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Jason Betts

Partner, Global Co-Head of Class Actions

Jason is an Australian disputes partner and global co-head of class actions specialising in class action litigation and major regulatory investigations.

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Experience

Jason is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading class action, corporate regulatory and product liability specialists. He has over 20 years’ of litigation experience and has defended the largest class action litigation (particularly shareholder claims), regulatory investigations and prosecutions and corporate distress liability issues in the Australian market.

Jason has also acted in the majority of Australia’s largest class actions, including major securities and product liability litigation. He lead the defence of one of Australia’s largest ever product liability class action trials and acted for the defendant in the seminal Australian decision on third party litigation funding in Australia – Fostif.

Regularly called upon by the press to comment on class actions issues, Jason is co-author of the leading class actions text book in the country, “Class Actions in Australia”.

Jason’s experience includes the following matters:

  • Worley in the first successful defence of a shareholder class action in Australia where the Federal Court dismissed the claims against Worley with costs regarding allegations relating to Worley’s FY14 earnings guidance (currently under appeal)
  • AMP: defending shareholder class action proceedings arising out of evidence at the Banking Royal Commission
  • AMP: defending consumer class action litigation arising out of superannuation products offered by AMP entities
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia: defending two shareholder  class actions in Australia, raising claims in relation to the Bank’s AML/CTF compliance and disclosures
  • BHP: defending two shareholder class actions arising from the Samarco Dam failure in Brazil
  • Lendlease: defending class action proceedings regarding disclosures in respect of Lendlease’s Engineering and Services Business
  • NAB: defended NAB against a class action claim concerning disclosures associated with the bank’s CDO portfolio
  • Boral: defending two shareholder class action proceedings in respect of disclosure regarding Boral’s North American business
  • Toyota: defending a large product liability class action regarding Takata airbags
  • OZ Minerals: defended three shareholder class actions, the most recent arising out of the merger between Oxiana and Zinifex
  • Newcrest Mining Limited: defended one of Australia’s largest shareholder class action regarding disclosures associated with Newcrest’s FY14 gold production guidance
  • DePuy and Johnson & Johnson:  defended one of Australia’s largest product liability class action in respect of hip replacement prostheses, culminating in a 19-week trial in the Federal Court of Australia
  • Centro: defended several funded shareholder class actions alleging contraventions of Australian securities laws regarded as one of the most complex class actions in Australian history

 

Background

Jason holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Sydney, as well as a Master of Laws from the University of Virginia, where he specialised in complex litigation, class action litigation and advocacy. Jason is a co-author of the leading Australian text in his area of specialism “Class Actions in Australia” and is a frequent analyst and commentator on class action and regulatory issues in mainstream Australian media.

Market Recognition

Jason is repeatedly ranked in Doyle’s Guide as a “Preeminent” Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution lawyer; and was named Lawyer of the Year - Australia in the Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific Awards in each of 2019 and 2020. Jason has won the Lawyers Weekly Disputes or Litigation Partner of the Year Award five consecutive years (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020); won the Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Excellence Award in 2020; and was recognised as Partner of the Year in 2019 at the Australian Law Awards. Jason has also been recognised in Best Lawyers for the "Litigation", "Class Action Litigation" and/or "Product Liability" categories each year since his admission to partnership in 2010. In 2019 and 2020 he was also recognised by Best Lawyers for “Bet-The-Company Litigation”. Additionally, he is consistently recognised as a Band 1 individual in Chambers (Dispute Resolution) and as a leading individual in Legal 500 (Dispute Resolution: Class Actions). Chambers quoted market sources who referred to him as a ‘market leader in the class action space,’ with another client noting: “he does so many because he has the best experience and knows the market so well. He’s easy to work with, listens to what you want and can present to a board – it’s a very good, all-round package.”