The D&O Diary was on assignment this past week in the Asia Pacific region, with the first stop in the great country of Australia. It is always great to be in Australia, but the Southern Hemisphere Summer is a particularly good time to be there. After a day or two of clouds and some rain on arrival, the weather turned particularly glorious, as reflected in the pictures below.
Guest Post: Australian High Court OKs Foreign Shareholders In BHP Collective Investor Action
In the following guest post, Jeff Lubitz, Managing Director, ISS Securities Class Action Services, and Jarett Sena, Director of Litigation Analysis, ISS Securities Class Action Services, review an important recent Australian High Court decision in which the court paved the way for foreign shareholders to join the collective investor action pending in Australia against BHP Billiton Limited. I would like to thank Jeff and Jarett for allowing me to publish their article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ article. …
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Key Collective Investor Actions Outside the U.S. to Watch
Among the topics of principal focus on this site are U.S. securities class action lawsuits, although from time to time I do write about collective investor actions outside the U.S (here, for example). The fact is that in recent years there have been a number of important and interesting developments in collective investor actions outside of the U.S. In a recent paper, “Five Current Class Actions Outside of North American Investors Should Be Aware Of,” Jeff Lubitz, Managing Director, ISS Securities Class Action Services, takes a look at some key cases outside of the U.S. to watch in coming months. A copy of the paper can be found here.
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Australian Bond Climate Change-Related Disclosure Class Action to Proceed
An Australian Federal Court class action lawsuit alleging that the Australian Federal Government failed to disclose to investors the climate change risks associated with the government’s sovereign bonds has survived in part an attempt by the government to have the action dismissed. In an October 8, 2021 Judgment (here), a Federal Court of Australia Judge “declined to strike-out” the applicant’s claim based on allegations of misleading or deceptive conduct, while agreeing with the government to “strike-out” others of the applicant’s claims, as discussed below. The court’s rulings in this case arguably represent something of a milestone in the development of climate change-related litigation.
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Rare Australia Securities Class Action Trial Results in First-Ever Defense Verdict
Securities litigation observers know that class action securities lawsuit in the U.S. rarely go to trial. The same is true in Australia as well. However, in a recent ruling in only the second-ever securities lawsuit to go to trial in Australia, a Federal Court Justice has ruled in favor of the defendant company, the first ever trial verdict won by a defendant in Australia. The recent ruling has a number of interesting and important implications, as discussed below.
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Australian Government Sued Over Sovereign Bond Climate Change-Related Disclosures
In an interesting development that could prefigure further climate change-related disclosure litigation, an Australian investor has filed a lawsuit against the Australian Federal Government and two government officials, on her own behalf and on behalf of over investors in Australian Government Bonds, for allegedly failing to disclose to investors the climate change risks attached to the sovereign bonds. According to an August 12, 2020 memo from the Allens law firm (here), the suit is “a first-of-its-kind action worldwide,” one that could serve as a “stepping stone” toward both more activist litigation and more commercially focused climate change disclosure litigation.
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Guest Post: The Potential for COVID-19-Related Securities Class Actions in Australia
As regular readers know, over the last few months, I have been closely following the rise of coronavirus outbreak-related securities class action lawsuits. To date, though the pandemic is a global health and economic phenomenon, the pandemic-related securities litigation activity has been limited to the United States. In the following guest post, Jason Symons, Persia Navidi, Claudia George, and Luke Roper of the HWL Ebsworth Lawyers take a look at the possibilities for COVID-19-related securities class action lawsuits in Australia. I would like to thank the authors for allowing me to publish their article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ article.…
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Australian Securities Class Action Suit Reaches Judgment for the First Time
Securities class action lawsuits have been an important part of the litigation scene in Australia for many years. But even though the current class action procedural regime has been in place since 1992, no Australian securities class action lawsuit ever went all the way to judgment – that is, no case ever went to judgment until last week. On October 24, 2019, the Federal Court of Australia issued a post-trial Order in the TPT Patrol Pty Ltd as trustee for Amies Superannuation Fund v Myer Holdings Limited. The court’s ruling, a copy of which can be found here, contains a number of interesting points and could have important implications. A detailed October 25, 2019 memo from the Clyde & Co law firm about the judgment can be found here. …
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The Challenging Securities Litigation Landscape in Australia
As I have detailed in prior posts on this blog, securities class action litigation is well-established in Australia. According to a recent report from ISS Securities Class Action Services, securities class action litigation has grown “markedly” in the last ten years, to the point that outside North America, Australia “is the jurisdiction in which a corporation is most likely to find itself defending against a class action,” and indeed other than the U.S., Australia “is pulling ahead of almost all other countries in terms of active securities class action cases before the courts.” There are however important differences between the Australian and U.S. class action systems, and some of these difference post important challenges for both the courts and for litigants – and indeed have led to calls for reform. The October 23, 2018 report, entitled “Navigating the Australian Securities Class Action Landscape,” can be found here.
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Sydney in September
The D&O Diary is on assignment in the Asia Pacific region this week, with a first stop on the itinerary in Sydney, Australia. The primary purpose of my visit was to attend the annual conference of the Australia Professional Indemnity Group (APIG), but I did have a little time before and after the conference to roam around Sydney a bit. Though my visit coincided with the last days of the Southern hemisphere winter, the weather was cooperative enough to allow for some very enjoyable sightseeing and hiking.
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