Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution: class actions

Arnold Bloch Leibler, which continues to grow its class action practice under dispute resolution head Leon Zwier, boasts particular experience in the elder care sector.

Dispute resolution: class actions in Australia


Jointly led by Belinda Thompson in Melbourne and Jenny Campbell in Sydney, Allens fields a strong defendant-side class action team working under the umbrella of the broader disputes and investigations group, which is led by Melbourne-based Andrew Maher. Financial services is a key sector for the firm; Thompson and Campbell serve as key contacts in this area, as does Ross Drinnen, whose expertise sees him defending banking clients in cartel class actions. Guy Foster’s recent work highlights include insurer-side representations in business interruption class actions, while Alex Tolliday advises widely class action risk exposure and cases concerning shareholder issues, product liability, and mass tort claims.

Practice head(s):

Belinda Thompson; Jenny Campbell; Andrew Maher

Other key lawyers:

Malcolm Stephens; Guy Foster; Ross Drinnen; Paul Nicols; Alex Tolliday; Duncan Travis; Peter Haig


‘The Allens class action team led by Belinda Thompson is excellent. They are really well organised, cover every issue carefully and with great expertise and are able to scale up and down as the workload of the action requires. They also delegate work to the appropriate level in the firm.’

‘Belinda Thompson is one of the best lawyers I have worked with. She was across every issue in the case and brought exceptional legal analysis to the defence.’

‘Malcolm Stephens is a standout litigator in the class action space – deeply engaged with his matters, thoughtful and highly responsive.’

Key clients

Crown Resorts


Insurance Australia Group (IAG)

Brambles Limited

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)



Ford Motor Company of Australia

PTTEP Australasia

Westpac Banking Corporation

Nissan Motor Company (Australia)

National Australia Bank (NAB)

Whitehaven Coal


Work highlights

  • Acting for Crown Resorts in a class action brought on behalf of persons who acquired or held Crown shares between late 2014 and late 2020.
  • Advising QBE Insurance Group and IAG in connection with business interruption insurance policies.
  • Acting for Ford Australia in a class action proceeding brought on behalf of owners of certain Ford vehicle models containing a Powershift DPS6 transmission.


Counting many high-profile national and multinational companies among its client roster, Ashurst's class action practice possesses broad experience in matters ranging from shareholder and employment claims to product liability. The practice sits within the wider dispute resolution team, led by Jeremy Chenoweth from Brisbane. Sydney head Ian Bolster - well regarded for his employment expertise - also anchors the firm's growing position in financial services sector work. Mark Bradley heads up the Melbourne offering, while Sydney-based John Pavlakis possesses expertise across shareholder and consumer class actions, and disputes involving government and public bodies. Senior associate Sally-Anne Stewart is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Chenoweth; Ian Bolster; Mark Bradley

Other key lawyers:

John Pavlakis; Ellena Cavell; Lucinda Hill; Sally-Anne Stewart


‘The team is knowledgable and practical. Their key strength in supporting us was their ability to get to the key issues quickly, and explain their thinking clearly. It allowed us to communicate with internal stakeholders and narrow down the matter to the core.’

‘Very experienced and provide great strategic insight and direction.’

‘The class actions team is responsive and comprises individuals with complementary skills.’

Key clients

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Commonwealth Government of Australia

BMW Australia


Murray Darling Basin Authority


NSW Government


McGrath Nicol

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Kagara Ltd

Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society

Woolworths Group

Standard & Poors

Work highlights

  • Acting for BMW Australia Limited in defence of a Supreme Court of New South Wales class action regarding allegedly defective Takata Airbags.
  • Acting for Woolworths in the class action brought in respect of its alleged underpayment of store managers.
  • Acting for KPMG in the defence of a Supreme Court of Victoria shareholder class action against former Arrium directors and KPMG as the auditor of Arrium.

Clayton Utz

Praised for their 'massive experience' and 'great strategic acumen', the commercial litigation practice group at Clayton Utz advises on a range of high-profile and complex class actions. The team is particularly noted for its focus on product liability claims in the medical devices and pharmaceutical sectors, where team co-chair Greg Williams draws on specialist scientific experience to provide expert assistance. Colin Loveday, who leads the team alongside Williams, also plays a key role in product liability claims. Andrew Morrison has particular expertise in the financial services sector, as does Ross McInnes. Alexandra Rose, meanwhile, is building a strong practice defending complex and multi-jurisdictional claims.

