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FRT’s Fast Five: Week Ending August 13, 2021

Financial Recovery Technologies Fast Five provides you with the top news in shareholder class actions. Stay up-to-date on the latest developments in settled (U.S./Canada) claims filing opportunities, Antitrust settlements, Global Group Litigation matters and more. For more information, contact your Financial Recovery Technologies representative or email us.

1. Law Changes Create New Battleground for Class Actions in Australia

The Australian Senate passed legislation this week that makes permanent the changes introduced at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic that were applauded by the business community. Corporations and directors will be liable for continuous disclosure law breaches only if they acted with “knowledge, recklessness or negligence” in market-sensitive updates. Before the change, it was effectively a no-fault regime that looked only at a failure to disclose information. Class actions experts say changes to continuous disclosure laws will create a new battleground for shareholder cases as courts set the bar for reckless and negligent conduct by directors. Click here to read the full article (subscription may be required).

2. Former ASIC Enforcer Backs Sharemarket Disclosure Overhaul

The corporate regulator’s former top enforcer says a major overhaul of sharemarket disclosure laws are a game-changer, and will eventually drive down the cost of directors’ and officers’ insurance. Daniel Crennan, QC, who was deputy chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission between 2018 and 2020, said the controversial reforms would lead to fewer shareholder class actions. “The change means litigation funders will have more legal hurdles to overcome and may well not bring as many cases or choose different non-shareholder class actions,” he said. “More cases are likely to run and some will be lost by the plaintiffs … insurance should eventually reduce.” Click here to read the full article (subscription may be required).

3. Steinhoff Units Sue Ex-CEO’s Biz Partners Over $112M Fraud

Two subsidiaries of South African retailing giant Steinhoff Group have sued a British real estate company and its directors for fraud in London, alleging they helped the furniture dealer’s former chief executive misappropriate $112 million as part of a crippling accounting scandal. The subsidiaries, Luxemburg-based Steenbok Newco 10 SARL and Jersey’s Ibex Retail Investments Ltd., say in a newly public July 19 High Court claim that businessmen Malcolm King and his son Nicholas conspired to defraud Steinhoff via a series of bogus transactions between 2009 and 2017. Click here to read the full article (subscription may be required).

4. Continuous Disclosure Reform – Not a Free Pass

The temporary changes to the continuous disclosure and misleading and deceptive conduct laws which were introduced at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic have now been made permanent. The changes are seen by some, including plaintiff class action law firms and their funders, as a significant lessening of continuous disclosure obligations. Indeed, the changes bring the Australian regulatory position into line with continuous disclosure frameworks in the US and UK. However, the changes do not give listed entities or their officers a free pass in relation to their continuous disclosure obligations. Lawyers at both DLA Piper and Gilbert + Tobin do not expect the changes will have a material impact on continuous disclosure practices. Click here to read the full article.

5. Impact of the Italian Class Action Reform on Financial Institutions

The new Italian class action bill (Law no. 31 of 12 April 2019) was passed in 2019 and – after a number of postponements – finally entered into force on 19 May 2021. Although class actions are available in Italy since 2007, they had not proven successful due to the strict admissibility test for class certification. Thus, the new reformed law may be seen as a true revolution in the Italian litigation arena. It is particularly favorable to claimants as it provides for (i) a broader scope of application and (ii) incentive mechanisms aimed at encouraging the use of the class action system. Click here to read the full article.

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SETTLED CLAIMS  I  PASSIVE GROUP  I  ANTITRUST  I  FUTURE CLAIMS  I  OPT-IN MONITORING  I  OPT-OUT MONITORING

Founded in 2008, Financial Recovery Technologies (FRT) is the leading technology-based services firm that helps the investment community identify eligibility, file claims and collect funds made available in securities and other class action settlements. Offering the most comprehensive range of claim filing and monitoring services available, we provide best-in-class eligibility analysis, disbursement auditing and client reporting, and deliver the highest level of accuracy, accountability, and transparency available. For more information, go to www.frtservices.com.

This communication and the content found by following any link herein are being provided to you by Financial Recovery Technologies (FRT) for informational purposes only and do not constitute advice. All material presented herein is believed to be reliable but FRT makes no representation or warranty with respect to this communication or such content and expressly disclaims any implied warranty under law. Opinions expressed in this communication may change without prior notice. Firms should always seek legal and financial advice specific to their unique situation and objectives.

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