AMP BOLR settlement yet to be filed in court, says Corrs

amp bolr Corrs Chambers Westgarth federal court

25 March 2024
| By Laura Dew |
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Corrs Chambers Westgarth, the law firm handling AMP’s buyer of last resort (BOLR) proceedings, has updated on why the case is experiencing so many delays. 

Last week, it was announced that the case management hearing to approve the $100 million settlement sum for members of the AMP BOLR class action was delayed for the third time

Originally scheduled to take place on 22 December, it was postponed to 21 February and then delayed for the second time before a new date was set as 21 March. 

However, Federal Court listings show this has been now delayed yet again to 12 April.

The parties will also need to decide what the sum means for each of the individuals in the class action, and how it will be divided up. 

In a note to class action members seen by Money Management, Corrs Chambers Westgarth said it is yet to file the application of approval of settlement as it is still finalising additional documents.

“The next step is to file an application for approval of the settlement. This remains the case. However, we are now going to finalise some additional documents – including the settlement distribution scheme – before we file this application.

“Having this additional material to hand will assist the court in approving the notice to be distributed to group members regarding the settlement and will in turn provide group members a more concrete idea of what they might receive as part of the settlement.”

However, it said this is not expected to increase the overall timeline as the document preparation is factored into this. 

“That is because we would have had to prepare this document later in the process (and prior to the settlement approval hearing) in any event – we are just preparing it earlier.”

While the 12 April is the fourth date given by the Federal Court for the case management hearing, Corrs said this is unlikely to be the final reschedule as the two parties find an amenable time.

“Although the court has set that date [12 April] for the hearing, AMPFP has indicated that date is not suitable to it. It is possible the court may reschedule the hearing to a slightly later date convenient to both parties.”

The class action was filed in the Federal Court in Melbourne back in 2020 on behalf of advisers who had been authorised by AMP Financial Planning (AMPFP). The claim related to changes made by the firm to its BOLR policy in 2019. This had seen AMPFP cut its BOLR terms without notice from 4x recurring revenue to a maximum of 2.5x. 

The verdict on the class action was issued by Justice Mark Moshinsky on 5 July, ruling that the changes made by AMP with immediate effect were not authorised under the legislative, economic or product (LEP) provisions and “were ineffective”.

Announcing the settlement sum, Alexis George, AMP CEO, said: “This is an important step for our advice business and for AMP more broadly as it allows us to put this legacy matter behind us, which has impacted relationships with our valued advisers.”

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