Posts in Recent Class Judgements
15 December 2017: A stitch being on time also means not too early – Common Fund Order refused due to unresolved claims in defendant’s administration

Application for common fund order refused on grounds of:

(a)   Being premature given the unresolved status of debts claimed in the external administration of a defendant (being the same claims sought in the class action), and the potential for joinder of additional defendants to the action; and

(b)   The terms proposed would allow the funder to take a success fee for debts recovered the administration, not just the class action it was funding.

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31 October 2017: Is one year after settlement approval too late to try and deduct new legal expenses and taxes from a class action settlement fund?

Nearly two years after a settlement scheme was devised, the plaintiff’s lawyer (as scheme administrator) requested four new types of costs. The Court granted two of the costs (tax and accounting fees), and denied two (expert costs and more generous administration costs).

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11 August 2017: QLD Floods Class Action (the first case) - What happens when the expert changes his opinion?

Court considered: Plaintiff’s application to file revised expert report and make consequent pleading changes in a 5th amended statement of claim. Defendant vigorously opposed. Court allowed new report despite prejudice and delay and allowed some of the proposed amendments.

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18 August 2017: Being a busy corporate executive doesn’t mean you can give evidence by VIDEO-LINK from America

Eight weeks before the 28 August 2017 trial of a shareholder class action against Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), the global wine company asked the Court to let witness Ms Le Drew give evidence via video link from America, where she lives. TWE argued that Ms Le Drew was really busy with her work in a new job plus her son’s first visit to her in about 9 months was to take place during the Trial.

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11 August 2017: QLD Floods Class Action (the second one) reaches a bitter end

On 9 Jan 2017 a second class action was brought against Queensland Water Authorities for the January 2011 Brisbane floods. The second claim (the Hassid Case) was brought by Philip Hassid and Koula Hassid, as a class action, apparently because the first class action (the Rodriguez Case) abandoned pure economic loss claims in February 2016. 

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Common funds in Australia – Federal Court clarifies law by delivering most significant Class Action and Litigation Funding judgment in a decade?

A decade and two months since a High Court of Australia decision gave a clear greenlight to litigation funding down under, our Federal Court has now increased litigation funders certainty, at an early stage of proceedings, that they will be able to take their success fee in a class action from all group members, despite not having a funding agreement with each of those group members. 

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Plaintiff’s access to defendant insurance

CGU Insurance Limited v Blakeley [2016] HCA 2

The High Court of Australia upheld orders granting claimant liquidators the right to join the defendants’ insurer to the proceeding, to pursue the claim against the defendants’ insurer (who had rejected the defendants’ insurance claim). In dismissing the insurer’s High Court appeal, the High Court reviewed sections 562, 588G and 588M of the Corporations Act (Cth), and considered state and federal jurisdictions over those provisions by virtue of section 79 of the Judiciary Act (Cth).

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Top-up security for costs where proceeding funded

Camping Warehouse Australia Pty Ltd (Formerly Mountain Buggy Australia Pty Ltd) v Downer EDI Ltd [2016] VSC 29

During the trial of a class action a plaintiff was ordered to provide security for costs, at pain of the proceeding being stayed. The case settled not long after. In another case, a delay in an application for security for costs did not prevent it being ordered, however the Court adjusted the period of costs secured.

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