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New site analyses local class actions data as claims set to rise
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New site analyses local class actions data as claims set to rise

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A new online portal has been launched by an Australian firm to show the major factors affecting commercial litigation funding and highlight where the greatest threats of a class action lie.

A dedicated class actions website has been developed by Gilbert + Tobin, with the firm describing it as a resource for Australian companies concerned about their “growing exposure to class actions”.

One of the predictions the national firm makes is an uptick in litigation funding growth and more shareholder claims in the near term.

Australia was unanimously identified as an attractive jurisdiction in which to fund litigation, according to a survey of litigation funders by Gilbert + Tobin.

“Factors such as the availability of increasingly sophisticated data analytics enabling funders, plaintiff law firms and institutional investors to automatically identify shareholder claims will also help fuel this growth,” Gilbert + Tobin said.

Over the medium to long term however, the firm highlighted market constraints and increased competition and regulation as a future “challenge”.

The site has user-friendly features, presenting an analysis of current class action trends from legal experts with infographics.

The portal's six categories canvasses general market trends, profiling of litigation funders, risk strategy for companies and predictions about the future. It also includes a directory of Gilbert + Tobin’s litigation group.

Gilbert + Tobin litigation partner Crispian Lynch said that the resource provided useful data to back up anecdotes.

“This site gives companies a snapshot of the key facts and figures needed to understand the growing threat of shareholder class actions, the drivers behind it and how to mitigate and manage exposure to the risks,” Mr Lynch said.

By way of example, he explained that his team graphed median settlement amounts against the time between filing and settlement to show companies that typically take longer to settle a shareholder class action pay more.

“By analysing historical class action settlements, we have calculated what percentage of total amounts claimed are on average paid to settle class actions,” Mr Lynch said.

Gilbert + Tobin’s litigation team also expects the trend for an “overwhelming” preference in favour of pre-trial settlement to continue.

Users of the site can navigate the portal online or download all content in PDF format.

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