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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, he is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading class action, regulatory investigation and product liability specialists. 

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Experience

Jason is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading class action, regulatory investigation and product liability specialists. He has over 23 years’ of litigation experience and has defended the largest class action litigation, regulatory investigations and prosecutions and corporate distress liability issues in the Australian market. Jason has acted in the majority of Australia’s largest class actions, including major securities and product liability cases. He is one of a few Australian defence lawyers that have run shareholder class actions to trial, and in October 2020 defended shareholder class action proceedings against listed engineering services firm Worley to hearing, which was the first Australian dismissal of a shareholder class action against a defendant after a full trial. Jason also defended to trial a shareholder class action against Iluka, with judgement pending.

Jason led the defence of two of Australia’s largest ever product liability class action cases and acted for the defendant in the seminal Australian decision on third party litigation funding in Australia – Campbells Cash and Carry Pty Ltd v Fostif Pty Ltd.

Jason is a Visitor to the University of Sydney Law School, teaching the post-graduate course “Class Action Litigation in Australia”. In 2022 Jason co-authored the third edition of the leading class actions text book in the country, “Class Actions in Australia”.

Jason is a premier class action and regulatory investigation lawyer in Australia, and his experience includes the following matters:

  • 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: acting for CBA in what is considered to be one of the largest shareholder class actions in Australia, raising claims in relation to the Bank’s AML/CTF compliance and disclosures.
  • BHP: defending a shareholder class action arising from the Samarco Dam failure.
  • Boral: defending two shareholder class actions in respect of disclosures regarding Boral’s North American business.
  • Cash Converters: defended Cash Converters in two consumer class action proceedings in respect of its lending practices.
  • Centro: defended Centro in several shareholder class actions alleging contraventions of Australian securities laws regarded as one of the most complex class actions in Australian history.
  • Fostif: acted for the Metcash parties in the first instance trial of Fostif v Campbells Cash and Carry, widely regarded as the most significant litigation funding case in Australian history.
  • Iluka: acting for Iluka Resources Limited in respect of a shareholder class action concerning illegal breaches of its continuous disclosure obligations, culminating in a 5-week trial in 2021.
  • Johnson & Johnson: defended DePuy and Johnson & Johnson in Australia’s largest product liability class action in respect of hip replacement prostheses, culminating in a 17 week trial in the Federal Court of Australia
  • Lendlease: defending class action proceedings regarding disclosures in respect of Lendlease’s Engineering and Services Business.
  • Macmahon: defended Macmahon Holdings Limited in relation to a shareholder class action associated with disclosures regarding the Hope Downs 4 Project.
  • Multiplex: defended Multiplex in a shareholder class action, which raised allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct and contraventions of Australian securities law.
  • NAB: defended NAB against a class action claim concerning disclosures associated with the bank’s CDO portfolio.
  • Newcrest: defended Newcrest Mining Limited in one of Australia’s largest shareholder class actions regarding disclosures associated with Newcrest’s FY14 gold production guidance.
  • OZ Minerals: acted for OZ Minerals in three shareholder class actions, the most recent arising out of the merger between Oxiana and Zinifex.
  • RiverCity: acted for Lend Lease and Bilfinger in defending three proceedings brought in relation to AECOM’s traffic forecasts in the RiverCity project, including a major shareholder class action.
  • UGL: acting for UGL Limited in a shareholder class action involving allegations that UGL breached its continuous disclosure obligations and engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct relating to its joint venture project to build the Ichthys LNG power station.
  • WorleyParsons: defending WorleyParsons in two shareholder class actions brought against it in respect of disclosures around FY2014 guidance, culminating in a 5-week trial .
  • Telstra: defended Telstra against a significant shareholder class action, which involved allegations of contraventions of Australian securities laws  and was one of the first major shareholder class actions in Australia.
  • Toyota: defending a large product liability class action regarding Takata airbags.

 

Background

Jason holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) (Honours) and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (Honours) from the University of Sydney, he also holds a Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of Virginia, where he specialised in class action defence.

Since 2021, Jason has been a Visitor to the University of Sydney Law School, teaching the post-graduate course “Class Action Litigation in Australia”.

Publications

In 2022, Jason co-authored the third edition of Class Actions in Australia, the country’s leading text on class action law and practice.

Jason has also presented several papers on class actions in various forums, including to Federal Court Judges Conferences in Sydney, the Joint International Conference of the Defence Research Institute in Miami, and the International Bar Association in Chicago.

Jason is frequently quoted in mainstream media on issues arising in the defence of class action claims, litigation costs and third party litigation funding.

Market Recognition

  • Doyle’s Guide – Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Lawyer – Australia, 2022 – ‘Market Leader’
  • Chambers Asia- Pacific 2022 – Band 1.
  • Chambers Global 2021 – Band 1.
  • Doyle's Guide – Leading Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Lawyers – Australia, 2021- “Preeminent”.
  • Benchmark Asia-Pacific Awards 2021 – Lawyer of the Year – Australia.
  • 2022 Best Lawyers Australia – Class Action Litigation; Product Liability Litigation; Bet-the-Company Litigation; Litigation.
  • The Legal 500 – Asia Pacific – Australia – Dispute Resolution Class Actions – 2021 – “Leading Individual”.
  • Winner of Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Excellence Award for 2020.
  • Winner of Lawyers Weekly Litigation Partner of the Year in 2020 and 2022.
  • Winner of Lawyers Weekly Dispute Resolution Partner of the Year in 2019 and 2022.
  • Winner of Australian Law Awards Partner of the Year 2019.
  • Winner of Lawyers Weekly Dispute Resolution and Litigation Partner of the Year for 2016, 2017 and 2018.

 

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