Class actions are not dissimilar to a civil action where one party takes an action against another. The difference is that here the plaintiffs band together to form class and take an action as a class.
Courts will hear this as a single case.
Claims Administration Australia Pty Ltd ( CAA) has the ability and know-how to assist plaintiffs to form the class and effectively to harness the various parties to assist the class of plaintiffs to take an action against a defendant.
Class actions generally either comprise shareholders who take action against the directors or the company in which those shares are held or where there is an action against a particular defendant e.g. a manufacturer.
Shareholder class actions in the former instance involve directors’ disclosure obligations or misleading and/ or deceptive conduct by the directors or by the company.
There are other consumer type actions e.g negligence claims as referred to above. Defective product cases form part of that class.
Class actions provide people who individually would prefer not to take action either through unwillingness, costs or taking on powerful organisations with a fair opportunity to proceed against the larger corporates.
How much will it cost you, the plaintiff?
Funders have their own respective terms of engagement which we will provide once the claim proceeds. In addition, our fees will form part of the funder’s percentage of the Court sanctioned settlement or judgment. Suffice to say, the class of plaintiffs will not be required to contribute to any legal or other costs, including a finding for adverse costs.
One of the major advantages of a class action is that the funder will generally indemnify the plaintiff against all costs so that there is effectively no downside for the plaintiff.
In the event of a successful outcome, the plaintiffs will receive monies which it may not have thought it would have received otherwise.
Australia has a robust class action regime which is continually evolving as it becomes more sophisticated in this area. Essentially, it enables businesses and shareholders to have greater faith in the process by enforcing corporate governance, corporate behaviour and conduct as seen from the recent Hayne Commission.
The way in which CAA runs its class actions is to engage professionals and obtain a funder for the litigation. Once a funder has given its imprimatur to continue with the process, CAA will then harness the plaintiffs and build the book of the list of plaintiffs forming the class action.
CAA will engage the lawyers (solicitors and counsel) as well as accountants – forensic and other to provide their respective opinions on the merits of the case to the funder and then to run the case on behalf of the plaintiffs.
Experts too, may form part of the group which will be engaged by CAA on behalf of the plaintiffs and funded by the litigation funder
The funder will take a percentage which is disclosed and sanctioned by the Court and our fees as well as all of the other professional fees referred to above will form part of the fee percentage awarded to the funder.
The balance will then be distributed to the plaintiffs as per their shareholding pro rata.
Payments generally too are sanctioned by the court.