Contact: Michael Bath, Special Counsel and Christian Breen, Senior Associate; Carter Newell (Queensland, Australia)
Class action proceedings against multiple respondents have been the subject of conflicting judicial authority and debate.1 The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia in Cash Converters International Limited v Gray2 recently considered whether s 33C of the Federal Court Act 1976 (Cth) (FCA) requires each group member in a representative proceeding to have a claim against each respondent.
Seemingly resolving more than ten years of uncertainty, the Full Court held that it is not necessary for each group member to have a claim against each respondent. In doing so, the Full Court thoroughly explored the legislative framework surrounding commencing a representative proceeding, as well as the legal authorities which have considered the issue.
Contact: Mark Brookes, Partner and Hannah Fox, Graduate Lawyer; Carter Newell (Queensland, Australia)
The following two cases have recently been decided in the Supreme Courts of Queensland and New South Wales respectively. The first decision involves a successful argument by the Bar Association of Queensland that a plaintiff be declared a vexatious litigant, notwithstanding the usual difficulties in achieving this outcome. The second decision involves a successful argument by a barrister and solicitor that they are harmless to the plaintiff’s allegations on the basis of advocates’ immunity.
Contact: Mark Brookes, Partner and Marijke Bassani, Graduate Lawyer; Carter Newell (Queensland, Australia)
The recent New South Wales Court of Appeal decision in Bird v Ford  NSWCA 242 involves allegations of negligence against a firm of solicitors, where the solicitors successfully defended the claim on the basis they did not breach their duty of care in the advice they provided to their client when playing ‘devil’s advocate’ regarding the client’s prospects of success in underlying litigation.
The judgment is primarily relevant to insurers of solicitors and barristers, and contains interesting commentary on the extent of a solicitor’s duty to advise and warn clients in cases with doubtful prospects, and also involves consideration of procedural fairness in disciplinary matters and (in the first instance decision) the ongoing application of advocates’ immunity from suit.
Contact: Att. Leyla Orak; Erdem & Erdem (Turkey)
Globalization, cross-border transactions and transnational disputes increase the need for a reliable dispute resolution mechanism, which inevitably results in emphasis on international arbitration. Despite the costs, corporations are inclined to prefer arbitration over litigation before courts, recognizing it as better suited to meet their needs.
Contact: Gonzalo E. Mon; Kelley Drye & Warren LLP (Washington D.C., USA)
In February, we posted that four members of Congress sent a letter to the FTC expressing concerns that consumers are being deceived by pricing at outlet stores and asking the FTC to investigate. Although the FTC has been fairly quiet on this issue, so far, plaintiffs' attorneys have started to take notice.