Manner of controlling and establishing class action = abuse of process.

In Walsh v Worley Parsons [2017] VSC 292, delivered 26 May 2017. Cameron J stayed a shareholder class action as an abuse of process. Amongst other things the Court made observations about the role of a litigation funder.

Whilst the facts are very specific to the modus operandi of the persons who the Court found were the “moving party” of the case, it is still noteworthy that the level of control exercised by the external funder / provider of indemnity was one of the (very many) factors which the judge treated adversely. In particular the judge criticised the removal of powers of the representative party - See paragraph 158 on page 31, then para 168(d) and 171.

At the same time, the judge stated: “It should be said at this point that whilst a firm strategic hand is not unexpected from a litigation funder or an indemnity provider, it is a question of degree which, in this case, is informed by the evolution of this proceed”, para 168(d))

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