Plaintiff law firm Slater and Gordon is claiming a win in its class action against Australian Executor Trustees (AET) as the trustee of Provident Capital Limited after the NSW Supreme Court approved a $28.5 million settlement.
In a statement issued today, Slater and Gordon said it had pursued the action on a No Win No Fee basis on behalf of approximately 1,900 Australians who suffered financial losses after investing in the collapsed debenture issuer.
The Slater and Gordon action alleged the Trustee failed in its duties to ensure that Provident would have sufficient property available to repay debenture holders when their investment came due arguing that had AET acted sooner, the action alleged, substantial losses could have been avoided for some investors and minimized for others.
In its statement, Slater and Gordon said it had begun investigating the case in 2012, electing to take it on a No Win No Fee basis, and launching proceedings in the Federal Court in 2014. In 2015 the action was transferred to the NSW Supreme Court. Settlement was reached on 31 July 2018, the first day of the trial.
Commenting on the result, Slater and Gordon head of Class Actions, Ben Hardwick said the judgement brought to a close a six-year legal battle on behalf of investors.
“This was a unique case and there has only ever been one other similar in terms of precedent,” Hardwick said. “The length and complexity of this case was compounded by numerous cross claims and third party claims, as well as a complex opt-out process ordered by the court halfway through.”