Practice head(s):

Colin Loveday; Greg Williams

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Morrison; Ross McInnes; Colin Loveday;  Alexandra Rose; Sheena McKie; Katie Wood; William Atfield


‘Massive experience in the area. Highly competent team across all levels from partner to solicitor. Deep knowledge of both court procedure in class actions and substantive law.’

‘Very hands-on and very responsive. Great strategic acumen. Very analytical. Very reliable. Good at legal tech.’

‘In-depth knowledge of the banking industry. The team’s access to its internal Forensic & Technology team is exceptional and provides an integrated and seamless service offering in the class action space, particularly for large data exercises.’

Key clients

Bayer Australia Limited

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Toyota Australia

Johnson & Johnson

Victorian Health Services & Victorian Health Department (plus others)


AMP Life Limited

Count Financial

Work highlights

  • Acting for members of the Bayer Group and Australasian Medical & Scientific Limited (AMSL) in respect of the Australian class action relating to the Essure device.
  • Acting for CBA, the Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited and AIA Australia Limited in representative proceedings before the Federal Court of Australia concerning alleged breaches of the ASIC Act and Corporations Act.
  • Acting for the Victorian State Health Services to recover payment of alleged unpaid unrostered overtime owing to junior doctors (doctors in training) employed in Victoria between 2015 – 2021.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills has a stellar reputation for defendant-side class action work, with a sizeable team of experienced lawyers boasting expertise in sectors from shareholder and product liability to environmental claims, as well as in the emerging areas of cryptocurrencies and digital assets. Team head Jason Betts possesses particular expertise in product liability class actions alongside his broader corporate and regulatory practice. Seasoned cross-border advisor Peter Butler is also strong on product liability matters, and has experience litigating in London and New York, as well as in Melbourne and Sydney. Damian Grave has a broad practice advising public companies, while Christine Tran is highly regarded for her work defending securities claims. The team was further strengthened with the May 2022 promotion of Aoife Xuereb to partner.

Practice head(s):

Jason Betts

Other key lawyers:

Peter Butler; Damian Grave; Christine Tran; Ante Golem; Ruth Overington; Aoife Xuereb

Key clients




Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Worley Parsons


Boston Scientific



Mayne Pharma

Work highlights

    King & Wood Mallesons

    Work arising from the Financial Services Royal Commission, especially relating to insurance, remains a core focus for the dispute resolution team at King & Wood Mallesons, with the firm’s activity in the financial services sector extending from shareholder and superannuation claims to claims relating to alleged cartel conduct. Sydney-based Moira Saville heads the class actions offering, working closely with Liam Burgess to defend major corporate clients. Competition litigator Peta Stevenson is also highly regarded, while Brisbane-based Emma Costello is a key figure in the Queensland market, where the firm’s expertise extends to class actions relating to natural disasters. Emma Lawrence in Canberra and Sam Dundas in Perth are also noted, as well as financial sector specialist Alexander Morris, who works from the Sydney office.

    Practice head(s):

    Moira Saville

    Other key lawyers:

    Liam Burgess; Peta Stevenson; Emma Costello; Emma Lawrence; Sam Dundas; Alexander Morris


    ‘Outstanding industry knowledge and expertise. Matter management is first class – the use of a range of communication forms and styles to keep the business informed and up to date, without ever over-communicating. First-class delivery of legal advice that makes sense for the end user and is helpful to in-house counsel when advising the business. Great allocation of resources and understand when senior members of the team can be excluded for various attendances to ensure fees are managed.’

    ‘Excellent practice in class actions, with a particular expertise in shareholder disputes and large-scale consumer actions.’

    ‘Standout members are Alexander Morris, Moira Saville and Peta Stevenson. All of them are excellent technical lawyers, with an ability to think creatively about problems.’

    Key clients

    Woolworths Group Limited


    Telstra Corporation Ltd



    National Australia Bank


    Gladstone Ports



    The Star Entertainment Group

    Government – Commonwealth of Australia and State Governments and Government departments

    Lochard Energy

    Deutsche Bank


    Work highlights

    • Acting for The Star in defence of class action proceedings that were commenced just as the independent review established by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) under the Casino Control Act 1992 began public hearings.
    • Playing a leading role defending the majority of class actions arising from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry’s scrutiny of the sale of “add-on” insurance products.
    • Acting for the QSuper Board in defending a class action brought by the Applicant, Ms Challenor, in the Federal Court of Australia, relating to changes to insurance held by QSuper Fund’s accumulation account category members, following the introduction of occupational ratings.

    Corrs Chambers Westgarth

    Chris Pagent heads the sizeable class actions team at Corrs Chambers Westgarth from the firm’s Sydney office, bringing significant experience in matters ranging from product liability and employment misclassification to data breaches and privacy matters – particularly within the financial services sector. ‘Technically excellent’ commercial litigator Brad Woodhouse‘s expertise extends to securities and natural disasters, while Melbourne-based Daniel Marquet is notably acting in defence of the State of Victoria in a wrongful detention class action concerning COVID-19 lockdowns. Katrina Sleiman is especially well regarded for her work on corporate matters, and class actions relating to issues in the tech sector. Senior associate Thomas Scott is also noted.

    Practice head(s):

    Chris Pagent

    Other key lawyers:

    Brad Woodhouse; Daniel Marquet; Anna Ross; Katrina Sleiman; Thomas Scott


    ‘The team is very knowledgeable and pragmatic.’

    ‘Brilliant team of dispute lawyers. Technically excellent and diligent.’

    ‘Chris Pagent in particular is a star performer. Chris explains difficult concepts in an easy-to-understand manner and provides practical and commercial solutions.’

    ‘The team is well-balanced. They are all subject-matter experts, but depending on what you require and the information you need are able to tailor what they provide you.’

    ‘Chris Pagent is a standout. Head and shoulders above the competitors and always one step ahead in terms of what we need and want from external lawyers.’

    ‘Brad Woodhouse is excellent at distilling the issues for general consumption. For instance, when we are not often dealing with class actions, he does well at providing an understanding of what is involved and then advising what needs to be done from a client perspective.’

    ‘The team is a well-oiled machine that clicks into gear.’

    ‘Brad Woodhouse is technically excellent, but his ability to harness this with practical reality is his standout quality.’

    Key clients





    Victorian Government

    British American Tobacco






    Work highlights

    • Acting for the State of Victoria, defending a class action arising from the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 response lockdown of over 3,000 residents across nine public housing towers in inner suburban Melbourne between 4th and 18th, July 2020.
    • Acting for Hays Recruitment Services in defence of a class action brought by Adero Law on behalf of mining employees who are alleged to be entitled to benefits prescribed by the relevant award applicable to full time employees.
    • Acting for Ernst & Young LLP in defence of two class actions commenced by shareholders in Slater & Gordon Ltd against the law firm’s previous auditors, Pitcher Partners and Ernst & Young LLP. The class actions and cross claims were settled with EY walking away without paying anything.

    Johnson Winter Slattery

    Work for litigation funders is a core specialism for the class action team at Johnson Winter Slattery, which also acts for both plaintiffs and defendants in a broad range of class actions concerning matters from retail investment to privacy. Robert Johnston moved into the role of team lead and also acts as chair of the International Bar Association’s global Class Action Committee, while his predecessor Paul Reidy remains an active key contact for matters relating to investment and employment. Frances Dreyer is another recommended lawyer, and Andreas Piesiewicz has significant experience in defendant-side work. All named lawyers are based out of the firm’s Sydney office.

    Practice head(s):

    Robert Johnston

    Other key lawyers:

    Paul Buitendag; Paul Reidy; Frances Dreyer; Andreas Piesiewicz


    ‘They are incredibly hard working, strategic, commercial and good value. They should be considered top-tier for managing large, complex class actions to a successful conclusion.’

    ‘The JWS dispute resolution team’s primary benefit to its clients is the feeling of confidence that only derives from trust. You know that you are able to leave very important and difficult decisions to the team. Large complex claims always need a flexible approach to budgeting conducted in a disciplined manner, and JWS always provides value for money whether they are seeking to find savings to cover necessary outside budget work, maximising upside advantage from opportunity, or minimising downside risk.’

    ‘More dynamic than many of the bigger, factory practices but with the experience and talent of the best.’

    ‘JWS is very professional, efficient and knowledgeable. The partners and other solicitors are friendly and communicate well both with counsel and clients. They are open and frank with fees and payment. They are quick to respond to attend to requests for assistance. The impression I have of the partners is that they would go the extra mile for their clients. It is also always encouraging to see that the partners and senior lawyers treat the junior lawyers well – it tells a lot about the culture. As a national firm they use their resources well. As a firm they punch well above their weight and compete with the big firms.’

    ‘Both Robert Johnston and Frances Dreyer have a capacity to materially expand their practices whilst diving into file detail when necessary. The client always comes first in strategy, planning and implementation.’

    ‘Paul Reidy is excellent – personable, strategic, flexible on costs, good value, always can-do and leads by example.’ 

    ‘They are approachable, knowledgeable, professional and on top of that decent people. They are experienced and well-qualified to do what they do, and are open and upfront with clients and counsel, whether the news is good or bad.’

    Key clients

    Harbour Litigation Funding UK

    Merivale Group

    Omni Bridgeway

    Balance Capital

    ICP litigation funding

    BSA Ltd

    AIG insurance

    CASL Litigation funding

    Korda Mentha as Administrators of Quintis and Lloyds of London insurers


    Work highlights

    • Acting for hospitality giant Merivale Group in one of Australia’s most high profile class actions regarding the alleged underpayment of approximately 10,000 employees over a six year period
    • Advising on a class action against household name insurer Allianz arising out of Allianz’s sale and distribution of valueless “add on” insurance products through car dealership authorised representatives
    • Acting for the representative complainant in the first ever Australian Privacy group action against Facebook over its data breaches involving Cambridge Analytica. Over 270,000 Facebook users are represented.

    Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

    Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP exclusively handles complex business litigation, class actions, and regulatory investigations, acting for both plaintiffs and defendants in matters ranging from shareholder to consumer and product liability claims. Firm co-founders Damian Scattini, Michelle Fox, and Michael Mills jointly lead the team from the Sydney office; Scattini is a key contact for plaintiff-side work, while Mills is a prominent corporate litigator, and Fox is additionally qualified to practice in the United States, and England and Wales.

    Practice head(s):

    Damian Scattini; Michelle Fox; Michael Mills

    Other key lawyers:

    Nicholas Lennings; Meagan Bertolatti; Ashleigh Whittaker


    ‘Possess a personal touch, commitment to clear communication, and integrity. Consistency and knowledge of the subject matter. We have had consistent access and advice from Michelle Fox and Michael Mills who are clearly high performers who know the industry we are dealing with and they’ve had exceptional support from Ashley Whittaker who will no doubt become a partner in a law firm some time soon.’

    ‘We have had consistent relations with partners supported by associates. High quality advice and support throughout our action. Their offices are impressive, modern and relaxed to enable quality discussions on our matter. I highly recommend this team.’


    Work highlights

    • Acting on behalf of Victorian businesses in a class action seeking compensation for losses alleged to have been caused as a result of the State of Victoria’s negligence in implementing its hotel quarantine programme.
    • Acting on behalf of seven lead plaintiffs who have commenced representative proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales against VW, BMW, Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, Nissan and Honda.
    • Acting for GetSwift in the Webb class action.

    Banton Group

    Plaintiff-side class action work lies at the heart of Banton Group‘s Sydney-based offering, which was established in February 2020 by 'creative, tenacious, and experienced' class action litigator and former Squire Patton Boggs practice head Amanda Banton. The team handles a range of high-profile work for large groups of stakeholders, with notable lawyers at the firm including Elliott Smith, Ross Garland, Robert True, and Melissa Morgan.

    Practice head(s):

    Amanda Banton

    Other key lawyers:

    Elliot Smith; Ross Garland; Robert True; Melissa Morgan


    ‘Banton Group is a boutique practice focussed on delivering legal services to a high-standard via small but highly effective teams of experienced professionals, supported by external counsel (barristers). This enables the firm to be focussed and selective, and why it punches above its weight in terms of results achieved compared to firm-size.’

    ‘Amanda Banton stands out for her experience and willingness to take on difficult cases.’

    ‘The team is innovative and prepared to think outside the box.’

    ‘Amanda Banton is a free thinker who is willing to be creative in litigation.’

    ‘Amanda Banton is a creative, tenacious and experienced litigator, supported by quality professional. Elliott Smith is diligent and extremely hard-working.’

    ‘Communication between the client and the legal team stand out. Individuals are able to explain very complex legal procedures to the client.’

    ‘The work of the partner Ross Garland has been excellent as he and his team sort through thousands of documents to ferret out salient points to present to the Federal Court.’

