find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1-3 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Join a dynamic Firm · Excellent career growth opportunity
View details
In-house lawyer 1-4 PAE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Leading Brand · Report to a Dynamic Legal Counsel
View details
Class actions take true grit

Class actions take true grit


The public often hears the glamorous side of class action law suits, but getting the headline-making result requires dogged determination and hard work, a former Australian Law Award winner says.

Partner at Shine Lawyers Rebecca Jancauskas, who won the Young Gun award in 2011, spoke to Lawyers Weekly ahead of this year’s Australian Law Awards.

“In my experience, it takes a special type of lawyer to succeed in the class actions space,” she said. “Years of painstaking, not-always-glamorous work goes into achieving each result, so you need to have the drive, enjoy the contest and be inspired by the end game to last the distance.”

Ms Jancauskas said young lawyers who are interested in moving into this area need to be aware that only a handful of firms have the resources and experience to run these kinds of cases.

“So you should do your research and secure a role with one of the larger plaintiff or defendant firms in the field,” she said.

Class action lawyers need strong organisational skills and superior attention to detail, as well as the ability to collaborate effectively as part of a large team, she continued.

Ms Jancauskas said she was drawn to damages-based litigation as a “young starry-eyed lawyer” because she knew she wanted to help others.

“I was attracted to class actions by the ability they afford to secure justice for large numbers of people who have been wronged,” she said.

Class action litigation is “endlessly challenging”, she said, noting that it combines the “forensic challenge of establishing complex liability and causation arguments with the compassion to represent people who have suffered injuries and financial losses”.

Crowdfunding was now emerging as an alternative to traditional litigation funders, she added.

Class actions are increasingly operating as a mechanism to “drive social change, sparking regulatory action, inquiries, industry reforms and policy overhauls”, Ms Jancauskas said.

Another trend is the continued dominance of shareholder and financial services actions in the Australian class action space, with product liability and environmental actions “rounding out the field”, she said. 

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

Class actions take true grit
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
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 & ...