Johnson Winter & Slattery is engaged by major businesses, investment funds and government agencies as legal counsel on important transactions and disputes throughout Australia and surrounding regions.
We are continually evolving and adapting our diversity and inclusion programs to better support our people, clients and communities.
Our news and media coverage including major transaction announcements, practitioner appointments and team expansions.
We support a number of community initiatives and not for profit organisations across Australia through pro bono legal work and charitable donations.
Our firm provides a diverse range of opportunities for talented, enthusiastic people to develop brilliant legal careers.
JWS continues to be recognised for its legal excellence. Our Dispute Resolution team was listed as a Band 1 Practice in the Asia Pacific Legal 500 for 2019. We also congratulate Paul Reidy, Partner, for again being named as a Leading Individual in Dispute Resolution. View the full Asia Pacific Legal 500 listings.
We are privileged to represent Australian and international corporations with their complex legal disputes. Our unique place in the Australian market combines top-tier capabilities with a service model that sees the hands-on involvement of our partners. Our focus on the best commercial outcome for our clients, mindful of costs, reputation and the need to adapt, continue to be recognised in awards and top rankings in international directories.
Royal Commission: JWS acted for Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) in the Royal Commission to investigate misconduct in the nation’s banks, insurers, financial services providers and superannuation funds. After a year involving seven rounds of hearings across the country, Commissioner Kenneth Hayne has submitted his final report.
Lifeplan Australia Friendly Society Ltd: JWS acted for the lead applicants Lifeplan Australia Friendly Society Ltd, Big Sky Building Society Ltd (both subsidiaries of Australian Unity Ltd) and Defence Health Ltd in a class action in the Federal Court against S&P Global Inc, for multi-million dollar losses from investments made in complex structured financial products, known as synthetic collateralised debt obligations, rated by leading global ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s (S&P), and sold through the Australian subsidiary of investment bank Lehman Brothers. The allegations included claims that S&P incorrectly rated the products and lacked independence in assigning ratings. In March 2018, Justice Lee approved the settlement of the Lifeplan class action. JWS was appointed Administrator of the Settlement Distribution Scheme. Final distributions to Group Members were made in December 2018 and the administration of the Scheme is now finalised.
Quintis: JWS continues to act for the defendants in three separate securities class actions arising out of the collapse of the Quintis group and the loss of funds in its Indian Sandalwood Plantation across Northern Australia. JWS was appointed by insurers and receivers to take over the conduct of the defence of Quintis. The cases involve breaches of continuous disclosure rules and allegations of significant accounting irregularities.
RCR Tomlinson Limited (administrators appointed): JWS is acting for the Interim CEO and a number of executive personnel of RCR Tomlinson Limited (administrators appointed) in relation to enquiries and litigation commenced in the lead up to and following the collapse of the Company in November 2018.
Gunns Ltd (receivers & managers appointed) (in liquidation): We continue to act for the liquidators of Gunns Ltd and its group of companies in three claims with a combined value of approximately $150 million, and act in the defence of an action, which arose from the collapse of one of Australia’s largest timber and forestry management companies.
Dick Smith: JWS continues to act for the applicants, and a class of predominantly institutional investors, in a class action against the failed Dick Smith company. The claim, worth over $300 million, concerns misleading statements allegedly made in the Dick Smith Prospectus and subsequent market disclosures regarding inventory, rebates and buying practices.
Pitcher Partners: JWS continues to act for the applicant in a shareholder class action against Pitcher Partners, the auditors of Slater and Gordon (S&G). This claim follows class action proceedings in which JWS acted, commenced against S&G in June 2017. It is alleged that by publishing its independent audit and review reports from 2012 to 2015, Pitcher Partners made representations in relation to the financial reports of S&G which resulted in the market price of S&G shares being inflated.
Defending Foreign Bribery Criminal Prosecution Charges: Acting for former Director and Officer of Sinclair Knight Merz, who has been charged, together with the company and other individuals, with conspiracy to bribe a foreign public official in contravention of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, in connection with aid-funded infrastructure projects in Vietnam. The matter is before the Local Court of NSW with the expectation of trials before the NSW Supreme Court if the defendants are committed to stand trial.
Transactional Governance, Compliance Advice and Investigations Work: Advising a range of Australian and international companies on internal and external company and regulatory investigations by the AFP, ASIC and offshore agencies, due diligence issues for corporate acquisitions, investment issues for offshore projects, review of internal compliance, ABAC and whistle-blower protection policies, advice on application of Australian, US and other sanctions, advice on fraud and asset recovery matters, reviewing money laundering policies and reporting issues.
Employment litigation: JWS continues to represent clients in the most high profile and/or complex employment litigation before the Courts currently, including: Michelle Guthrie v The ABC, Anna Monteiro v Technology One and Aerocare v TWU, and various employment class action claims regarding independent contractors and underpayment claims.
International Bar Association
Leading Senior JWS lawyers will be attending the annual International Bar Association Conference in Seoul, South Korea from 22 to 27 September 2019. We will meet colleagues from around the globe to strengthen and forge new relationships.
Foreign Bribery Update: December 2018 by Robert Wyld
Class actions in Australia’s employment law landscape: 2019 and beyond by Jan Dransfield and Tom Brett
BOQ caught out on insurance policy clause by Robert Johnson
Recalibration of funding commissions to better link risk and reward by Toni Vozzo
Linc Energy – High Court refuses special leave to Qld State Government by David Proudman and Dougal Ross
Competing class actions & beauty parades – and the winner is…? by Toni Vozzo
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‘Class action waiver’ clauses are clauses under which a party waives their right to participate in a class action. Sometimes found in consumer agreements (particularly in the United States) such...
The first determination of an application seeking a ‘group costs order’ (GCO) was unsuccessful for the plaintiffs in two flex commission class actions in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
A sensitivity analysis can be a useful tool for assessing the likelihood of meeting earnings forecasts. But are public companies bound to disclose that analysis to the market? The Full Court of the...