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.
The $1.2 billion proposed securities settlement to resolve allegations that Valeant Pharmaceuticals, now known as Bausch Health Companies Inc., misled shareholders about price gouging, kickbacks, and other deceptive business strategies, has received a special master’s recommendation for final approval. Retired District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh’s report, issued Monday, recommended approval of the proposed settlement without modification, including a fee award of 13%, or roughly $157 million of the fund, to the class’ lead counsel, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP. Cavanaugh also recommended approval of $1.67 million for costs. Click here to read the full article.
The ASX has complained that listed Australian companies face “the highest exposure to securities class action risk” in the world and is backing calls to rein in the class actions industry. In a late submission to the parliamentary inquiry into litigation funding, the securities exchange says the fact that global insurers have given Australia the top ranking is “an issue of increasing concern”. In a break with its previously neutral stance on class actions. the ASX concedes the high bar it has set on disclosing market-sensitive information has contributed to the malaise. It says the six-month relaxation of continuous disclosure rules to include a fault element for listed entities during the pandemic should become a permanent fixture – a position shared by business but vigorously opposed by some funders and plaintiff lawyers. Click here to read the full article (subscription may be required).
A contentious law that changes the way lawyers are paid for class actions has passed the Victorian parliament. The reform will allow lawyers to charge contingency fees for class actions, meaning they can take a slice of settlements, rather than a fee for their work. Normally a dry area of debate reserved for the legal and business sector, the reform has opened a political battleground at both state and federal level. The passing of contingency fee laws in the upper house on Thursday night means Victoria will be the only state or territory with the scheme. Supporters of the fee arrangement say the move will allow more people to launch class actions. At the moment, unless a law practice is willing to act on a “no-win, no-fee” basis or is backed by a litigation funder, a plaintiff risks being personally liable for paying the defendant’s costs. Click here to read the full article.
The financial crimes watchdog will conduct a deeper probe into Westpac over its failure to properly vet international transactions potentially linked to child exploitation that could increase by over 20 times the number of alleged breaches of anti-money laundering laws the bank faces. The country’s second largest bank was thrown into turmoil last November when the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) accused it of breaching anti-money laundering laws over 23 million times, including a failure to properly vet payments potentially linked to paedophilia. Westpac is facing three shareholder class action lawsuits over the scandal that allege the bank failed to properly warn investors of the severity of the risk faced by AUSTRAC’s investigation. Click here to read the full article.
Many businesses have had to suspend or severely restrict operations and others are having cash flow difficulties and showing signs of financial distress. Some may be struggling to comply with contractual obligations, while others may be looking to extricate themselves from what has become a bad deal even if they could, strictly speaking, perform their obligations. Globally, we are already starting to see insolvency-related claims and also a number of insurance, breach of contract, employment and securities class actions across numerous sectors, with the travel, financial services and manufacturing sectors being the most frequently targeted. Many more claims in a variety of sectors are expected in the coming weeks and months. This article sets out in more detail the types of claims legal professionals expect to see in England and Wales. Click here to read the full article (subscription may be required).
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