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Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures for Consultation) Bill 2021: Litigation funders

The Law Council of Australia provided a submission to the Treasury in response to the:

(a) Exposure Draft Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures for Consultation) Bill 2021: Litigation funders (Exposure Draft);
(b) related Exposure Draft Explanatory Materials (Explanatory Materials);
(c) Exposure Draft Corporations Amendment (Litigation Funding) Regulations 2021 (Exposure Draft Regulations); and
(d) related Explanatory Statement (Explanatory Statement) (together, the Proposed Reforms).

The Law Council notes that the Proposed Reforms have been drafted following the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services’ (PJC) report ‘Litigation funding and the regulation of the class action industry’ and the recent Treasury/Attorney General’s Department Consultation Paper entitled ‘Guaranteeing a minimum return of class action proceeds to class members’. In this submission, issue is not taken with the underlying policy that is sought to be pursued by the Proposed Reforms namely, to ensure that class action plaintiffs receive a ‘fair and reasonable’ distribution of gross settlements. Rather, concerns are expressed as to several aspects of the Proposed Reforms that are considered to require reconsideration.

The Law Council would appreciate the opportunity to discuss with Treasury the matters raised in this submission. The Proposed Reforms are wide ranging in their likely impact and the Law Council would strongly urge further thinking on the Proposed Reforms and amendment in light of the comments provided. The Law Council would also be willing to assist with engagement on changes to the drafting of the Proposed Reforms that might more readily help the Government to achieve its policy objectives.

You can read the full submission below.

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