Shine Lawyers has filed a class action against IOOF in the Federal Court, on the behalf of shareholders who were said to suffer losses due to the group’s corporate misconduct.
The proceeding filed in the NSW registry focuses on claims of alleged misconduct within IOOF over several years from 2009 to mid-2015.
Shine reported revelations of the company’s alleged malpractice led to half a billion dollars being wiped off the value of IOOF shares in June and July 2015.
The law firm indicated it had completed extensive investigations into alleged corporate misconduct within IOOF, including obtaining a Federal Court order for IOOF to produce relevant documents.
But IOOF has said the claim appears to be "without merit" and it intends to defend it.
Shine class actions practice leader Craig Allsopp commented: “Filing this class action against IOOF is a significant step towards redress for IOOF shareholders who have suffered losses from the alleged wrongdoing they have been victims to. IOOF will now be answerable to the court.”
Shareholders who bought IOOF holdings in the period from 1 March 2014 to 7 July 2015 have been invited to register for the action.
The action is being funded by Litigation Lending. Chief executive Stuart Price said: “We’re pleased to support this action which seeks to hold IOOF accountable for shareholder losses.”
It has kicked off almost a year after Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan filed a similar lawsuit on behalf of investors who purchased shares between May 2015 and December 2018.
Maurice Blackburn launched a suit in 2015 based on the same premise, using documents that whistleblowers had also shared with Fairfax, ASIC and the Senate.
The Victorian Supreme Court restrained the class action from moving forward after IOOF then sued Maurice Blackburn seeking the return of the confidential documents, which were handed to the legal firm by four former employees.
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
You can contact her on [email protected].