Class Actions

The chance of an Australian company facing a class action is now a significant business risk. When ranking the world’s highest likelihoods of facing a class action, Australia is second only to the United States.

The Gilbert + Tobin class action lawyers are skilled at negotiating and resolving class actions, and we can manage the risk and uncertainty that this type of litigation has on our clients’ reputation and business operations.

    Our Approach

    There has been significant growth in class action claims as a result of the growth in share market investment, the rise of litigation funding and a more sophisticated approach by plaintiff law firms.

    Class actions are now a well-established tool to litigate multiple claims sharing common issues.

    Our class action lawyers are practiced at working closely with clients and regulators to take proactive and preventative measures to mitigate the risk of class actions arising or proceeding beyond a preliminary stage.

    Gilbert + Tobin’s team of class action lawyers is also experienced in defending clients in large scale and complex class actions. We have built a strong reputation for efficiently resolving complex and high-profile disputes and our team has achieved outstanding results for our clients in some of Australia’s most significant commercial disputes. Gilbert + Tobin’s formidable class actions team consists of litigation, securities, competition, intellectual property and other experts.

    Our Class Actions experience includes:

    • Acting for Westpac in relation to a class action regarding its continuous disclosure obligations associated with alleged contraventions of anti-money laundering laws.
    • Acting for QBE in relation to a Class Action regarding consumer credit insurance.
    • Advising BT Financial Management and Westpac Life Insurance Services in relation to a class action concerning their superannuation cash product.
    • Advising on a product liability class action against Toyota Motor Corporation.
    • Acting for the Court-appointed contradictor in the Discovery Metals class actions against KPMG.
    • Acting for two separate parties in relation to the Vocation Limited (in liquidation) class action.
    • Acting for a major financial institution in relation to a US class action concerning allegations of misconduct in Australia.
    • Obtaining Federal Court approval of the $12 million settlement of a class action against the Bank of Queensland.  
    • Advising Slater + Gordon on its successful restructure including settlement of class action litigation.
    • Securing a $280 million settlement - the largest settlement of a misleading and deceptive conduct claim in Australian corporate history - for the RiverCity companies in proceedings against AECOM Australia in the Federal Court of Australia in relation to Brisbane’s Clem 7 Tunnel.
    • Acting for Malaysia Airlines and Thai Airways in class action proceedings involving multiple international airlines and claimed damages of up to $2.3 billion, following the resolution of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) proceedings against various airlines alleging cartel conduct in connection with air cargo surcharges.
    • Advising Edgewell (and its predecessor, Energizer) on successfully resisting a threatened class action.
    • Advising an investment bank in relation to a shareholder class action commenced against one of its former clients.
    • Successfully negotiating outcomes prior to the commencement of class action proceedings:
      • Representing an Australian listed company in relation to allegations by certain shareholders of breach of continuous disclosure requirements and misleading or deceptive conduct. We assisted our client to successfully resolve the claims prior to the commencement of any litigation.
      • Advising a leading Australian company in relation to threatened follow-on damages claims and class action claims after the conclusion of ACCC penalty proceedings. We successfully achieved a negotiated resolution prior to the commencement of litigation.

    We also have considerable experience in other types of regulatory investigations and disputes giving rise to issues typically litigated in securities class actions, including:

    • Claimed contraventions of the disclosure requirements of the Corporations Act; and
    • Insider trading investigations and litigation. The insider trading provisions in Australia involve equivalent considerations to the continuous disclosure provisions about whether information is ‘generally available’ and the materiality of information to share price.

    Gilbert + Tobin is ranked as a leading firm in Dispute Resolution: Class Actions.

    The Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Class Actions 2021

    ‘The team’s knowledge of the industry and regulatory landscape is second to none. It means that advice is tailored to take into account multiple different lenses, all of which are critical in decision making of senior executives.‘

    The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Class Actions 2021

    Gilbert + Tobin is noted for its ability to act in class action proceedings in the financial services sector; clients laud Sydney-based department head Richard Harris as ‘a standout leader’ in this space.

    The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Dispute Resolution: Class Actions 2021

    “The team has proven market-leading strength acting on high-profile mandates relating to inquiries by Royal Commissions as well as class actions.  Also of a note is the team members’ project management skills together with the firm’s use of advanced technology in approaching dispute resolution.”

    The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020

    Gilbert + Tobin was named Dispute Resolution Team of the Year

    Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards 2019

    Well-resourced practice, acting for an extensive domestic and international clientele… active on class actions, regulatory investigations and other official inquiries. Noted for strategic insight and rapid, proactive issue assessment. Further applauded for attention to detail, client focus and labour-saving use of technology.


    Gilbert + Tobin was named National Law Firm of the Year (Australia)

    Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2018

    Gilbert + Tobin was named National Law Firm of the Year (Australia)

    Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2015 & 2016