Class Actions

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Spring Farm Class Actionn

This is a class action on behalf of current or former owners, purchasers, landlords, investors and authorised representatives of deceased estates (Spring Farm Property Owners) of properties, lots or homes located within the suburb known as Spring Farm in the State of New South Wales, with post code 2570 (Spring Farm Class Action).

Spring Farm Property Owners who have suffered loss and damage in the nature of property damage and/or economic loss due to their property being unfit for residential buildings are invited to apply to participate in the Spring Farm Class Action.

If you would like to participate in the Spring Farm Class Action, we encourage you to return an Application Form. Further details are set out in the Spring Farm Litigation Funding Scheme Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) which is now available and can be accessed using the link below or by contacting Omni Bridgeway using the details below.

This class action is being funded and run as a managed investment scheme (the Scheme) in compliance with new funded class action regulations introduced by the Australian government in 2020.

Notice Dated 3 August 2021 – Class Action will be funded on an ‘open’ basis The Spring Farm Litigation Funding Scheme (ARSN 649 089 912) (Scheme).

In accordance with section 3 of the Product Disclosure Statement dated 27 April 2021 (PDS) for the Scheme, Omni Bridgeway Investment Management Limited (ACN 642 086 593 and AFSL No. 524023) (Issuer) have been advised by Omni Bridgeway (Fund 5) