Court carves $770k from lawyers’ costs in GPT class action; applicant keeps $40k bonus from funder

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No free lunch for lawyers — court carves $770k from lawyers’ costs in GPT class action; applicant keeps $40k bonus from funder - .PDF file.

By Hugh Atkin

On 15 November 2013, the Federal Court approved $8.5m for costs and disbursements of the GPT class action, some $770k less than had originally been claimed by Slater & Gordon. The litigation funder, Comprehensive Legal Funding (CLF), was granted leave to intervene on the application; however, its submissions were largely rejected.

As discussed in the Q3 issue of Class Action, Justice Gordon approved the settlement of the GPT class action in June this year, but was not satisfied that there was a proper basis to approve the $9,338,865 claimed in respect of Slater & Gordon’s fees and disbursements or the $53,530.85 claimed for the applicant’s (or rather its director’s) own time and expenses. Instead, her Honour referred those claims to the registry for assessment. Registrar Allaway reported back to the court on 30 August and Justice Gordon heard the renewed application for approval on 19 September.

The registrar rejected the ‘expense’ claim of $53,530.85 put forward by the applicant’s director, Mr Robinson, and reported that an amount of $10,000 would be fair and reasonable compensation for the time he had committed to the representative aspects of the proceeding. Mr Robinson did not seek to challenge that determination before Justice Gordon…

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