QBE class action

Maurice Blackburn, Australia’s leading class action firm, is representing shareholders in a class action filed against the ASX-listed insurer QBE Insurance Group Limited (QBE). The class action was filed in the Federal Court in Melbourne on 9 September 2015.

Case developments

Common fund orders

On 26 October 2016, the Full Court of the Federal Court delivered reasons for judgment indicating that it will make “common fund” orders in the proceeding.  The orders were made on 15 November 2016.

The effect of the orders is that, in the event of a successful outcome in the action (either by way of settlement or judgment), the settlement or judgment sum recovered for all group members will be used, prior to any distribution to group members, to reimburse the funder, International Litigation Funding Partners Pte Ltd (ILFP), for the costs paid by ILFP in funding the action and to pay ILFP a commission at a percentage rate to be approved by the Court at a later stage, all in accordance with “Funding Terms” attached to the Court’s orders.

A copy of the Full Court’s reasons for judgment and orders are available at the following links:

What is the QBE class action about?

On 9 December 2013, insurance giant QBE stunned the market when the company publicly announced that it was not going to meet earlier profit and financial performance guidance and that, in fact, it was expecting to incur significant write-downs and post a loss of around $250 million for FY13. When confirmed in February 2014, the reported loss of $254 million was the first for the company since 2001. The major contributor to QBE’s poor results and its shock announcement on 9 December 2013 was bad news from QBE’s North American operations.

The revelation on 9 December 2013 of the poor results understandably surprised investors. Only four months earlier, QBE’s half year report in August 2013 fed market expectations of a profit in excess of $1 billion for FY13 and a turn-around of its problematic North American operations.

The market reacted swiftly and savagely on news on 9 December 2013 of the expected loss. QBE’s share price plummeted by more than 20% on 9 December, closing down $3.45 on the prior close, the biggest single day fall for QBE shares in 12 years. The share price continued to fall the following day, shedding another $1.18. In total, QBE shares fell 30% over two days.

Register your interest in joining this class action

Figure 1 - QBE Share Price Chart

QBE Graph

The class action alleges that, from 20 August 2013 until the announcement on 9 December 2013, QBE breached its continuous disclosure obligations, engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, and made false or misleading statements, in contravention of applicable corporate and consumer legislation and the ASX Listing Rules.

If QBE was, or ought to have been, aware of issues that were adversely impacting the company’s North American operations during the period from 20 August 2013 until the announcement on 9 December 2013, and it failed to adequately disclose those matters, then investors who bought ordinary shares of QBE may have paid an inflated price. The proposed class action would seek to recover the inflation paid by investors.

If you would like further information about the nature of the allegations and claims in this class action, you should review the originating application and statement of claim at the links below.

Funding and representation

The class action is being funded by International Litigation Funding Partners Pte Ltd (ILFP).  ILFP is paying the costs of bringing the proceeding and, if the class action is unsuccessful, will pay any costs awarded in favour of QBE.

If you would like to be represented by Maurice Blackburn in this class action, you must enter a funding agreement with ILFP. We will not charge you to retain us as your lawyers and there is no cost risk associated if you do participate as a group member. All costs will be borne by ILFP and will only be recovered in the event of a successful outcome. If we are successful in recovering compensation for you, you will also be required to pay a percentage of your compensation to ILFP.

In essence, if we run the case and win, you will get money back for shares you may have purchased at inflated prices. If we run the case and lose, you bear no costs and no risk.

To retain Maurice Blackburn, we invite you to register online via this website. Registration involves retaining Maurice Blackburn as your lawyers and entering a litigation funding agreement with ILFP.

Register your interest in joining this class action

Once you are registered, you will receive updated information and advice as the case progresses and Maurice Blackburn will ensure that your claim is included in any settlement of the proceeding.

The class action is issued as an ‘open class’ which means that if you purchased QBE shares in the period between 20 August 2013 and 6 December 2013 you may be a group member in the class action whether or not you have retained Maurice Blackburn and entered a funding agreement with ILFP.  However, you are encouraged to register with us.

For further information, please email us or call 1800 631 766.

Maurice Blackburn’s class action 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 the six highest class action settlements in Australian legal history.

Since the inception of our class actions department in 1998, we have obtained more than $1 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 conducted several shareholder class actions in line with our aims to provide greater access to justice and enforce Australia’s corporate governance standards.