gordon and Shine Lawyers have advised that they are considering class actions on behalf of AMP clients, while Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan expects to launch its own class action within weeks. Meanwhile, the inquiry has been told that many clients who received poor financial advice from AMP have yet to be informed that they have lost money.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, SHINE LAWYERS, QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART AND SULLIVAN LP, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, PROPERTY SAINT, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION