Middletons, which represented Centro in the long running class action that ended this week with a $200 million payout, offered some insight today on its client’s views on the case.
The firm said that after four years embroiled in the class actions, its client will now be better able to move on with its business.
Mark Dobbie, a Middletons partners running the case, said: "The outcome is welcomed and means our client can focus on its business and building wealth for its security holders."
Dobbie said the case highlights the increasingly litigious landscape for Australian business, in which the rise of class actions continues to boom.
“While the outcome is desirable and a good one for our client, it still leaves general uncertainty for business more broadly as after 20 years of class actions in Australia, we still have no final judgement on key issues relevant to Australian securities class actions.”
David Hope, a Middletons partner who ran the case with Dobbie, pointed to the growing risk for Australian business.
“The increase in litigation funding and the ability to build class actions through public relations, advertising and social media means the risks to business are far greater. Boards are under greater pressure to plan for mitigating these increased risks.”
Centro Retail Australia reached an agreement to settle six proceedings, including a number of related shareholder class actions, brought against the two pre-aggregation Centro entities on behalf of group members represented by Maurice Blackburn and Slater & Gordon in the Federal Court in Melbourne.
These proceedings were commenced on behalf of shareholders who acquired securities in (what was then) Centro Properties Group and Centro Retail Group in 2007 and early 2008.