    Key clients

    Doyle’s Farm Produce Pty Ltd as trustee for Claredale Family Trust (MDBA Class Action)

    Current and former shareholders in respect of Nuix’s IPO (Nuix Class Action)

    Vale Cash Management Fund Pty Ltd (ACN 117 541 004) (in liquidation) and the City of Cockburn (Vale dispute)

    Anthony Bogan and Michael Walton, on behalf of shareholders of Arrium Limited (In Liquidation) (Arrium Class Action)

    Hunt Leather, Sophie Hunt, Ancio Investments and Nick Zisti (Light Rail Class Action)

    NewSat Limited (In Liquidation) and Jabiru Satellite Limited (In Liquidation), instructed by Mr Glenn Livingstone in his capacity as the liquidator of the plaintiff companies in liquidation (NewSat dispute)

    DLA Piper

    Set within the firm’s broader litigation and regulatory team, which is led by Cameron Maclean from Perth, DLA Piper's class actions offering boasts experience across shareholder, consumer, and professional negligence matters. Melbourne-based Kieran O’Brien, global co-chair of the firm’s class actions and mass torts group, is active in areas including employee and product liability claims, while Tricia Hobson and James Morse, both in Sydney, are key contacts for clients in the insurance industry; a major sector focus for the firm.

    Practice head(s):

    Cameron Maclean; Kieran O’Brien

    Other key lawyers:

    Tricia Hobson; James Morse

    Key clients

    Arnold Bloch Leibler


    Pfizer Australia / Pfizer Inc

    Work highlights

    • Defending Domino’s in an industrial relations class action filed in the Federal Court of Australia.
    • Acting in the Arnold Bloch Leibler class action, commenced in September 2017 by Slater & Gordon’s shareholders as a result of the fall in Slater & Gordon’s share price following the acquisition of the UK-based Professional Services Division from Quindell Plc (PSD) by Slater & Gordon in 2015 for $1.2 billion.

    Gilbert + Tobin

    Led by Richard Harris in Sydney, Gilbert + Tobin‘s disputes and investigations team acts for both plaintiffs and defendants on a variety of class action matters, with particular experience in financial services regulatory work. Colleen Platford is noted for her expertise in complex and high-value finance sector work, while Rebecca Spigelman, who was promoted to partner in June 2022, is recommended for her plaintiff-side representation in claims against high-profile multinational clients.

    Practice head(s):

    Richard Harris

    Other key lawyers:

    Crispian Lynch; Colleen Platford; Matt Mackenzie; Rebecca Spigelman


    ‘Responsive and intelligent. Excellent knowledge of the industry and great commercial acumen.’

    ‘Richard Harris is a standout in the litigation space. His seasoned experience makes him a trusted advisor in very complex, large-scale disputes. His intelligence and strategic management of matters make him one of Australia’s leading litigators.’

    ‘Excellent advice.’ 

    Key clients

    Nuix Limited

    Balance Legal Capital



    Macquarie Group

    LCM Funding

    BT Funds Management

    Work highlights

    • Engaged to act for Westpac in relation to a major shareholder class action from proceedings commenced by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre against Westpac in the Federal Court.
    • Advising Nuix in relation to three class action proceedings commenced in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
    • Acted for representative applicants Ken Williams and Direct Claim Services Qld Pty Ltd in the highly publicised Toyota class action, securing what is likely to be the largest damages award in Australian history (>$2 billion).

    Norton Rose Fulbright

    Under the leadership of experienced Melbourne-based litigator Cameron Harvey, the team at Norton Rose Fulbright draws on the broad sector experience of lawyers across the firm to act in a range of complex class actions. Nigel Jones and Ann Donohue, based in Melbourne and Sydney respectively, are especially well known for their work in the consumer space. Elsewhere, the Sydney-based Toby Biddle is noted for his expertise in product liability work.

    Practice head(s):

    Cameron Harvey

    Other key lawyers:

    Toby Biddle; Ann Donohue; Jack Pembroke-Birss; Grant Bonner; Nigel Jones

    Key clients

    Smith & Nephew

    Thorn Australia Pty Limited

    7-Eleven Stores Pty Ltd


    GM Holden


    Work highlights

    • Representing 7-Eleven in the defence of a large franchising class action.
    • Acted for API, Priceline and NPRS in relation to a class action proceeding commenced against API, Priceline and NPRS in the Supreme Court of Victoria by four lead franchisees, on behalf of current and former franchisees alleging misleading and deceptive conduct, breach of contract and unconscionable conduct.
    • Advising long term clients, which include some of the largest life sciences and healthcare companies locally and globally to successfully assist with numerous complex product liability actions.

