CIMIC Group class action

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.

What is the CIMIC Group class action about?

Between 3 and 7 October 2013, Fairfax Media published a series of articles reporting that hundreds of confidential CIMIC documents obtained by Fairfax showed that senior CIMIC executives had discussed and approved payment of a $40 million bribe, had contemplated further similar arrangements, that bribery, corruption and cover-ups were widespread within CIMIC’s international operations, and known by top executives at the time.

The company’s share price slumped by more than 10% when the allegations of foreign corruption first emerged on 3 October 2013. The rest of the market was up on the same day. Fairfax Media published further information and allegations about the company's involvement in corrupt practices on 4 October 2013 and the shares fell 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 (ACN 003 657 654) as trustee for the Alidas Superannuation Fund (ABN 38 718 529 455) against CIMIC Group Limited (ACN 004 482 982) in the Federal Court of Australia on 23 November 2016. Inabu brings 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 construction 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 group 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.

Who is eligible to participate?

You are a class member in the CIMIC Group class action if you:

  1. acquired an interest in fully paid ordinary shares in CIMIC Group Limited (formerly known as Leighton Holdings Limited) (LEI shares) during the period between 23 November 2010 and 3 October 2013 (Relevant Period)
  2. suffered loss or damage by reason of the conduct of the respondent pleaded in the Statement of Claim, and
  3. were not during any part of the Relevant Period, and are not any of the following:

a. a related party (as defined by s 228 of the Corporations Act) of CIMIC

b. a related body corporate (as defined by s 50 of the Corporations Act) of CIMIC

c. an associated entity (as defined by s 50AAA of the Corporations Act) of CIMIC

d. an officer or a close associate (as defined by s 9 of the Corporations Act) of CIMIC, or

e. a judge or the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia or a Justice or the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.

If you would like to register as a class member in the CIMIC Group Class action, please email CIMICGroupClassAction@mauriceblackburn.com.au or call 1800 982 043.

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 here.

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 $2.4 billion in compensation for claimants.

Maurice Blackburn is also the only firm to have secured shareholder class action settlements in excess of $100 million, having done that five times now. The cases we bring align with our aims to provide greater access to justice and enforce Australia’s corporate governance standards.

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