Qualification(s): LLB (Hons), BSc (Hons)
Andrew Watson is among the most experienced class actions lawyers in Australia. He is the head of Maurice Blackburn's class actions department, based in Melbourne, where he oversees a number of cases, including the unfair bank fees class action against the ANZ bank and seven others, and the bushfire class actions for people affected by the Kilmore East/Kinglake and Murrindindi/Marysville Black Saturday bushfires.
Andrew is an experienced litigator in class actions, particularly for shareholders who have been victims of corporate misconduct. He has helped obtain more than $1 billion in class actions settlements – a figure only Maurice Blackburn has achieved in Australia.
Andrew also has extensive knowledge of the Australian industrial relations system, including industrial and employment law, discrimination law, defamation and privacy law. He holds Honours degrees in Law and Science, and his legal career includes working as an employment lawyer and then a barrister representing unions. Following this he worked as a ministerial adviser and then for the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), where he won an above-inflation increase to the minimum wage four years in a row in the annual national wage case.
For Andrew, being a lawyer is about “working for people who I regard as needing access to justice who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to get it. Class actions provide a real remedy for all Australians.”
Andrew's experience at Maurice Blackburn also includes conducting the Multiplex class action related to Multiplex's disastrous Wembley Stadium project, and providing advice on complex legal issues, liaising with major institutional investors and briefing expert witnesses for the Aristocrat class action.
Andrew is quick to point out that everyday Mums and Dads are the main members of superannuation funds and other similar institutions he now represents in class actions.
“Class actions have a legitimate role to fill a regulatory void and open access to justice. They enable hundreds of thousands of people to be compensated when they have been mistreated by the companies in which they have placed their trust and money. Class actions also help clean up bad boardroom behaviour.”
Memberships & accreditations
- Law Institute of Victoria Member