    Phi Finney McDonald

    Headed by firm co-founders Ben Phi, Tim Finney, and Odette McDonald, the class action team at boutique firm Phi Finney McDonald has a particularly strong focus on plaintiff-side work, including complex and large-scale shareholder class actions. The team also includes notable principal Brett Spiegel, who is dual-qualified to practice in both Australia and the United States, and who is currently leading the firm’s team on the landmark Torres Strait Islander climate change class action.

    Practice head(s):

    Ben Phi; Tim Finney; Odette McDonald

    Other key lawyers:

    Brett Spiegel; Roop Sandhu; Jeremy Zimet; Chris Haan


    ‘The directors of the firm, Ben Phi, Odette McDonald and Tim Finney, are well-known and well-regarded in this country as leaders in class actions, an area in which they have significant expertise and experience. Their experience extends beyond Australia, and they have formed strong relationships with institutional investors and funders internationally. From a small nucleus established only a few years ago, they have grown into a formidable firm and have recruited top staff. It is a pleasure to work with a team whose skills extend beyond legal expertise to commerciality, professionality and courtesy. The firm’s focus has traditionally been shareholder class actions, and they are well-placed to diversify into other types of class actions, for example consumer class actions.’

    ‘The Phi Finney McDonald team is best-in-class. They are both technically proficient and strategic litigators.’

    ‘PFM are great lawyers and exceptional experts in class actions. They are definitely the leading firm in this area. These cases are highly complicated and involve challenging processes.’

    Key clients

    Californian State Teachers Retirement System

    Teachers Retirement System of Texas

    Massachusetts PRIM

    Colorado PERA

    Work highlights

    • Acting in a shareholder class action against BHP Ltd/plc in Australia notable both for its high value and the fact that for the first time the court has held that an Australian class action can seek damages for shareholder who held their shares on the London Stock Exchange.
    • Acting in a landmark climate change class action against the Commonwealth of Australia on behalf of all Torres Strait Islanders facing the climate crisis, for breach of a novel duty of care
    • Acting in a shareholder class action against Westpac Banking Corporation

    Class actions are at the forefront of Shine Lawyers‘ offering, with Jan Saddler heading a team that includes notable practice leaders Rebecca Jancauskas, Josh Aylward, Vicky Antzoulatos, and Tristan Gaven. The firm has experience in the range of relevant work, from shareholder and product liability claims to those relating to human rights and climate change, and has fought major cases extending to multiple appeals. Noted for the breadth of its client roster, the team is able to provide dedicated outreach to indigenous communities.

    Practice head(s):

    Jan Saddler

    Other key lawyers:

    Rebecca Jancauskas; Josh Aylward; Vicky Antzoulatos; Tristan Gaven

    Work highlights

    • Acting on behalf of the plaintiffs in a major class action (commenced October 2012) concerning faulty pelvic mesh implants, as well as in related appeals.
    • Acting on behalf of Australian and international retail and institutional shareholders in Crowley v Worley Limited [2022].
    • Acting on behalf of customers in a class action filed against Westpac Banking Corporation.

    Baker McKenzie

    Jointly led by Mark Chapple in Sydney and Peter Lucarelli in Melbourne, the class and funded actions group at Baker McKenzie has a strong reputation across a broad range of work, particularly in matters concerning shareholders, employees, product liability, and environmental issues. Paul Forbes is especially noted for his employment work, while David McCredie boasts niche expertise in product liability cases.

    Practice head(s):

    Mark Chapple; Peter Lucarelli

    Other key lawyers:

    Paul Forbes; David McCredie; Amy Middlebrook; Jayme-Lyn Hendriks; Edwina Tidmarsh


    ‘The team is very focused and able to take advantage of their position as an international firm, together with the knowledge and expertise that comes from being part of it.’

    ‘David McCredie and Edwina Tidmarsh are very careful, diligent and pleasant individuals to work with. Both David and Edwina are also very understanding of competing demands on team member’s time, and so are a pleasure to work with.’

    Key clients

    Former directors of Virgin Australia

    Estate of Peter Smedley, Maycock, Roberts and Nankervis (former directors of Arrium Limited, now in liquidation)

    Astora Women’s Health LLC/American Medical Systems LLC

    Appco Group

    John Dawkins (former Australian Commonwealth Treasurer and Minister for Finance)

    Work highlights

    • Acting for former directors of Virgin Australia Holdings Limited as respondents to a securities class action in the Federal Court of Australia on behalf of purchasers of unsecured notes issued by Virgin Australia Holdings in November 2019 (total value A$325 million).
    • Acting for former directors of the formerly ASX-listed Arrium Limited as defendants (along with KPMG) in a securities class action concerning multi-billion dollar asset carrying values in multiple financial reports  and an approximately A$700 million capital raising.
    • Acting for the respondent Astora Women’s Health in its continuing defence of a product liability class action in the Federal Court of Australia over the use of transvaginal mesh implants in women in Australia.

