Class Actions

The chance of an Australian company facing a class action is now a significant business risk. When ranking the world’s highest likelihoods of facing a class action, Australia is second only to the United States.

The Gilbert + Tobin team are skilled at negotiating and resolving class actions, and we can manage the risk and uncertainty that this type of litigation has on our clients’ reputation and business operations.

Our Approach

There has been significant growth in class action claims as a result of the growth in share market investment, the rise of litigation funding and a more sophisticated approach by plaintiff law firms.

Class actions are now a well-established tool to litigate multiple claims sharing common issues.

Our lawyers are practiced at working closely with clients and regulators to take proactive and preventative measures to mitigate the risk of class actions arising or proceeding beyond a preliminary stage.

Gilbert + Tobin’s team of class action specialists is also experienced in defending clients in large scale and complex class actions. We have built a strong reputation for efficiently resolving complex and high-profile disputes and our team has achieved outstanding results for our clients in some of Australia’s most significant commercial disputes. Gilbert + Tobin’s formidable class actions team consists of litigation, securities, competition, intellectual property and other experts.

Our experience includes:

  • Acting for two separate parties in relation to the Vocation Limited (in liquidation) class action.
  • Acting for a major financial institution in relation to a US class action concerning allegations of misconduct in Australia.
  • Obtaining Federal Court approval of the $12 million settlement of a class action against the Bank of Queensland.  
  • Advising Slater + Gordon on its successful restructure including settlement of class action litigation.
  • Securing a $280 million settlement - the largest settlement of a misleading and deceptive conduct claim in Australian corporate history - for the RiverCity companies in proceedings against AECOM Australia in the Federal Court of Australia in relation to Brisbane’s Clem 7 Tunnel.
  • Acting for Malaysia Airlines and Thai Airways in class action proceedings involving multiple international airlines and claimed damages of up to $2.3 billion, following the resolution of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) proceedings against various airlines alleging cartel conduct in connection with air cargo surcharges.
  • Advising Edgewell (and its predecessor, Energizer) on successfully resisting a threatened class action.
  • Advising an investment bank in relation to a shareholder class action commenced against one of its former clients.
  • Successfully negotiating outcomes prior to the commencement of class action proceedings:
    • Representing an Australian listed company in relation to allegations by certain shareholders of breach of continuous disclosure requirements and misleading or deceptive conduct. We assisted our client to successfully resolve the claims prior to the commencement of any litigation.
    • Advising a leading Australian company in relation to threatened follow-on damages claims and class action claims after the conclusion of ACCC penalty proceedings. We successfully achieved a negotiated resolution prior to the commencement of litigation.

We also have considerable experience in other types of regulatory investigations and disputes giving rise to issues typically litigated in securities class actions, including:

  • Claimed contraventions of the disclosure requirements of the Corporations Act; and
  • Insider trading investigations and litigation. The insider trading provisions in Australia involve equivalent considerations to the continuous disclosure provisions about whether information is ‘generally available’ and the materiality of information to share price.

Well-resourced practice, acting for an extensive domestic and international clientele… active on class actions, regulatory investigations and other official inquiries. Noted for strategic insight and rapid, proactive issue assessment. Further applauded for attention to detail, client focus and labour-saving use of technology.

CHAMBERS ASIA PACIFIC 2018

Gilbert + Tobin was named Dispute Resolution Team of the Year

Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards 2019

Gilbert + Tobin was named National Law Firm of the Year (Australia)

Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2018

Recognised eight partners and special counsel for their expertise

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019

Gilbert + Tobin was named National Law Firm of the Year (Australia)

Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2016

Gilbert + Tobin was named National Law Firm of the Year at the (Australia) 

Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2015

Gilbert + Tobin was named Dispute Resolution Team of the Year

Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards 2014