Class Actions in Australia: 2016 in Review

Jones Day

2016 saw a number of transformational developments in class action litigation in Australia, providing further evidence of the impact this form of litigation is having in terms of cost and risk for business. While the year provided examples of some major wins for defendants, a number of key court rulings and statutory reforms have set the stage for more and larger class actions in the year ahead and beyond. The 2016 highlights include:

• The bank fee class action, widely publicised as Australia’s largest ever consumer class action (involving a challenge over fee-charging practises), ended with the High Court of Australia ruling in favour of the defendant camp.

• The Federal Court, for the first time, cleared the way for litigation funders to obtain common fund rulings — and to do so at the outset of the proceeding. The court also indicated a willingness to more closely supervise funder’s fees...

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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