Practice area(s): Class actions
Martin Hyde is a partner with extensive experience in class actions.
He conducted the Centro Class Action, which settled after 37 days of hearing for $200m, making it the largest ever securities class action settlement in Australia.
Martin recently completed working on the class action arising out of the 2009 Kilmore – Kinglake bushfire, which was caused by a fallen power line. The fire killed 119 people and destroyed more than 2000 homes. The case went to trial which ran for 16 months. After trial but before judgment, the parties agreed to settle for half a billion dollars - the largest class action settlement ever in Australia. The settlement is currently before the court for approval.
He was also part of the legal team representing indigenous land owners in their Federal Court challenge to the placement of a nuclear waste dump on Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory.
Martin studied philosophy, anthropology and English literature at Sydney University before going to study at Cambridge University.
After graduating from Cambridge with an honours degree in law in 1998, he returned to Australia where he worked as a prosecutions officer with the New South Wales Department of Public Prosecutions.
In 2000, Martin went back to the United Kingdom to work at Travers Smith Solicitors, one of London's premier law firms. At Travers Smith he worked on a wide range of matters including the multi-billion dollar Enron shareholder class action.
In London, Martin also worked on death row cases on behalf of convicted prisoners from Trinidad and Tobago and he was a trustee of the London Capital Cases Trust, the body that oversees final appeals by Caribbean death row prisoners to the Privy Council. In 2004, Martin was awarded the YSG Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award by the Law Society of England and Wales in the medium-sized firm category. He was also the recipient of the Chairman's Award for Outstanding Achievement at the Solicitors Pro Bono Group Awards.
Martin is presently based in Dublin, Ireland, where he is managing director of the litigation funding firms Claims Funding Europe and Claims Funding International. These entities fund litigation in various countries, including litigation in the Netherlands on behalf of victims of the air cargo cartel.