On 8 November 2016, the Queensland Parliament passed legislation that institutes a class action procedure into the Queensland Supreme Court. This legislation amends the Civil Proceedings Act 2011 to allow representative proceedings to be brought if:
- seven or more people have claims against the same person;
- the claims of all the people are in respect of, or arise out of, the same, similar, or related circumstances; and
- the claims of all the people give rise to a substantial common issue of law or fact.
Brisbane-based insurance partner Matt Dudakov said, "In the past, Queensland-related class actions have been commenced in other jurisdictions. For example, the 2011 Queensland Floods and the Bank of Queensland class actions were both filed in NSW. This legislation is likely to take effect in early 2017, and we expect that Queensland will certainly start to see considerable activity in the class actions space, as plaintiff law firms look to take advantage of the ability to bring these types of claims locally.
"As a leading insurance practice in Australian class actions, our lawyers have acted for the lead insurers in some of Australia's largest class actions, including the multiple Victorian and NSW Bushfires and Great Southern, so we are well placed to assist insurers with any Queensland-based class action claims."