Maurice Blackburn's class actions experts lead the way

29 May 2015
Australia’s leading class actions team at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers is the only Australian law firm to make the international top 50 for class action recoveries in this year’s ISS Securities Class Action Services Top 50 Report.

Maurice Blackburn’s class actions team ranked 12th on the international list compiled by ISS, due to the AUD $69.45 million Leighton Holdings shareholder settlement achieved last year.

National head of class actions at the firm, Andrew Watson, said it was further recognition that Australian class actions experts can deliver meaningful compensation to aggrieved shareholders and play an important role in improving global corporate governance standards.

Class actions are long, tough and resource intensive – they should not be undertaken lightly, but we’re proud to have ensured that an Australian firm is right up there with the world’s best at running these cases to protect shareholders’ rights,” Mr Watson said.

“The Leighton case in particular was a demonstration of the maturity of the class actions regime here as an efficient and effective resolution mechanism, so it is a standout case in several regards.

“It also adds to the views expressed by our corporate regulators such as ASIC and the ACCC, that class actions play an important role in providing a market-based mechanism for those seeking redress for alleged mass wrongdoing by large organisations.”

Mr Watson said that Maurice Blackburn’s high ranking in the ISS report is even more significant when taking into account the very small number of securities class actions actually undertaken in Australia, compared to the USA or Canada.

“Our legal systems have different rules, and it is much harder to bring a successful action in Australia, which is largely why there have on average been only three shareholder actions run a year in Australia, so on those small numbers, this is a great achievement,” he said.

“It further highlights the importance of having firms with the experience and expertise to run these cases properly in order to get the best outcome possible for wronged shareholders, and it should remind corporate Australia that they will be held to account if they err.”

The ISS report can be found here: http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/media/2725/iss-securities-class-action-services-top-50-for-2014.pdf

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