Maurice Blackburn NSW leader elected to Choice Board

11 December 2013
Ben Slade, managing principal of Maurice Blackburn's NSW practice, has been appointed to the Board of Choice, the Australian Consumers Association.

Ben - a class action expert and veteran of consumer law, legal aid and community legal centres in NSW - will take up the position immediately. His major legal work on behalf of consumers includes:

  • initiating the investigations and driving the challenge throughout the past decade against exorbitant bank fees, action that ultimately led to the bank fees class actions;
  • spearheading two class actions on behalf of Cash Converters clients over unfair contracts that govern pay day loans;
  • leading a legal team to successfully prosecute Amcor and Visy over a price fixing cartel resulting in payouts to 1600 businesses of $95million;
  • convincing the NSW Government to establish the HomeFund Ombudsman's office to compensate more than 40,000 families who suffered under an unjust government initiated home loan scheme;
  • forcing the State Bank of NSW and Avco Finance to restructure their consumer lending and consumer credit insurance sales practices to comply with consumer protection laws; successfully concluding claims for hundreds of investors in managed investment schemes and unit trusts that have returned funds to thousands of consumers for misleading conduct by banks and other financiers;
  • attracting State and Federal Government financial support for financial counsellors in NSW.

Commenting on his appointment, Ben said:

"Choice is Australia's pre-eminent consumer organisation. It has so much to offer Australian consumers, from  providing unbiased comparative cost and value calculators for all sorts of products and services, to using its collective consumer muscle to force suppliers and governments to stamp out unfair practices.  It is an honour to be able to contribute to Choice's valuable work that benefits all Australian consumers."