This is a class action against the QBE Insurance Group (QBE) in connection with business interruption insurance (BII) policies.
The class action seeks to recover money for persons who held business interruption insurance with QBE and suffered financial losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gordon Legal and Berrill & Watson Lawyers, with support from one of the world’s leading litigation funders, Omni Bridgeway, have been instructed to commence an open class action against QBE on behalf of persons who:
- held business interruption insurance with QBE during the COVID-19 pandemic and were insured at any time during the period 19 January 2020 to 1 July 2021; and
- had certain policy terms in their business interruption insurance policies; and
- who suffered interruption or interference to their business as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The class action is being funded as a registered management investment scheme named ‘The QBE BII Claim Litigation Funding Scheme (ARSN 650 744 415)’ (the Scheme) in accordance with new funded class action regulations introduced by the Australian government in 2020.
When you click the ‘Register Here’ button, you will be taken to Omni Bridgeway’s website, where you can register your interest in the class action.
How can affected group members participate in the class action?
If you are an eligible affected group member, you can apply to become a member of the Scheme and participate in the class action by completing and returning the Application Form which is set out in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for the Scheme dated 28 June 2021 and issued by Omni Bridgeway Investment Management Limited (ACN 642 086 593, AFSL No. 524023).
A copy of the PDS can be accessed here and should be read in its entirety prior to submitting an application. Any offer to retail claimants to participate in the Scheme shall only be done by way of the PDS. You should consider with or without the assistance of your professional advisers whether or not to participate in the litigation to which the PDS relates.
You may wish to register an expression of interest in the respect of the Scheme to keep updated. However, please note, if you express an interest in participating in funded litigation, you consent to the Scheme’s Responsible Entity, Omni Bridgeway Investment Management Limited or Omni Bridgeway Limited (Authorised Representative of Omni Bridgeway Investment Management Limited) (ABN 45 067 298 088, Authorised Representative No 1283703) contacting you and providing further information in relation to litigation funding. Please also note, that registering an expression of interest with Omni Bridgeway does not represent an offer to participate in a litigation funding scheme and is not a commitment by any person to fund a class action or potential class action in respect of the matters set out on this website.
If your application to become a member of the Scheme is accepted, you will receive updates from Omni Bridgeway via the nominated contact details in your completed Application Form. You will also be able to access the updates sent to you about the progress of the class action using the unique log on details issued to you at the time you applied to become a member of the Scheme.
What is a Class Action?
A Class or Group Action is a Court procedure which allows people with similar claims against another party to bring their action in one Court Proceeding rather than requiring them to go to the cost (and take the individual risk) of commencing their own claim.
In Australia, the law provides individual Group or Class members the opportunity to Opt Out of the Proceedings if they do not wish to participate or wish to bring their own individual claim.
The benefit of Class or Group Actions is that it means that claims that would otherwise not be economically viable for a person to bring on their own behalf are able to be gathered together so that the costs and risks can be shared among a larger group of people with similar claims.
What are the risks of participating in a Class Action?
The risks of participating in a Class Action are similar to the risks that any person bringing an individual claim would face, except that the risk of having to pay the other party’s legal costs if the claim is unsuccessful only falls on the Representative Plaintiff or Applicant.
It is important to understand that you do not face the individual risk of an adverse costs order unless you agree to become the Representative Plaintiff or Applicant. If that was the case then your lawyer will discuss those risks with you very carefully before you agreed to act as the Representative Plaintiff or Applicant.