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Class Actions

Mitigating risk in a new reality, is your business ready?

The current pace of change is rapid and, in many cases, business-critical decisions are being made without the luxury of time for thorough investigation or reflection. Against that background, there is obvious scope for error – or, in any event, for allegations to be made with the benefit of hindsight that things could and should have been done differently. Where there are large numbers of individuals or businesses affected, there is the potential for class actions to be brought. 

It is widely anticipated that the number of class actions brought around the world will continue to grow, driven by the globalisation of claimant firms, claims management companies and litigation funders. The nature and size of such disputes, if not managed effectively, can lead to costly and long lasting litigation which can damage the reputation and, ultimately, the profitability of the business. 

We have a long history of acting for companies faced with class actions, including actual or threatened proceedings. Our class action specialists help our clients to navigate this complex area of law, including the novel legal issues which frequently arise, successfully resolving or defending class action litigation across multiple jurisdictions. Clients rely on our extensive knowledge and experience with class actions, strengthened by our global network of lawyers who effectively collaborate and leverage their experience in multi-jurisdictional, national and cross-border disputes. 

We have acted in a significant number of the largest and most complex class actions in recent years and have expert understanding of the relevant court rules in different jurisdictions and the basis on which class actions claims can be challenged.  

We draw on a unique depth of expertise in all practice areas and sectors across our global network in which class action claims are prevalent including banking and financial services, consumer products and manufacturing, business and human rights, environment, competition, energy, mining, infrastructure, TMT and utilities. We are also often instructed by and work with insurers in relation to resulting insurance claims. 

Herbert Smith Freehills has specialised proficiency in the practice areas that are frequently the subject of class actions, including: 

  • Securities litigation and investments 
  • Cyber and Data  
  • Insurance 
  • Business and Human rights 
  • Consumer protection/fraud 
  • Product liability and consumer protection 
  • Environmental / Climate Change 
  • Competition 
  • Employment and Pensions 
  • Tourism 

Combining subject matter and sector expertise with the services of our unique Global Advocacy Group enables us to minimise the commercial and reputational effect a dispute can have on your business.

Recent Experience

AMP LIMITED

Acting in relation to shareholder class action proceedings in the NSW Supreme Court. Five competing class actions were brought against our client, in one of Australia’s largest class actions, arising from ASIC investigations and the Royal Commission into the Financial Services Industry.

Vedanta Resources Limited

Acted for Vedanta Resources Limited in the defence of a high profile group action brought in the High Court in London on behalf of 3700 members of a Zambian community

LENDLEASE

Acting in class action proceedings in the NSW Supreme Court against claims alleging misleading or deceptive conduct and continuous disclosure breaches by Lendlease in respect of the performance of its Engineering and Services Business. The case raises questions in relation to provisions of the Corporations Act, ASX Listing Rules, and complex issues of causation and calculation of loss.

UBER

Representing Uber in multiple class action proceedings launched by Maurice Blackburn on behalf of licenced taxi drivers and hire car operators in the states of Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, alleging Uber unlawfully entered the market in Australia, causing loss of income and value of taxi licenses for the class members.

Diageo

Advising in the global coordination and defence of class actions proceedings in both Australia and the United Kingdom in relation to thalidomide.

MURRAY GOULBURN CO-OP

Advising on two concurrent class action proceedings arising the listing of Murray Goulburn Unit Trust in 2015 and subsequent announcements. HSF also advised in relation to related ASIC and ACCC investigations. 

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Accolades

I have worked with other teams, and none are as prepared, resourced or sharp as Herbert Smith Freehills.
Dispute Resolution, Class Actions, Legal 500 2020, Australia
Dispute resolution powerhouse that consistently tops the rankings across the world.
Dispute Resolution, Chambers and Partners, UK
The team stands out for its in-depth technical expertise, the experience and the reputation which it has in the area of class actions, and its innovative approach to legal issues.
Dispute Resolution, Class Actions, Legal 500 2020, Australia
Its international co-ordination is impeccable, very timely, well communicated and cohesive across their various local offices.
Dispute Resolution, Chambers and Partners, Global-wide
Key class actions latest thinking

Underscoring the team's expertise and thought leadership, our global team have written the complete and comprehensive guides to class actions in both Australia and UK. Written by leading lawyers from our global firm and bringing together the experience and perspectives of some of our leading disputes lawyers from their work on the most complex and significant class actions.

Globalisation of class actions

Class Actions poolside series

Insights and updates

25th October 2021
Since the start of the pandemic many listed companies have sought to strengthen their balance...
25th October 2021
SPACs scorched the US stock markets last year, with the UK left out in the...
6th October 2021
On 30 September 2021, the Department of Treasury opened consultation on new laws which, if...
26th July 2021
Our webinar explores the key themes from 24 months of class action law reform, legislative...

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