Dixon class action settlement delayed by Federal Court

Dixon Advisory dass Dixon federal court E&P Financial Group

8 April 2024
| By Keith Ford |
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The Federal Court of Australia has pushed back a decision on the class action settlement for two weeks.

Following a settlement approval hearing held in the Federal Court of Australia on 3 April, E&P Financial Group announced on the ASX that Justice Thawley adjourned the settlement approval hearing to 17 April 2024 to “allow the applicant to provide further information to the court”.

The group did not provide further detail on exactly what kind of information the court is seeking.

The hearing relates to the class action that Shine Lawyers filed in December 2021 against Dixon Advisory & Superannuation Services (DASS), E&P Financial Group, former Dixon chief executive Alan Dixon and former director Christopher Brown.

In November 2023, the class action, which alleged DASS financial advisers gave unsuitable advice and failed to address conflicts of interest, was settled for $16 million.

Shine Lawyers, representing the class action, said a conditional settlement had been reached between E&P Financial Group and the estimated 4,000 customers allegedly affected by the conduct.

The settlement was reached without admission of liability and is subject to court approval.

The class action alleged E&P advisers, working under DASS – which went into liquidation in January 2022 – gave unsuitable advice that did not reflect their clients’ needs or their financial circumstances.

It was also alleged the advice was not in the clients’ best interests and, when there was a conflict, it was not adequately addressed.

The affected clients will retain the ability to make a claim with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority or Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (CSLR).

“We are pleased to have been able to reach a conclusion in this class action for group members subject to the court’s approval, and that group members will retain their rights to bring a claim against DASS, pursuant to the financial compensation scheme of last resort,” Shine Lawyers’ joint head of class actions, Vicky Antzoulatos, said at the time.

Separate action filed by Piper Alderman, which was stayed pending the resolution of Shine Lawyer’s proceedings, has been dismissed.

In September 2022, the Federal Court imposed a $7.2 million penalty on Dixon Advisory over its investment advice.

The court found that on 53 occasions between October 2015 and May 2019, Dixon Advisory was the responsible licensee of six representatives who did not act in the best interests of eight clients when they advised these clients to acquire, roll over or retain interests in the US Masters Residential Property Fund (URF) and URF-related products.

Representatives of Dixon Advisory were also found to have failed to conduct a “reasonable investigation” of the clients’ circumstances before providing advice.

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Submitted by Ripped Off on Mon, 2024-04-08 09:04

Any and all proceeds from class actions the enrich lawyers at the expense of clients should have the proceeds paid into the CSLR ( Rip off advisers to protect PI carriers). As an industry why do we roll over all the time?

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