In a letter to Malcolm Turnbull last week Bill Shorten has suggested an extension of the inquiry, an apology and compensation scheme were the “least the government can do” in the future. SR Group sees this as a step forward in advocating for reform in the financial sector.
The Federal Court has clarified the scope of the releases that may be agreed by a lead applicant in a class action. It has stated very clearly that under the legislation governing class actions, the release can only relate to the claim the class action. The lead application has no power to grant a release in relation to things beyond the claim in the class action.
The issue arose in Dillon v RBS Group (Australia) Pty Limited (No 2)  FCA 395. Mrs Dillon sued RBS Group in relation to losses sustained by her and others in relation to exotic financial products known as ‘instalment warrants’. The case settled and as is typical in cases of this kind, RBS Group required each group member to sign a lengthy document containing, among other things, a release of RBS from any further liability by all group members in relation to issues raised in the proceedings.
The necessity of requiring group members to sign such a document prompted Lee J to consider the “important points of principle” about the scope of the proposed releases. It is an important point because defendants often ask for a release of all liability, whether or not connected with the issues in the case. A release of all liability would preclude group members from pursuing other claims they might have against a particular defendant. Lee J held that a release that went beyond the claim in the class action could not be maintained.
This decision has significant consequences. In the Great Southern litigation, a release was contained in the Deed of Settlement that clearly went beyond the scope of the class action. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, in the course of its recovery action, has relied on that release to assert that borrowers have no defences to the bank’s demands for payment.
Lee J’s decision makes it plain that this is not correct and that the scope of any release must be construed in line with the content of the claim in the class action.
Investing money is always a trade-off between risk and return. Just like most things in life; the greater the risk, the greater the reward. Not all risk is the same, however, and we should aim to eliminate risk wherever possible, especially with our money.
When investing your money, you want to worry about the success of your investment; will the company’s new project be successful? Will it be profitable enough to pay the dividends I am looking for?
What you don’t want to be worrying about is the safety of the investment itself, whether you’ve been scammed and whether the assets you bought genuinely exist.
Our investment tips will assist you in navigating the investment landscape for 2018.
Download the guide.
The big 4 banks have all come out this week and made submissions to the upcoming Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. Australia’s top 4 financial institutions each lodged submissions this week, summarising instances of misconduct and delinquency over the past decade. With the public hearings approaching on 12 February 2018, this is the first step, though a substantial one, towards fostering and maintaining transparency from our major banks.
Our Managing Director Susie Bennell was instrumental in bringing this to the government’s attention. Life changing news for people that have been wronged by banks and other financial institutions.
As 2017 starts to wind down, we begin to cast our eye forward towards the year to come. Here at the SR Group, we work closely with many small business owners and company directors, and we have decided to compile a list of tips to help your business thrive in 2018.
This couple has lost their successful small business after its tax payments were taken by an accountant the ATO was warned about three years ago.
Police are expected to charge Coffs Harbour’s Stephen Raymond Douglass as soon as this week over his pilfering of at least $500,000 and possibly $1 million from Warren and Sheenah Whitten’s Woolgoolga-based steel fabrication company, Arc Attack Engineering — money they thought he had remitted to the ATO.
In a confession he emailed to the Whittens a month ago, Douglass attempted to elicit sympathy by blaming his actions on a gambling addiction.
However, there was no mention of a gambling addiction in 2014 when another Woolgoolga client, Eadie Cabinet Making, discovered a decade’s worth of GST had not been paid to the tax office.
John Rolfe The Daily Telegraph
Queensland builders are planning to launch a class action against the state’s construction industry watchdog over what they claim is heavy-handed oversight that has destroyed businesses.
Small to medium-sized building firms are aiming to meet next week in Brisbane as the first step in lobbing the legal grenade at the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.
The aggrieved parties will be chasing an unspecified damages bill, certain to run in to the millions of dollars.
They also want to see sweeping industry reforms and the reinstatement of licences revoked “unfairly’’.
City Beat with Anthony Marx – Courier Mail
A SYDNEY-based advocacy group is representing a push for a class action against the Queensland Building and Construction Commission over what it claims to be unfair treatment and bullying. The SR Group, headed by professional advocate Susie Bennell, wants builders, tradesmen, subcontractors and construction workers who believe they have been unjustly treated to join the action. The goal is to drive legislative reform, licence reinstatement, and losses and damages for those affected. A meeting is being planned for October 20 to bring together people who feel they have been adversely affected.
Bill Hoffman Sunshine Coast Daily
Being a director of a company comes with certain privileges and responsibilities, which must be managed with care. If you don’t stay on top of your responsibilities as a director, you can end up in significant financial and judicial trouble as a result. If at any stage, you are unsure about the position of your company or your obligations as a director, seek professional advice immediately.
Mali De Castro
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