    Clyde & Co LLP

    Clyde & Co LLP‘s commercial disputes team boasts broad experience in the class actions space, handling matters across the insurance, construction, and employment sectors.  The team is particularly noted for its focus on maritime law, an area in which Melbourne-based practice co-chair Maurice Thompson is a key contact. Firm-wide insurance head Lucinda Lyons is recommended for her insurance experience, as are John Moran and Patrick Boardman. Janette McLennan, meanwhile, is well-regarded for professional liability matters in the financial services sector.

    Practice head(s):

    Lucinda Lyons; Michael Tooma; Maurice Thompson

    Other key lawyers:

    Janette McLennan; John Moran; Patrick Boardman


    ‘The team has amazing strength in depth across both the partnership and associates.’

    ‘Personalised service and frank advice delivered in a pragmatic and friendly manner. You expect the right advice with a firm like this, but the way it is delivered is what separates the firm from its rivals.’

    ‘The leading team from an insurer/coverage perspective. Very good strength and depth of knowledge is a standout.’

    Key clients


    AXA XL

    Beazley Syndicates 2623/623 at Lloyd’s

    COSCO Shipping Lines Co., Ltd.

    Murphy Operator Pty Ltd, Tobari Pty Ltd, SPW Pty Ltd

    Work highlights

    • Acting for Murphy Operator Pty Ltd, Tobari Pty Ltd, SPW Pty Ltd on the AUD$200m class action for environmental damage arising from vessel dredging in the port of Gladstone.
    • Acting for AIG Australia (primary layer D&O insurer) on the shareholder class action brought in the Federal Court against Worley Parsons Limited.
    • Acting for reinsurers of the Cyber Liability Insurance Policy held by New South Wales Self Insurance Corporation on a class action investigation.

    Colin Biggers & Paisley

    Colin Biggers & Paisley‘s class actions team is helmed by Michael Russell – an experienced practitioner in the class action space – who regularly works with corporate defendants and their insurers. Construction is another key sector for the firm, an area in which Greg Skehan is a key contact. Adrian Konstantinidis – noted for his experience in securities, employment and product liability class actions – was promoted to partner in July 2021.

    Practice head(s):

    Michael Russell

    Other key lawyers:

    Paul Bannon; Greg Skehan; Adrian Konstantinidis


    ‘The CBP team is adept at handling complex class actions, particularly for insurers.’

    ‘Michael Russell has a great rapport with everyone he works with, especially clients.

    ‘Adrian Konstantinidis works incredibly hard for his clients.’

    Key clients

    Downer Group

    Chandler MacLeod


    RCR Tomlinson

    Monash IVF

    Fairview Architectural


    Work highlights

    • Acting for Monash IVF in the defence of a consumer class action filed in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
    • Acting for Chandler Macleod and Ready Workforce in defence of employment class actions filed in the Federal Court.
    • Acting for RCR Tomlinson (first defendant) as defence counsel in the defence of three shareholder class actions commenced in the NSW Supreme Court in relation to the $1 billion collapse of RCR.

    Minter Ellison

    The experienced dispute resolution team at Minter Ellison has built up a strong reputation acting for defendants in significant shareholder and superannuation class actions. The Sydney-based James Beaton leads the team, while Ross Freeman in Melbourne, and Beverley Newbold and David Taylor – both of whom are also based in Sydney – are further noted practitioners in this area.

    Practice head(s):

    James Beaton

    Other key lawyers:

    Ross Freeman; Beverley Newbold; David Taylor


    ‘The team are highly skilled, commercial and pragmatic. Our experience with resolving a very challenging litigation was exceptional: the team were highly responsive, always available and delivered when expected as expected.’

    ‘Depth of knowledge within the team and seamless resourcing where needed. Extremely proficient in large discovery and technology assisted review.’

    ‘Beverley Newbold is simply a tremendous lawyer, with of course deep legal knowledge but additionally an ability to understand clients on a personal level and always was there to understand the personal toll my case was exacting. She was instrumental in winning one of the biggest cases in Australia for many years.’

