AMP case highlights need for better Court cooperation

In response to the frenzy of anti-suit activity brought about by the AMP carriage battle, a protocol for communication and cooperation between the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the Federal Court of Australia in Class Action Proceedings has been developed (November 2018).

This Protocol was developed as a result of the anti-suit fiasco in the various competing AMP class actions. It addresses situations where competing class actions are filed in the Federal Court and in the Supreme Court of New South Wales respectively, and is designed to ensure that the competing actions can be 'co-operatively managed with a view to facilitating access to justice and the just, quick and cheap resolution of the real issues in dispute'. It provides, inter alia, that:

  • each Court will appoint a 'Class Action Representative Judge' for the purpose of implementing the Protocol
  • those judges may, where competing class actions exist, convene a joint case management hearing for the purpose of ascertaining various matters set out in the Protocol, including 'the suitability of the matters for joint or concurrent hearing of a selection hearing …'
  • after hearing from the parties, the judges will confer and determine the appropriate management of the competing actions (including, for example, a joint selection hearing, a concurrent hearing of the competing actions, or (where possible) the appointment of an acting judge from one jurisdiction to hear one of the competing class actions in the other jurisdiction).
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Andrew Watson

National Head of Class Actions, Class actions, Melbourne

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Principal Lawyer, Class actions, Melbourne

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Kimi Nishimura

Principal Lawyer, Class actions, Melbourne

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Rebecca Gilsenan

Principal Lawyer, Class actions, Sydney

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Principal Lawyer, Class actions, Sydney

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Principal Lawyer, Class actions, Sydney

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Principal, Class actions, Brisbane

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