Maurice Blackburn, Australia’s leading class action firm, has commenced a class action against CIMIC Group (formerly known as Leighton Holdings) funded by Harbour Litigation Funding. The claim relates to allegations about corrupt payments made by a subsidiary of CIMIC in order to secure work in Iraq.
In December 2019, the parties reached an agreement to settle the class action.
The proposed settlement is still subject to approval by the Federal Court of Australia. The hearing of the application for Court approval of the proposed settlement will be held on 28 April 2020 at the Federal Court of Australia in Sydney.
A copy of the abridged settlement notice is available here.
Who can participate in the settlement?
The class action was brought on behalf of people who acquired an interest in LEI shares in the period 23 November 2010 to 3 October 2013 and had suffered loss or damage by reason of the conduct of the respondent, as pleaded in the Further Amended Statement of Claim.
You are only entitled to participate in the Proposed Settlement if you are a class member and you validly registered your LEI share trade data with Maurice Blackburn by 2 October 2018 (Registered Class Member). Registered Class Members have been sent a notice containing further information about the proposed settlement.
If you did not validly register your LEI share trade data with Maurice Blackburn by 2 October 2018, you may still be a class member but you are not entitled to participate in the Settlement and are not entitled to receive any compensation from it (Unregistered Class Member), unless the Court otherwise orders.
If you have any questions about the proposed settlement, or are unsure whether you are a Registered or Unregistered Class Member, please contact Maurice Blackburn by email CIMICGroupClassAction@mauriceblackburn.com.au or call 1800 982 043
What is the CIMIC class action about?
Between 3 and 7 October 2013, Fairfax Media published a series of articles reporting allegations of bribery, corruption and cover-ups within CIMIC’s international operations.
The company’s share price declined by more than 10% when the allegations of corruption first emerged on 3 October 2013. Fairfax Media published further allegations on 4 October 2013 and the share price declined further, this time by more than 4%.
Maurice Blackburn began investigating a potential further class action against CIMIC in October 2013. A class action was commenced by Inabu Pty Ltd as trustee for the Alidas Superannuation Fund against CIMIC Group Limited in the Federal Court of Australia on 23 November 2016. Inabu brought the proceeding on its own behalf, and on behalf of all persons who are class members as defined in the proceeding.
Inabu alleges that CIMIC failed to comply with its continuous disclosure obligations under Australian corporate laws, and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct, by withholding from shareholders that senior executives had knowledge, or knowledge of a risk that an offshore subsidiary was, or may have been engaged in corrupt conduct in order to secure work in Iraq.
The class action claims that because CIMIC withheld this negative information from as early as November 2010, the share price was higher than it ought to have been until the information was revealed by Fairfax Media in October 2013. It claims that class members are entitled to be compensated for the inflated prices they paid for the shares for the period that CIMIC allegedly withheld market sensitive information.
Previous class action against Leighton Holdings
Maurice Blackburn has previously conducted a shareholder class action against Leighton Holdings. That case alleged that in 2010 and 2011 the company failed to disclose information about problems with two domestic projects (a desalination plant in Victoria and an airportlink tunnel in Brisbane) as well as a joint venture with Habtoor in Dubai. That case settled in May 2014 and more information about that claim is available.
Maurice Blackburn's class action record is second to none
Maurice Blackburn is renowned for running the country's biggest and toughest class actions, having conducted the first shareholder class action in Australia and having secured the largest class action settlements in Australian legal history.
Since the inception of our class actions department in 1998, we have obtained more than $2.6 billion in compensation for claimants.
Maurice Blackburn is also the only firm to have resolved listed securities class action settlements in excess of $100 million, having done that seven times now. The cases we bring align with our aims to provide greater access to justice and enforce Australia's corporate governance standards.