Practice area(s): Class actions
Qualification(s): LLB, BEc
Ben Slade is Maurice Blackburn’s Managing Principal in NSW, based in Sydney. As head of the NSW class actions department, he has recovered many millions of dollars for consumers, shareholders and victims of mass wrongs. He has 30 years experience as a lawyer, almost half of which has been working at Maurice Blackburn where his expertise is in large consumer, commercial and product liability class actions.
Ben provides legal advice to and represents:
- investors, businesses and consumers on corporations and trade practices issues
- victims of illegal cartels, misleading or deceptive conduct, faulty or defective medical devices, and human rights abuses.
Ben enjoys being a class actions lawyer because he believes forcing wrongdoers to account is a worthy and just activity.
“Accountability for corporate wrongs that cause mass financial or other negative impact is all too often wanting in our society. Class actions give voice to the victims. Helping large numbers of people to access justice is a worthy pursuit.”
His work as part of the class action team that joined forces with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) in a claim against the NSW government for compensation for the false imprisonment of children in NSW was recognised with the 2012 National Award for Outstanding Legal Representation of the Rights and Interests of Children and Young People
Some of Ben's other significant class actions include:
- a multi-million dollar class action for investors in a scam that mislead them into believing they would own an interest in a vehicle tracking invention that did not yet exist
- a shareholder class action against AWB over the oil-for-food kickback scandal. The case for more than 1300 shareholders settled in March 2010 for $39.5m – the fourth largest settlement achieved to that date in a shareholder class action
- a class action against cardboard box manufacturers Amcor and Visy for over 1600 businesses claiming compensation in Australia's largest price fixing cartel. This matter was settled in March 2011 for $95 million plus costs and was the largest ever settlement of an Australian cartel class action.
Ben is currently managing a class action for more than 40 disabled people who suffered for many years in the specialised NSW residency Grand Western Lodge, as well as two class actions against Cash Converters that claim millions of dollars for thousands of NSW consumers who it is alleged were overcharged on their loan contracts.
Ben shares his expertise widely, through his Board membership of consumer action group Choice and the work he does with community organisations such as PIAC, as well as via the Law Council of Australia. He also worked for 10 years with Sydney's Redfern Legal Centre, he was on the Council of the Law Society of NSW between 1992 and 1995, and he was General Law Manager of Legal Aid NSW for six years before joining Maurice Blackburn in 2000.
“I am driven to give a voice to those who would otherwise have to suffer because those who have done them wrong are all too powerful. Those of us who conduct class actions for the victims of corporate excesses or human rights abuses are charged with a most rewarding responsibility that gives us a positive charge every day.”
Memberships & accreditations
- Law Society of NSW Member
- Class Actions Committee of the Law Council of Australia Chair
- Litigation Funding Working Group of the Law Council of Australia Chair
- Federal Court Liaison Committee of the Law Council of Australia Member
- Choice (Australian Consumers Association) Board Member