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Class Actions

The Australian class action legal landscape continues to evolve rapidly. Australia is an increasingly plaintiff‑friendly class action jurisdiction. There are a growing number of law firms entering the plaintiff class action market. They are supported by numerous third-party litigation funders and by the availability of contingency fees in Victoria. The class action regime is dynamic and is frequently revised by legislative, regulatory and judicial developments.

Class action litigation is complex, challenging and is often commercially significant.  It involves novel procedural issues that do not arise in other types of litigation. It is important that a comprehensive defence strategy is devised early in the proceeding and that it is supported by all stakeholders. There should be a strong focus on ensuring that the litigation process is conducted as efficiently as possible and that tight control is maintained over interlocutory issues so that the case remains confined to its key issues and costs are contained.

At Meridian we believe that it is critical to obtaining a successful outcome in a class action that the solicitors you instruct to act have a combination of skills. Firstly they need to have expertise in the subject matter of the proceeding which could involve product liability, consumer issues, securities and financial services, workplace issues, environmental issues or claims arising from natural disasters. Secondly they need to be highly skilled in class action procedure and have the ability to devise new strategies to deal with the many complexities that arise in class action litigation.

The Meridian team has broad experience in acting across a range industries and sectors. We have extensive knowledge about the Australian class action legal landscape, the issues that drive class actions and the challenges that arise.  We have acted for defendants in class actions in many industries including financial services, construction, transport, consumer products, and environmental monitoring. We have also defended class actions against statutory authorities.

We have provided coverage advice to insurers and acted in the role of monitoring counsel where we have supervised the defence strategy and costs incurred by other law firms that are acting for individual defendants in class actions. We are experienced in providing detailed submissions about how a class action should be run, including detailed costs estimates for various stages of the litigation.

Key services

  • Indemnity advice to insurers on class action claims
  • Acting for defendants in class action claims
  • Acting as monitoring counsel for insurers in class action litigation
  • Defending insurers joined to class actions