SYDNEY Oct 12 Australia's No. 1 class action
law firm Slater & Gordon Ltd is facing a class action
of its own after a rival firm said it will file suit on
Wednesday seeking at least A$250 million ($190 million) over
alleged failings in Slater & Gordon's stock market disclosure.
Law firm Maurice Blackburn said in a statement it will
represent more than 3,000 shareholders, including pension funds
and institutional investors, in a case it will file with the
Federal Court against Melbourne-based company Slater & Gordon on
Wednesday. Shares in Slater & Gordon fell 7 percent following
the announcement of the suit.
The suit claims Slater & Gordon failed to disclose material
information in a timely manner after a 2015 move to expand into
Britain resulted in a profit downgrade and the collapse of its
share price. Maurice Blackburn had said it was considering
filing suit against its rival in December.
Slater & Gordon said in a brief statement that it had not
yet been served with a class action claim, but it would inform
the market if it was.
Last year Slater & Gordon agreed to pay 637 million pounds
($792 million) for the professional services unit of British
insurance Quindell Plc. Soon after, Quindell was accused of
accounting irregularities, leading to fierce selling in Slater &
On Wednesday, Maurice Blackburn's head of class actions,
Andrew Watson said in a statement that Slater & Gordon
shareholders had signed on to the action - an open action, which
means all shareholders are considered plaintiffs - in "droves".
"The number of shareholders affected mean that this case
will be one of Australia's largest shareholder actions," Watson
($1 = 1.3187 Australian dollars)
($1 = 0.8042 pounds)
(Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)