BHP class action

On 31 August 2018 Maurice Blackburn filed a class action on behalf of shareholders of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and BHP Billiton Plc (listed on the Johannesburg and London stock exchanges) who suffered losses due to the share price fall following the Fundão Dam collapse on 5 November 2015.

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Maurice Blackburn is Australia’s leading class action law firm, and the only Australian law firm to have obtained settlements in excess of $100 million in shareholder and listed securities class actions — an achievement we have accomplished seven times now.

Important notice

In these proceedings Maurice Blackburn has applied to the Federal Court of Australia for common fund orders approving a Litigation Services Fee, the key features of which are as follows:

Calculation of Litigation Services Fee

Settlement or judgment sum recovered (gross)

Percentage of recovery which is payable to Maurice Blackburn

For all amounts recovered up to and including $150,000,000

not more than 15%

For any amounts recovered in excess of $150,000,000

not more than 10%

  • Our BHP class action is not funded by a commercial litigation funder
  • Maurice Blackburn will only be paid from any settlement or judgment sum recovered in the proceedings
  • Maurice Blackburn will not be entitled to any payments beyond the Litigation Services Fee
  • The maximum commission rates under the Maurice Blackburn proposal are lower than the maximum commission rate under a “common fund order” made in another action against BHP and which currently binds you.

If our application for a Litigation Services Fee is successful it will supercede the terms of our retainer to the extent of inconsistency, but other portions of the retainer (governing our respective obligations for example) will still apply.

If the application for the Litigation Services Fee is unsuccessful Maurice Blackburn intends to run the class action on a no-win no-fee basis, and to seek payment of the costs to which it is entitled under our retainer with the lead applicant as approved by the Court.

The issue of consolidation or selection of proceedings will be considered by the Court during a hearing on 29 October 2018. At that hearing, Maurice Blackburn intends to apply for its common fund orders approving the Litigation Service Fee to be made, and the existing common fund orders set aside.

We believe our class action provides the most experienced lawyers and best funding terms, which will maximise recovery for group members. We recommend that you sign our retainer if you wish to retain Maurice Blackburn as your lawyers.

Claim Overview

The Germano mine complex in Minas Gerais, Brazil is operated by Samarco Mineração S.A, a joint venture between BHP Ltd and Vale S.A.

On 5 November 2015, the Fundão tailings dam at the Germano mine collapsed and released a mudflow that killed 19 people and caused catastrophic damage to downstream communities and the environment.

The dam collapse is considered the largest environmental disaster to have ever occurred in Brazil and the biggest rupture of a tailings dam recorded in the world. It released approximately 50 million tonnes of mining waste which travelled some 600 kilometres to the Atlantic Ocean, causing extensive damage as it went.

BHP is one of Australia’s largest ASX-listed companies. Following the dam collapse, BHP’s share price plunged approximately 20% between 6 November 2015 and 30 November 2015.

The class action alleges that BHP failed to comply with its continuous disclosure obligations under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and the ASX Listing Rules and engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct.


Registration is open to persons who acquired an interest in fully paid ordinary shares in BHP during the period between 27 August 2014 and 9 November 2015 (inclusive).

Register your interest in joining this class action. You do not have to pay anything to sign up to the case.

Contact us

For any queries, call Maurice Blackburn on 1800 931 970 (Toll free) or email us at