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Making class actions easier

A class action is a type of legal proceeding where one person brings a claim on behalf of a wider group of people who have been affected in a similar way, for example robo-debt.

A class action is a type of legal proceeding where one person brings a claim on behalf of a wider group of people who have been affected in a similar way, for example people affected by a Robo-debt notice. From 1 July 2020 it will be easier for claimants to participate in class actions by ensuring that claimants do not risk the burden of legal costs if their matter is unsuccessful. The Supreme Court Act has been amended to allow the court to order that plaintiff lawyers in class actions receive what is effectively a 'contingency fee', that is a fee calculated as a percentage of the settlement or damages awarded.

These changes result from the Victorian Law Reform Commission, which found that the state's class action regime was underutilised. The commission found that the associated risks of class actions could be reduced by allowing lawyers to get a percentage of any amount recovered in proceedings for their legal costs, in return for indemnifying the representative plaintiff for the other side's costs.

See s. 33ZDA—Supreme Court Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Updated