The AMP Financial Planners Association (AMPFPA) is contemplating resorting to a litigation funder to help underwrite a class action against AMP Limited, forewarning that such action may take up to two years.
The organisation has written to member advisers confirming that AMP Limited’s changes to Buy of Last Resort (BOLR) contracts give rise to the ability of members to take action against the company either individually or by way of a class action.
However, at the same time, the ampfpa has acknowledged that members may be able to reach individual agreements with AMP and that it is aware “that some members are being approached by AMP with various options in relation to BOLR payments and future arrangements”.
The letter to members, said that on ampfpa’s view of how the BOLR Policy operates, members had a range of potential legal claims against AMP.
“The range of potential legal claims that ampfpa considers members may have in respect of their BOLR rights include:
- Claims to enforce contractual rights to the 13 month notice period and/or substantive consultation with ampfpa; and
- Claims seeking to recover damages suffered as a result of AMP’s conduct.
It then went on to suggest that the claims might be capable of being resolved by way of a negotiated agreement with AMP or via legal action which might be as individual claims or by way of class actions.
The letter then canvassed members contributing to a fund to pay for a class action, turning to an external specialist litigation funder or a combination of both.
“It is open to individual members to take their own legal action in respect of their specific circumstances. The costs and time involved in individual claims will depend on the specific circumstances. Members should obtain their own legal advice about the individual legal claims which may be open to them, and about their other legal and commercial options,” the letter said.
“However, the costs of each member bringing their own claims individually is likely to be prohibitive for many members, and may involve members duplicating legal and other claim costs in respect of key issues.”