Class Actions in Australia

Representative or group proceedings (class actions) were introduced to Australia through the Federal Court of Australia Amendment Act 1991 (Cth) which amended the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth). They have since been introduced in Victoria under the Supreme Court Act 1986 (Vic) and in NSW under the Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW).

Most class actions are brought in the Federal Court of Australia. The court rules require the following thresholds to be met before proceedings can be commenced:

  • There must be seven or more persons bringing a claim against the same defendant(s).
  • The claims must arise out the same, similar or related circumstances.
  • The claims must give rise to at least one substantial common issue of law or fact.

Currently there are a number of class actions either under investigation on foot in Australia. Some of the more notable ones include:

ABC Learning Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Air Cargo Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Alcoa Alumina Refinery Multiple Plaintiff Action (Shine Lawyers)

Allco Shareholder Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

American Mesh Systems (AMS) Class Action (Shine Lawyers)

Arundel Suntown Tip Class Action (Shine Lawyers)

Australian Capital Reserve Class Action (Slater and Gordon)

Bank Fees Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Billabong Shareholder Class Action (Slater and Gordon)

Black Saturday Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Bladder Cancer Group Action assocated with Actos Diabetes Drug (Maurice Blackburn)

Bonsoy Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Brooklyn Park Olives (Slater and Gordon)

Cash Converters Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

CBA’s Open Advice Review Program – Commonwealth Financial Planning and Financial Wisdom Claims (Slater and Gordon)

CFA Fiskville claims (Slater and Gordon)

Class Action on behalf of people detained on Christmas Island (Maurice Blackburn)

Collingwood Park Mine Subsidence Group (Shine Lawyers)

Dan Bowl Tax Minimisation Scheme Group Action (Shine Lawyers)

DePuy ASR Hip Implants (Maurice Blackburn)

DePuy ASR Hip Replacement Class Action (Shine Lawyers)

DePuy / Johnson & Johnson Knee Replacement Class Action (Shine Lawyers)

DePuy (LCS Duofix Femoral Component) Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Elders Limited (Slater and Gordon)

Equine Influenza Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Fairbridge Farm School (Slater and Gordon)

False Imprisonment of Young People Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Financial Wisdom Class Action (Shine Lawyers)

Gladstone Harbour Disaster Representative Class Action (Shine Lawyers)

Grand Western Lodge Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Gunns Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Hastie Group (Slater and Gordon)

Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire Investigation (Maurice Blackburn)

Hepatitis C Class Action (Slater and Gordon)

Immigration Detention Claims (Slater and Gordon)

Johnson & Johnson/ Ethicon Class Action (Shine Lawyers)

Leighton Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

LM Investments Funds (Slater and Gordon)

Macquarie Equities Financial Planning Claims (Slater and Gordon)

NAB Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX:NCM) Class Action (Slater and Gordon)

NSW Bushfires Class Action (Slater and Gordon)

NZ bank fees (Slater and Gordon/Play Fair on Fees)

Pacific First Mortgage Fund Claim against Minter Ellison Gold Coast (Maurice Blackburn)

Pacific First Mortgage Fund Claim against Philip Sullivan, Thomas Swan, Stephen McCormick & Ian Donaldson (Maurice Blackburn)

Perth Hills/Parkerville Bushfire (Slater and Gordon)

Prevelly-Margaret River Bushfires – November 2011 (Slater and Gordon)

Thalidomide Class Action (Slater & Gordon)

QBE Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Queensland Floods Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

River City Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Treasury Wine Estates Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Vodafone and Crazy John’s Class Action (Piper Alderman)

Workers with Intellectual Disabilities Class Action (Maurice Blackburn)

Zimmer Durom Hip Replacement Class Action (Shine Lawyers)


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