Important judgments and case developments from the last week

11 February 2022

In Bonham v Illuka Resources Ltd, the Federal Court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims and found that Iluka had reasonable grounds for making its 2012 sales guidance and did not fail to disclose material information in the market. The case is a rare example of shareholder class action based on inadequate market disclosures running to trial and judgment. Christopher Withers and Benjamin Cameron appeared for Illuka instructed by Jason Betts of Herbert Smith Freehills.

Link to judgment

The Full Federal Court also dismissed an appeal from an unsucessful stay application brought by Facebook in proceedings commenced against it by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner for alleged breaches of Australian Privacy Law arising from the Cambridge Analytica Scandal. The Federal Court held that the installation of cookies on user devices in Australia was sufficient to find that Facebook was carrying on business in Australia. Ruth Higgins appeared for OAIC and Sebastian Hartford Davis appeared for Facebook.

Link to judgment

In Anderson v Cancaccord Genuity Financial, a multi-party hearing heard before Justice Ward over 6 weeks in 2021, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants engaged in an unlawful conspiracy to take the plaintiff’s property business. The claims for damages exceeded $100 million. In a judgment published this week the Court awarded nominal damages of $100 and dismissed all other claims. Jonathon Redwood SC appeared for the first defendant.

Link to judgment

Last, the ACCC announced this morning that it had withdrawn charges against Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, and four executives in a long running matter concerning alleged cartel conduct arising from an ANZ share placement in 2015. Cameron Moore SC and Peter Strickland were acting for Citibank.