This was an insurance case which arose in the context of a shareholder class action, and in somewhat unusual circumstances. The underlying proceeding is a shareholder class action against Quintis Ltd (Quintis) (which is subject to a deed of company arrangement). Following, and in reliance upon, representations made by Quintis’ legal representatives that its ‘Side C’ insurance cover applicable to the claims was limited to $10 million, the parties agreed to a proposed settlement of the proceeding (which was, of course, subject to the Court’s approval under s 33V of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth)). However, on the morning of the settlement approval hearing, Quintis’ legal representatives, quite properly, informed the applicants’ legal representatives and the Court that there may be some legitimate questions as to whether, in fact, their previous representations as to the extent of Quintis’ ‘Side C’ insurance cover were (inadvertently) inaccurate.
As a result of that revelation:
The uncertainty as to the extent of Quintis’ ‘Side C’ insurance cover arose, in part, because:
Thus, in this proceeding, the applicants (in the name of Quintis) sought:
At first instance (Quintis Ltd (subject to deed of company arrangement) v Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London Subscribing to Policy Number B0507N16FA15350 (2021) 385 ALR 639;  FCA 19) Lee J:
Those two insurers appealed the finding on the Rectification Argument. There was no appeal from his Honour’s finding on the Construction Argument.
As the hearing at first instance was conducted entirely on the basis of documentary evidence, with no viva voce evidence (and therefore no credit findings involved), it was open to the Full Court to reach its own conclusions on the basis of that evidence. After conducting a detailed review of the evidence, the Full Court unanimously concluded that:
Federal Court of Australia, Allsop CJ, Middleton and Yates JJ,
19 May 2022
Appellants’ Solicitors: Wotton & Kearney, Colin Biggers & Paisley
Respondent’s Solicitors: Piper Alderman
Respondent’s Funder: N/A
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