    ‘David Taylor is the leading practitioner on damages claims assessment in the highly contested and valuable shareholder class action space. He is also very commercial and doggedly determined.’

    ‘Exceptional diligence and ability to coordinate with multiple legal firms, craft strategy and execute successfully. The diversity of the team as well is amazing, with different skill sets brought to bear.’

    ‘David Taylor has exceptional knowledge in the class action space, which is invaluable, particularly for strategy surrounding settlement.’

    ‘Beverley Newbold is an exceptional individual with the highest intellect and integrity, provides the wisest of counsel and pays great attention to client service and client needs. Her written advice is succinct, and she never over-advises.’

    Key clients

    Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)

    Bellamy’s Organic

    Colonial First State Investments Ltd

    Commonwealth Bank of Australia

    Crown Resorts Limited


    Estia Health Limited

    G8 Education Limited


    National Australia Bank Limited

    NULIS Nominees (Australia) Limited

    OnePath Life Limited

    Qantas Airways

    Rio Tinto

    The Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited

    Work highlights

      Piper Alderman

      Class actions have steadily grown into a key focus for Piper Alderman‘s dispute resolution and litigation team, which is jointly led by Anne Freeman and Ian Nathaniel in Sydney and Melbourne, respectively. Brisbane-based Greg Whyte‘s recent engagements include the major Queensland energy class action, a proceeding in which Lillian Rizio provided key support. Sydney-based Martin Del Gallego and partner Kate Sambrook are also highly recommended.

      Practice head(s):

      Anne Freeman; Ian Nathaniel

      Other key lawyers:

      Greg Whyte; Martin del Gallego; Kate Sambrook; Lillian Rizio


      ‘The Piper Alderman class action team is a leading, usually plaintiff side, class action practice. The team has successfully pursued numerous claims, with a skilful approach to achieving a return for group members. The team is highly competent, skilled in the field of class actions and easy to work with.’

      ‘Excellent knowledge of the class actions and litigation space, law and procedure. High quality talent in the junior partner and senior associate ranks. Can work to a budget with targeted strategy. Commercial and problem-solvers. Know funders and funding well.’

      ‘Anne Freeman stands out for her dedication to her cases and clients. She works very closely with the client on strategic issues, but remains across the detail of the legal and factual issues to guide the work of her team.’

      ‘Martin del Gallego is a skilled class action lawyer, with experience in Australia and the United Kingdom, and both in prosecuting and defending claims. His wide experience in the field leads to excellent results in matters he is responsible for running. He is also exceptionally easy to work with.’

      ‘Greg Whyte is an experienced litigator with excellent eye for the commercial angle to resolving disputes. Lillian Rizio is a highly practical and committed lawyer, who always runs her matters efficiently and effectively. Martin del Gallego is the leading class actions partner at the firm in Sydney, and brings considerable overseas experience to the team.’

      ‘The standout individuals in class actions at Piper Alderman are Greg Whyte, who can be trusted to provide an appropriate level of service for a job whether large or small; Martin de Gallego, who has a keen focus on commercial objectives and the most appropriate route with which to achieve those objectives; and Kate Sambrook, a true rising star.’

      ‘Martin del Gallego is a clever and commercially astute junior partner. Excellent judgment, and can run a matter effectively and on budget. Always available. Personable and enjoyable to work with. Highly recommended.

      ‘Kate Sambrook is a really clear thinker and problem solver who deserves to make partner. Practical, likeable, and easy to work with.’

      Key clients

      Augusta Ventures Limited

      Balance Legal Capital

      Giabal Pty Ltd

      LCM (Litigation Capital Management)

      Omni Bridgeway

      Peregrine Corporation

      Stillwater Pastoral Pty Ltd

      Woodsford Litigation Funding

      Zoetis Australia

      Work highlights

      • Leading the $1 billion Queensland Energy Class Action funded by LCM and brought against Stanwell Corporation Limited and CS Energy Limited on behalf of over 50,000 electricity consumers in Queensland, Australia.
      • Acting on a series of class actions arising out of the Hayne Royal Commission and Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms against a number of financial institutions including AMP Financial Planning and former CBA subsidiary, Count Financial, seeking recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars of conflicted remuneration.
      • Defending an employment class action on behalf of Shahin Enterprises Pty Ltd, a company within the Peregrine Corporation, in which the Applicant law firm has alleged losses of up to AU$70 million.