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Ironbridge legal wins bid to lead on WestConnex class action

Specialist disputes boutique Ironbridge Legal has taken over from Quinn Emanuel as the lead plaintiff counsel in a class action suit filed in the NSW Supreme Court against Transport for NSW.

user iconLauren Croft 28 November 2023 Big Law
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Launched in 2018 and slated for completion in 2023, WestConnex has been promoted by Transurban and the NSW government as a key solution for easing congestion and creating jobs in Sydney. However, the $16 billion WestConnex project is linked to contentious land acquisitions and property damage.

In 2022, Dentons began investigating a class action on behalf of residents whose homes have been impacted by land subsistence caused by tunnelling and excavation associated with the construction of the project, which spans 33 kilometres from Merrylands to Botany.

This class action, now spearheaded by Ironbridge Legal, focuses on disputes over land acquisition practices, according to partner Trevor Withane.


The land acquisitions for WestConnex, including areas for the M4 widening, the M5 East corridor expansion, and the M4-M5 connection, were conducted under The Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 (NSW). This act empowers the NSW government and quasi-government bodies to compulsorily acquire private land for public purposes.

"In general terms, whether you want to sell your land or not, the NSW government and its entities can take private land or part of a property for a public purpose,” Mr Withane said.

The Ironbridge Legal team will be led by Mr Withane, with assistance from Laura Coleclough and Radith Khan.

The class action will seek fair compensation for affected landowners and will also aim to set a precedent for future projects, ensuring that property rights and legal obligations are duly respected, according to the firm.

“It is critical that the rights of landowners are respected by governments, and the governments of Australia comply with the rule of law. To do otherwise would be akin to the kind of objectionable expropriation of land we see in some foreign jurisdictions. This is why it is important that the legality of compulsory land acquisitions by the NSW government is carefully scrutinised, particularly in cases where the landowner does not receive compensation,” he said.

“It is a privilege that Ironbridge Legal has been appointed by the plaintiffs and approved by the funder in this case, which is a testament to our reputation as a market-leading disputes law firm – and much more a testament to the calibre of our lawyers.”

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