Qualification(s): LLB (Hons)
Jacob Varghese is a class actions and social justice principal in Maurice Blackburn’s Melbourne office. He is part of our firm's award-winning class actions team, recognised for their dispute resolution skills.
Jacob is an expert in class actions and an experienced litigator who brings strategic and lateral approaches to legal matters. He has acted for shareholders to achieve some of Australia’s largest class action settlements, including:
Jacob also lead the team that achieved Australia’s largest food safety class action settlement, against Bonsoy regarding high iodine levels, which settled for $25 million in 2014.
“I am passionate about using my legal skills to help people who otherwise would not have access to justice. For the rule of law to be meaningful, everyone has to have the ability to bring matters before the courts, not just the rich and powerful,” says Jacob.
“Class actions provide an opportunity for people who have been on the receiving end of corporate misconduct to group together to pursue justice, when it would be prohibitive to do it on their own."
Jacob is the Principal responsible for advising Maurice Blackburn’s Australian litigation funding business, Claims Funding Australia.
“Litigation funding also improves access to justice by providing support to businesses to pursue remedies," says Jacob.
Jacob also oversees the firm’s social justice practice. In 2014, he acted for 109 babies of asylum seekers, which resulted in the babies and their families being given visas and released from detention.
Jacob is currently leading a pro bono class action for people who didn’t receive adequate care while in immigration detention on Christmas Island between 27 August 2011 and 26 August 2014. He is also investigating claims against the manufacturers and suppliers of pokie machines in relation to gambling addiction.
“When someone had been treated unfairly, I love the opportunity to help them fight for justice. Maurice Blackburn’s social justice work is focussed on bringing important cases in the public interest that, without our support, would never have a chance to come to court. We are very proud to help the most vulnerable and disenfranchised members of our community.”
Jacob holds Honours in Laws from the University of Melbourne and was admitted to practice law in 2003. He joined Maurice Blackburn in 2002 as an articled clerk. He also worked as a political adviser before returning to the firm and joining the class actions team in 2006.
Jacob has been appointed CEO of Maurice Blackburn, and will take over the role in April 2017.
Memberships & accreditations
- Law Institute of Victoria member
- No Business in Abuse Board member
- Alliance for Gambling Reform Board member
- Per Capita progressive think tank Board Deputy Chair
- Australian Law Award Best Dispute Resolution Team, 2015 & 2016