Claims

Registry

NSW Registry, Federal Court of Australia.

Background

Between August and November 1998 GIO, its directors and Grant Samuel & Associates made statements to GIO shareholders in the course of defending a hostile takeover led by AMP Limited. The Statements were made in a formal report called a “Part B Statement”, and also in various other public statements published in newspapers. The shareholders were advised to reject the takeover offer of $5.35 per share and many did so. Six months later the company suffered losses of $2 billion and the shareholders received only $2.75 per share.

The Action

On 30 August 1999 Maurice Blackburn initiated an action against GIO Australia Holdings Limited (now AG Australia Holdings Limited), its former board of directors and Grant Samuel & Associates Pty Ltd. The shareholders’ claims alleged that the statements were misleading, deceptive and/or negligent.

Settlement

On 26 August 2003, the Federal Court approved a $97 million settlement of the GIO class action claim which was at that time, the largest settlement in Australian legal history. It represents a landmark for improved accountability for shareholders and better corporate governance in Australia.

Judgments

1. Declassing (12 May 2000).

2. Declassing Appeal (1 November 2000).

3. Opt Out (20 December 2000).

4. Opt Out Appeal (20 March 2001).

5. Pleading (3 April 2001).

6. Pleading/Production (24 October 2001).

7. Subpoena Costs (13 December 2001).

8. Confidentiality/Discovery (25 February 2002).

9. Opt Out (28 March 2002).

10. Communication with Group Members (11 July 2002).

11. Cross Respondent Strike Out (16 August 2002).

12. Group Member interrogation (16 December 2002).

13. Hearing Procedure (19 March 2003).

14. Particulars (3 June 2003).

15. Particulars appeal (24 June 2003).

16. Settlement Participation (5 December 2003).

17. Settlement Approval (17 September 2003).