Westpac in crisis talks with largest investors amid money-laundering scandal

Westpac is holding crisis talks with its largest institutional investors as legal action over allegations by the money-laundering regulator that the bank breached laws more than 23m times ignited investigations by a raft of other corporate and financial regulators.

Shares in the nation’s second biggest bank continued to slide on Monday – down a further 1% to $24.50 at midday in a rising market – and credit ratings agency Moody’s issued a report saying the events unfolding were “ratings negative”.

The bank will also likely face a spate of class actions, with the first expected to be brought by law firm Phi Finney McDonald on behalf of shareholders.

Last Wednesday, Australia’s financial intelligence agency, Austrac, launched legal action against Westpac, accusing it of more than 23m breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism finance laws involving $11bn in transactions, including transfers potentially linked to child exploitation.

The case is likely to lead to fines in excess of $1bn. Commonwealth Bank has already agreed to a $700m fine as a result of failures to properly oversee the use of its ATM machines in breach of money-laundering controls. But its case involved just 53,000 breaches, compared with 23m for Westpac.

Westpac now faces further investigations, which could impact directly on the bank’s directors and senior executives.

November 25, 2019 // Press

LendLease class action backed by pension funds

Investors who purchased LendLease shares between 17 October 2017 and 25 February 2019 are encouraged to register at www.lendleaseclassaction.com.

Institutional investors from Australia and abroad have retained specialist class action law firm Phi Finney McDonald to prepare a shareholder class action against LendLease Corporation Limited (LendLease).

The claim relates to LendLease’s market announcements on 9 November 2018 and 25 February 2019 in which it disclosed a catastrophic underperformance in its engineering division.

BHP action whittled down to one

Ben Butler, The Australian


Boutique law firm Phi Finney McDonald has beaten two other law firms vying for the right to run a shareholder class action against BHP over the Samarco dam disaster. Federal Court judge Mark Moshinsky this morning ruled that Phi Finney McDonald’s case should go ahead and stayed proceedings helmed by labour law powerhouse Maurice Blackburn and national firm Johnson Winter & Slattery.

December 19, 2018 // Press

How Therium and Phi Finney Won the GetSwift Class Action Competition

Last month, law firm Phi Finney McDonald and funder Therium Capital Management bested the competition in their bid to become class counsel in the GetSwift class action claim. The landmark decision by an Australian Federal Court to continue one proceeding and permanently stay the other two is seen as a harbinger of things to come, as Australia grapples with a boom in class actions, and lawmakers debate how best to modify the country’s legal framework accordingly.

Moving office in Melbourne

Phi Finney McDonald has moved to new premises. From today, Monday 18th June, our office in Melbourne is based at Level 4, 325 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000, and our new phone number is +61 (0)3 9134 7100.

Phi Finney McDonald to run GetSwift class action

Boutique Melbourne law firm Phi Finney McDonald will lead the sole class action on behalf of aggrieved investors in logistics business GetSwift, after a Federal Court judge on Wednesday permanently stayed two other competing class actions.

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