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Feb 2023

Turbulent times ahead in class action environment

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Sep 2022

Class action exposure for corporate directors is on the cusp of exponential growth, said Marsh head of FINPRO, claims solutions Melody Carr in a panel discussion on the future of class actions in Australia at the Australian Insurance Law Association’s 2022 National Conference in Sydney on 10-12 August.
She said the environment for directors is dynamic with several factors influencing a potential expansion of exposures:
  • Before court approval of common fund orders, requiring all group members to contribute to litigation funders’ fees, regardless of whether they have signed funding agreements, there was more incentive for funders to settle cases quickly, giving insureds greater certainty.
  • The new federal government potentially has a different attitude to class action funding and may adopt a more open-access-to-justice attitude.
  • The temporary reprieve from potential director breaches that was granted during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic will end, prompting a ‘massive revival’ in shareholder class actions.
  • A High Court leave application has been filed for a major class action against Worley, that was initially found in favour of shareholders but reversed on appeal. A 
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