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Almost 30 years after the introduction of the statutory scheme that paved the way for class actions in Australia, a third edition of the pre-eminent book on the topic, Class Actions in Australia, has been published by Thomson Reuters. 

Authored by Herbert Smith Freehills’ highly experienced litigators, partners Jason Betts and Damian Grave along with former partner and now Group General Counsel of ANZ, Ken Adams, the new 3rd Edition of the book details the evolution of class actions in Australia.

It explores the growth in the depth and breadth of class action case law, the rise in litigation funding, the changing role of insurers, the introduction of new state-based class action regimes and various reforms.

A number of other class actions experts from Herbert Smith Freehills are Contributing Authors of the book, they include partners Ante Golem, Cameron Hanson, Gregg Rowan and Christine Tran, executive counsel Helen Mould and Leah Watterson, and special counsel Guy Narburgh.

Honourable James Allsop AO, Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, who generously provided a foreword for the book, said: “Drawn from the authors’ deep and wide understanding of this area of the law, this practitioner’s guide to the proverbial galaxy of class actions is an accessible and sophisticated navigation tool, with detailed analysis of case law and clear identification of areas of unresolved and conflicting law.

“The sustained interest in this area is perhaps unsurprising given the multiple and public interest aims motivating the introduction of these regimes…The authors tactfully explore the challenging intersections of these public aims and the private interests of class actions stakeholders that arise in the day-to-day conduct, management and resolution of class action litigation.

Reflecting on the class actions landscape, partner and global co-head of class actions at Herbert Smith Freehills Jason Betts said: “It has been our privilege to act for many clients in the conduct of class actions and to have the opportunity to be at the forefront of these developments in Australia. We hope this text provides a helpful map to the complexity of the class action regime.

“Since we published the first edition of this book in 2005, a lot has changed in Australian class actions. The volume of proceedings has grown significantly, and we have seen continued growth in shareholder class actions – and the first shareholder class actions in Australia reach judgment. We’ve seen the introduction of contingency fees and reforms that have changed the landscape significantly.

Damian Grave, Herbert Smith Freehills partner, added: “The Australian class actions landscape has changed considerably since the first edition in 2005, with courts giving consideration to a range of innovative class action issues that have driven changes including the considerable growth in litigation funding and its related developments over time, and we have also seen over recent years various law reform and other bodies mark the class action regime’s evolution.

“There has been considerable breadth and depth in the type of class actions seen in Australia and the 3rd edition of Class Actions in Australia covers this continuously evolving landscape.

“We are very grateful to our clients for the privilege of working with and assisting them with class action issues.

Class Actions in Australia was first published in 2005. It was the first book in Australia to seek to comprehensively state the law associated with class actions under Pt IVA of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) (Federal Court Act) and related State legislation. It remains the pre-eminent text on the subject.

Class Actions in Australia 3rd Edition is available now from Thomson Reuters:

Key contacts

Damian Grave photo

Damian Grave

Partner, Melbourne

Damian Grave
Jason Betts photo

Jason Betts

Partner, Global Co-Head of Class Actions, Sydney

Jason Betts

Media contact

For further information on this article please contact

Collette Farley

External Communications Manager


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