This note addresses Justice Beach’s findings on the applicant’s liability case in TPT Patrol Pty Ltd v Myer Holdings Ltd.
Category: Class Actions
Beach J largely upheld shareholders’ claims that Myer had breached continuous disclosure obligations and engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, also concluding that they could rely on market-based causation. However, his Honour dismissed the proceeding. How? This note and others to follow seek to unpack the issues.
The circumstances giving rise to the claims against the insolvent investment and financial services company for breaches of continuous disclosure obligations in its dying days are so unique that the judgment is also likely to fade into unreported oblivion. There are, however, a couple of aspects that are of interest.
The decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court, and the separate decision of Lee J, in the Ethicon Sàrl class action, provide a useful diptych of modern-day class action jurisprudence relating to amendments to group definitions.
Watson as trustee for the Murrindindi Bushfire Class Action Settlement Fund v Commissioner of Taxation  FCA 228 (Middleton J)
The Federal Court dismissed an application by the administrator of a class action settlement fund appealing the decision of the Commissioner of Taxation disallowing the deduction of costs and expenses incurred in the course of administering the fund.
On 24 January 2019, the Australian Law Reform Commission issued a report entitled Integrity, Fairness and Efficiency – an Inquiry into Class Actions Proceedings and Third-Party Litigation Funders. The ALRC report sets out a comprehensive analysis of the current Australian class actions framework and makes 24 recommendations in relation to the regulation of class action proceedings and funding arrangements. Key aspects of the recommendations are set out below.
All partners can potentially be liable for wrongs committed by any one partner, so can a partnership claim the privileges against self-incrimination and exposure to civil penalties? In some “extraordinary and troubling” circumstances, the Federal Court recently determined whether Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu could claim the privileges.
Competing proceedings are now a feature of the class action landscape. GetSwift was the first opportunity for the Full Court of the Federal Court to provide guidance as to the management of competing class actions.
In Botsman v Bolitho & Ors  VSCA 278, the Court of Appeal agreed that a settlement sum of $64 million was fair and reasonable but overturned the trial judge’s decision to approve distributions in respect of legal costs and pursuant to a common fund order.
A Federal Court class action, brought on behalf of Indonesian seaweed-farmers, nudges the outer bounds of the Australian class action regime – both geographically and temporally.
The Victorian Court of Appeal has ruled that a settlement deed containing releases and acknowledgements beyond the scope of common issues in the Great Southern class action is binding upon group members, despite the High Court’s holding that representative plaintiffs and group members are not privies in relation to uncommon issues.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd v Pekell Delaire Holdings Pty Ltd  VSCA 51
The interplay between the Anshun principle and class actions has been examined in detail by the High Court, which determined that class members are not precluded from raising individual issues and un-pleaded common issues by reason of their being a class member.
Two recent single judge decisions in the Timbercorp and Willmott Forests litigation, have brought into focus the role of group members in class actions and thrown real doubt over the correctness of earlier decisions in the Great Southern litigation concerning the applicability and scope of Anshun estoppel in that context
Consideration of the arguments in relation to the extent to which parties in a group proceeding can, in settling the proceeding, bind group members to their compromise and preclude them from agitating rights against the defendants not pleaded by the applicants or addressed by the common questions.