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Class Actions

It is expected that class actions in both Australia and other jurisdictions will continue to increase in prominence across a broad range of areas including shareholder/investor claims, consumer and product liability claims, antitrust/competition claims and claims arising from natural disasters such as bushfires and floods.

The nature and size of such disputes, if not managed effectively, can lead to long and costly litigation giving rise to broader risk and exposure.

William Roberts’ class action team are experienced in managing class action matters on behalf of claimants, defendants or to act for and advise other stakeholders in such disputes, such as insurers (including ATE insurers) and funders.

William Roberts is currently acting in respect of

  • Sirtex Medical Limited Class Action – currently acting for shareholders in respect to a prospective class action claim alleging misleading or deceptive conduct, breaches of the company’s continuous disclosure obligations and ASX Listing Rules. You can “Register Here” to participate in the Sirtex Class Action.
  • Ashley Services Group Class Action - currently acting in a shareholder class action claim relating to allegations of misleading or deceptive conduct and misstatement in a prospectus in breach of the of the Corporations Act 2001. 

We have acted in, or advised clients in respect to, a number of complex class actions in recent years including:

  • Credit Corp Group Limited Class Action -  This was an investor class action alleging misleading or deceptive conduct and breaches of disclosure obligations and ASX listing rules. This class action was successfully resolved.
  • Colliers International Consultancy & Valuation Pty Limited Class action  - This was an investor class action for misleading and deceptive conduct relating to valuations that underpinned a capital raising for a large building project. The matter was successfully resolved.

  • 2011 Margaret river Bushfire Class Action  - Acted on instruction from the subrogated insurer. The matter was successfully resolved at mediation.

  • Rolleystone Bushfire Class Action  - Acted on instruction from the subrogated insurer. The matter was successfully resolved at mediation.

  • Springwood Bushfire Class Action – Acted on instruction from the subrogated insurer against Endeavour Energy. The matter was successfully resolved prior to the hearing.

  • Downer EDI Limited Class Action - Acted for a listed litigation funder in its own corporate capacity to intervene in this class action objecting to proposed opt-out notices as far as they related to a settlement reached earlier by our client funder.

  • ABC Learning Class Action: Acted for  a listed litigation funder in it its own corporate capacity to intervene in the examination of directors and other persons associated with ABC Learning Centres. The intervention dealt with detailed consideration of the rights of a non-party to access information held by third parties for a purpose intimately connected to the ability of the liquidator for ABC to be able to proceed with the examinations or otherwise with contemplated litigation.  These issues were complex and had otherwise not  been considered by the Courts at any time prior.

  • AWB Class action: Acted for a listed litigation funder in it its own corporate capacity in the wake of the litigation funding in class action and managed investment scheme controversy. Shortly before the approval of the settlement in the AWB class action, the High Court of Australia handed down its judgment in Brookfield Multiplex where it found that the conduct of the litigation funding arrangement in that class action constituted a managed investment scheme in breach of the Corporations Act 2001. In the wake of the Brookfield Multiplex decision, AWB commenced proceedings against the funder alleging that the action was being illegally conducted as a managed investment scheme.  Those allegations were defended and ultimately a dismissal of the proceedings was secured.

  • Conflicts in a Class Action –Acted in a representative action funded by a listed litigation funder. In a public interest case involving a case against a well known law firm for the benefit of participants and their private funder in a representative action. The case posed questions regarding the business interest considerations of solicitors and their obligations to their clients in the context of commercial conflicts of interest.

  • Natural Disaster Class Actions: William Roberts has advised and is advising various insurers concerning ongoing and potential class action matters arising from natural disasters so as to ensure their interests are protected.

  • Advice Concerning Potential Class Actions: William Roberts has advised and continues to advise various stakeholders to potential claims in respect to their likely prospects, as well as the funding and/or insurance arrangements contemplated in such actions.