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Legality of litigation funding agreements for class actions in Queensland now confirmed

  • Press Releases 13 September 2019 13 September 2019

Queensland: Friday, 13 September 2019: Today, the Supreme Court of Queensland handed down a significant decision in relation the ongoing court proceedings in Murphy Operator Pty Ltd & ors v Gladstone Ports Corporation Ltd, Supreme Court of Queensland No.7495 /17.

On behalf of Murphy Operator Pty Ltd, Clyde & Co was pleased to successfully apply for a declaration that the funding agreements were enforceable.

Maurice Thompson, Partner, Clyde & Co, said:

"This much-anticipated decision is critical to the operation of the class actions regime in Queensland.  It concerns funding agreements between a litigation funder and class action group members, and in particular whether such agreements are unenforceable by reason of maintenance and champerty, or by reason of being contrary to public policy."

The Court held that such funding agreements do not involve unlawful conduct or purpose and are not prejudicial to the administration of justice.  To the contrary, they accord with the public policy of Queensland's relatively new representative proceedings regime. 

In making these findings, the Court addressed the effect of two venerable common law doctrines on modern litigation funding for class actions.

Mr Thompson said this is the first time the Queensland courts have been asked to determine this issue. 

"Today's decision will have a very significant influence on the conduct of class actions in Queensland going forward, and will likely have a ripple effect across other states," Mr Thompson added.

ENDS.

For further information please contact:

Nick Davy, APAC Senior Manager, Communications & Marketing

+852 9729 3139 / nick.davy@clydeco.com

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