Australian class actions set to rise says Herbert Smith Freehills
Class actions in Australia may become more prolific following a ruling this week according to Herbert Smith Freehills.
The court’s decision in the Money Max v QBE Insurance case was that all beneficiaries of a class action should contribute to its cost, not just those who signed the litigation funding agreement.
“The removal of the need for funders to enter into funding agreements eliminates one of the key obstacles for funders when they come to decide whether or not to fund a class action. As a result, we would expect to see more ‘open’ class actions which will be of a larger size,” said HSF partner and class action specialist Ruth Overington.
The Melbourne-based partner added that the decision is “likely the first of many in which the Court will have an increasingly vocal say about the role and value of litigation funders in class actions in Australia.”
Global firm opens new APAC office
Latham & Watkins is expanding its international capabilities with a new office in the Asia Pacific region.
The new Seoul office builds on two decades of the firm representing clients in South Korea and multinationals on a wide range of issues across multiple sectors.
The office will be headed by current Tokyo office managing partner Joseph Bevash who has more than 20 years’ experience in the region. He will be joined by corporate counsel Helena Kim who will lead the corporate practice and finance partner Sungjin Kang who will lead the project finance practice along with Bevash.
The firm now has regional offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo— and practices covering Australia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.
KWM heavyweight leaves for US firm
One of King & Wood Mallesons’ top-billing partners is leaving its London office with his team to join the competition practice of US firm Willkie Farr & Gallaghers.
Philipp Girardet was a legacy SJ Berwin partner and specializes in cartel and leniency issues. He was previously with the UK’s Office of Fair Trading as deputy director of the cartels group.