King & Wood Mallesons

Asia-Pacific 100 position: 2

Lawyers’ fees and funding premiums under the spotlight — GPT, Storm and Vioxx settlement decisions discussed

By Moira Saville, Peta Stevenson and Hugh Atkin

On 21 June 2013, the Federal Court delivered judgment on the application for approval of the class action commenced by Modtech Engineering against GPT Management Holdings. Justice Gordon approved the overall settlement amount, but refused to approve the sum of more than $9m claimed for Slater & Gordon’s fees and reduced the total premium payable to the litigation funder on the basis that the proposed sum exceeded the amount to which the funder was contractually entitled.

This article summarises the main features of her Honour’s decision and then discusses the increased scrutiny to which class action settlements have been exposed both in the GPT decision and also the Full Federal Court’s rejection of the settlement of the Storm Financial class action against Macquarie.

On 20 June 2013, Justice Gordon heard an application for approval of the settlement of the class action commenced by Modtech Engineering against GPT Management Holdings…

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