Recent Cases

Wigmans v AMP Limited [2021] HCA 7 (10 March 2021) (Kiefel CJ, Gageler, Keane, Gordon and Edelman JJ)


Practice and procedure – Representative action – Stay – Where five open class representative actions commenced against same defendant in relation to same controversy – Where considerable overlap between claims made in proceedings – Where representative plaintiff in four proceedings filed notice of motion in Supreme Court of New South Wales seeking orders that each other proceeding be permanently stayed – Whether Supreme Court’s power to grant stay is confined by rule or presumption that representative proceeding issued first in time is to be preferred – Whether litigation funding arrangements can be relevant consideration under s 67 of Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW) – Whether Supreme Court erred in considering litigation funding arrangements.

Words and phrases – “abuse of process”, “auction process”, “certification and carriage motion procedures”, “class actions”, “competing funding proposals, costs estimates and net hypothetical return to members”, “competing representative proceedings”, “conflicts of interest”, “contradictor”, “duplicative proceedings”, “equitable principles concerning test actions”, “first-in-time rule or presumption”, “funding model”, “litigation funding arrangements”, “multifactorial approach”, “multiplicity”, “one size fits all”, “power to grant a stay”, “prima facie vexatious and oppressive”, “representative proceedings”, “special referee”.