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
GPT absolved in Slaters’ class action settlement

GPT absolved in Slaters’ class action settlement

Slater & Gordon has negotiated a $75 million conditional settlement for more than 2300 GPT investors, adding to the pile of no-fault deals struck since the GFC.

GPT denied liability under the terms of the agreement, as did Centro, Nufarm and NAB in their respective class action settlements last year.

Slaters’ managing director Andrew Grech told Lawyers Weekly that the law relating to class actions is still developing in Australia; its progress slowed by few cases making it to final judgment. He stressed, however, that a settlement is generally in the financial interests of both parties.

“I don’t think anyone would disagree that it’s absolutely more desirable for parties come to a resolution to a dispute between them, rather than have a court adjudicate on them,” said Grech.

“It was a shame [in the GPT case] that we had to go to the expense of running a four-week trial.”

Slaters filed proceedings in the Federal Court in December 2011. The firm alleged that GPT had failed to meet its continuous-disclosure requirements and earnings forecasts in 2008, which, when downgraded, led to a share price drop from $3.80 in May 2008 to as low as 60c during the GFC.

The claim was brought on behalf of investors who purchased shares between 27 February and 6 July 2008.

Slaters class action lawyer Ben Phi said the settlement was great news for shareholders awaiting the judgment from Federal Court Justice Michelle Gordon following the trial’s conclusion in March.

“The settlement provides a strong return on the losses claimed,” he said.

US-based litigation funder Comprehensive Legal Funding (CLF), which has offices in Melbourne, funded the class action, paying Slaters’ costs and providing security against adverse costs. CLC also backed the Centro investor class action, which resulted in a record $200 million settlement in 2012.

Grech said class actions would be a continuing emphasis for Slaters. The firm recently raised capital to acquire three firms in the UK, where Grech revealed the firm plans to set up a class action practice. He admitted, however, that UK laws add a layer of complexity to launching a class action there.

“There isn’t a developed class actions process ... the [UK] system works quite differently,” he said.

Another challenge is convincing litigation funders to partake in UK-based class actions, added Grech. “The limitations of procedural rules mean litigation funders have to ensure there is an acceptable balance between the risk they take and the return they can achieve.”

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

GPT absolved in Slaters’ class action settlement
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
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...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
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 & ...