find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Two firms press ahead with class action suits against Slater and Gordon

Two firms press ahead with class action suits against Slater and Gordon

Class action

Two firms have announced they will be pressing ahead with class action suits against Slater and Gordon, one of which is shaping up to be among the largest shareholder class action suits in Australian history.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has announced it will file a $250 million class action against the embattled law firm.

Andrew Watson, national head of class actions at Maurice Blackburn, said more than 3,000 aggrieved people and organisations that lost money have signed up to the class action.

“The sheer scale of the alleged wrongdoing, its impact on the share price and the number of shareholders affected mean that this case will be one of Australia’s largest shareholder actions,” Mr Watson said.

“In addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars in losses our registered clients have suffered, we’re also protecting the interests of all other relevant shareholders by filing an open action, bringing the total claimed losses to more than a quarter of a billion dollars.”

Mr Watson said the Maurice Blackburn case will allege that there were problems across the board within Slater and Gordon, extending well beyond the ill-fated acquisition in the UK of Quindell’s professional services division, which affected Slater and Gordon’s disclosures to the market about the company’s finances, leading to multiple occasions that Slater and Gordon didn’t disclose material information to its shareholders in a timely manner.

Mr Watson noted that on multiple occasions over the course of less than a year, the share market was shocked at the bad news coming out of the firm, which led to the value of its stock plummeting by more than $2 billion.

“They didn’t just miss their earnings guidance predictions – they were miles off, and that suggests systemic issues across the company. The problems that are currently known, and there are many of them, might be just the tip of the iceberg,” Mr Watson said.

“To blindside shareholders once is really bad news. If it happens twice it’s then a farce – but to happen again and again and again – you can understand why shareholders want serious questions answered about the internal corporate governance of the company.”

ACA Lawyers has also announced it is finalising its investigation into a proposed shareholder class action against Slater and Gordon, and intends to commence proceedings.

Funding for the investigation is being provided by JustKapital Litigation Partners, a listed Australian funder, and London-based Woodsford Litigation Funding.

ACA Lawyers’ investigation has identified potential misconduct by Slater and Gordon prior to its April 2015 capital raising, going as far back as the release of its 2014 full-year results.

Bruce Clarke, principal of ACA Lawyers, said in light of the developments since April 2015, the firm has been investigating Slater and Gordon’s conduct over several previous years.

“It is important we ensure we identify all losses suffered by shareholders that may be the result of Slater and Gordon’s misconduct,” Mr Clarke said.

“We are taking the time to ensure we make the strongest case possible to recover the maximum possible losses on behalf of Slater and Gordon shareholders.

“We are acting for all affected shareholders, being anyone who purchased shares after the release of the 2014 full-year results on 12 August 2014 and prior to the release of the 2016 half-year results.”

The claim period for any class action brought against Slater and Gordon by ACA Lawyers may run from 12 August 2014 to 28 February 2016.

Slater and Gordon provided a market update on the morning on 12 October 2016, responding to media reports of a class action against the firm.

“Slater and Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) notes media reports that Maurice Blackburn intends to file a class action today on behalf of shareholders of Slater and Gordon,” the update said.

“Slater and Gordon has not yet been served with a class action claim. Slater and Gordon will inform the market if a class action claim is served on the company.”

The firm has provided no further updates yet.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Two firms press ahead with class action suits against Slater and Gordon
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
Lawyers warn against mandatory sentencing measures amid political jeers
Mandatory sentencing has become a topic for politicians on both sides of Federal Parliament to jostl...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...