On 7 December 2018, the Federal Court of Australia made orders for the management of the Vocation class action.
Class members were required to take steps in relation to their participation in the class action by 4 March 2019. This deadline has now passed.
If you believe you may be a class member, please refer to further information available at www.vocationclassaction.com.au.
The orders also require the parties to attend a mediation by 31 May 2019.
The proceeding is next listed for case management hearing on 7 June 2019.
A copy of the Court’s orders and the Court-approved Notice to Group Members are available from the following links:
What is the Vocation class action about?
The Applicant in the Vocation Limited Class Action (Federal Court Proceeding: VID 434 of 2015) alleges, among other things, that Vocation Limited (in liquidation) (Vocation) made misleading or deceptive statements in, and omitted information that was required to be disclosed in, its prospectus, contravened the continuous disclosure requirements of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), or otherwise made statements that were misleading or deceptive, thereby causing loss to persons who acquired an interest in ordinary shares in Vocation shares during the period 27 November 2013 and 4 December 2014 (inclusive).
On 22 July 2016, the Federal Court granted leave to the Applicant to proceed against Vocation in liquidation, subject to certain conditions.
On 17 March 2017, the Federal Court of Australia granted leave for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) to be joined as the Second Respondent in the proceeding. The Applicant also claims that PWC caused loss to group members by making certain statements while retained to carry out an audit of Vocation Limited’s FY2014 financial report.
On 20 July 2018, PWC filed cross-claims joining the following parties as cross-respondents to the consolidated proceeding:
- Vocation’s former lawyers: the Partners of Johnson Winter and Slattery; and
- Certain of Vocation’s former officers and directors: Mark Hutchinson, Manvinder Grewal, John Dawkins, Stephen Tucker, Michelle Tredenick and Douglas Halley.
The allegations made by PWC against the Cross Respondents only apply if PWC is found to be liable for the alleged contraventions by PWC. Certain of the Cross Respondents have also made cross claims against each other. More information about the Cross-claims can be found at www.vocationclassaction.com.au.
Consolidation and joint representation
On 17 March 2017, the Court ordered that separate class actions being conducted by Maurice Blackburn and Slater and Gordon against Vocation and PWC be consolidated into a single proceeding. As a consequence the Court appointed Maurice Blackburn and Slater and Gordon as joint legal representatives in the consolidated proceeding.
On 20 April 2018, the Court ordered that the First Applicant, Ms Whittenbury, be the sole representative applicant in the consolidated proceeding.
On 3 August 2018, the Court granted Maurice Blackburn and Slater and Gordon leave to jointly represent Ms Whittenbury on the record in the consolidated proceeding.
Maurice Blackburn’s Class Actions record is second to none
Maurice Blackburn is renowned for running the country’s biggest and toughest shareholder class actions, having conducted the first case of this kind in Australia and having secured nine of the ten 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 secured shareholder class action settlements in excess of $100 million. We have successfully conducted many shareholder class actions in line with our aims to provide greater access to justice and enforce Australia’s corporate governance standards.
For further information, or if you have questions in relation retaining Maurice Blackburn to act for you please contact us on 1800 645 488 or vocationCA@mauriceblackburn.com.au.