Daniel Andrews has rammed through Parliament the Justice Legislation Miscellaneous Amendment Bill 2019 which introduces U.S. style class action contingency fees to Victoria and will do nothing to improve access to justice but will only further enrich large Labor Party donating plaintiff law firms.
Maurice Blackburn, chaired by current Labor Party administrator and former Premier Steve Bracks, has donated more than $500,000 to the Labor Party in recent years and is an enormous conflict of interest for Daniel Andrews.
The haste of the Andrews Government to pass this legislation and ignore the current Commonwealth Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services Inquiry into class actions, raises the question, what’s the rush?
Rather than backing the vulnerable members of class actions with the Liberal Nationals amendment to cap legal fees, Daniel Andrews chose to put the interests of the Labor donating plaintiff lawyers first.
With an explosion in class action litigation in recent years Daniel Andrews and his hapless Minister, Gayle Tierney couldn’t explain to the Parliament why these changes are even needed.
Comments attributable to Shadow Attorney-General, Edward O’Donohue:
“It beggars belief that while his Government is engulfed in a major corruption scandal, Daniel Andrews rams through Parliament laws that will do nothing to improve access to justice but will enrich a small number of large Labor donating plaintiff law firms, including the Steve Bracks chaired Maurice Blackburn.
“Daniel Andrews’ new laws will create conflicts of interests for lawyers, clog the Victorian court system and leave vulnerable plaintiffs at risk of losing even more of any damages to legal fees.
Daniel Andrews is more focused on repaying his rich Labor lawyer mates who have so generously donated to the coffers of the Victorian Labor Party, rather than vulnerable Victorians.”