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First successful claim against Opes Prime fund

First successful claim against Opes Prime fund

HopgoodGanim has acted on the first successful claim by former Opes Prime clients against the Australian Securities Exchange-operated National Guarantee Fund.Brisbane businessman Nicholas…

HopgoodGanim has acted on the first successful claim by former Opes Prime clients against the Australian Securities Exchange-operated National Guarantee Fund.

Brisbane businessman Nicholas Mather, the owner of private company Samuel Holdings, deposited $74,600 with Opes Prime just prior to its collapse in 2008.

The Australian stockbroking and financial services firm went into administration in March 2008 with around $1 billion owing in secured debt to ANZ and Merrill Lynch.

In a ruling in the Queensland Supreme Court last week (6 December), Justice Paul de Jersey of the Queensland Supreme Court ordered the Securities Exchange Corporation, which oversees the fund, to pay almost $47,000 compensation plus interest to Samuel Holdings.

Mather had previously received $27,602 from the Opes Prime liquidators, with the payout ordered by the Supreme Court the difference between his previous payment and his original investment.

The National Guarantee Fund had previously rejected all claims by Opes Prime clients.

"The Court found that the money was impressed with a statutory trust, essentially because of the existence of a financial product and because the money was paid in connection with a financial service," HopgoodGanim litigation and dispute resolution partner Liam Prescott said. "The existence of that statutory trust was the basis for the claim against the fund being found to be valid."

Clayton Utz acted for the Securities Exchange Guarantee Corporation.

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