29 August – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Freehills partners and co-authors, Damian Grave and Ken Adams, today launched the first book dedicated to discussing the issues associated with the increasing incidence of class actions in Australia.
The book, entitled Class Actions in Australia, is teamed with Damian and Kens extensive experience in this legal arena, and is set to challenge lawyers fundamental beliefs about the role of law in society and the role of the courts.
In launching the book today, co-author and Freehills partner Damian Grave said, “The subject of class actions, their relatively humble beginnings, and their increasing prevalence in society today is controversial and, not surprisingly, the challenges it presents give rise to constant debate and in some instances, polarised views.
“Early class actions in Australia involved claims on behalf of consumers for loss caused by contaminated products such as peanut butter and oysters. These claims were funded by firms acting for the representative party in the class action. As the law and practice of class actions in Australia has developed, so too have the types of claim and also the way in which those actions have been funded,” Mr Grave continued.
The types of class action claims prevalent today can also be actions on behalf of shareholders or claims on behalf of consumers affected by anti-competitive behaviour including price fixing and market sharing arrangements. Mr Grave said that there has also been growth in commercial funders of litigation, including class actions.
“The ease with which class actions can be commenced, coupled with the flexibility of the class action procedure, is likely to provide a platform for continued growth in the number and size of class actions in Australia in the short- to medium-term.
“The availability of third party financing to pursue a class action is also likely to ensure that class actions are an increasingly common feature of the litigation landscape in Australia,” said Mr Grave.
Co-author and Freehills partner, Ken Adams, went on to say that the class action procedure and what currently appears to be a more liberal approach by the courts to litigation funding are also contributing to an increase in class actions across the country. He said that the areas where one might see some activity is shareholder class actions, cartels and other areas of focus of competition and prudential regulators.
“Despite these developments, there has been no Australian text to date on class actions. The purpose of this book is to state the law associated with the class actions procedures under Commonwealth and Victorian legislation. The text proceeds on the basis that there were policy considerations which supported the introduction of these provisions, that class actions are a permanent feature of the litigation landscape in Australia and that the law associated with these proceedings should be exposed and analysed in a way which would be of assistance to all practitioners.”
Damian Grave is a specialist commercial litigator who advises clients on a broad range of corporate, commercial and regulatory matters. His practice focuses on commercial dispute resolution providing advice to clients involved in complex commercial matters requiring strategic analysis.
Ken Adams is a specialist commercial litigator. Clients typically seek Kens assistance with complex problems requiring strategic and multidisciplinary analysis.
Together, they were involved in the defence of the Longford Class Action the largest class action in Australian legal history.