On 16 August 2016, the Queensland Government introduced a Bill to parliament to allow class action proceedings in Queensland. The move revives a Bill prepared by the Newman Government in 2014, which had been tabled but not passed.
What does it mean for businesses operating in the State?
Queensland law does not presently allow potential claimants to commence a class action in Queensland state courts, forcing them to commence class actions in the Federal Court of Australia, in NSW or Victoria.
The new legislation is expected to receive bi-partisan support and is very similar to the legislative regimes in NSW, Victoria and the Federal Court. The Bill has been referred to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee as agreed by the House on 18 August. The Committee is due to report back by 1 November 2016.
The impending legislative change greatly expands the prospect and scope of class actions by potential claimants in Queensland. It will inevitably increase the risk of class action litigation to corporations conducting business in the State.
Preparation is key
Class actions constitute major claims that require specialist knowledge and expertise to defend.
Henry Davis York has defended the world's largest corporations in the some of the most high-profile and complex class actions in Australia.
An early warning system and quick response plan can provide the most effective defence against a class action. HDY is ready to work to identify risks and develop a response plan to mitigate any impact to businesses in Queensland which in the future may face an increased threat of class actions.
Knowledge, expertise, strategic planning is why HDY is ahead of the curve in helping clients prepare for class action litigation in Queensland and Australia.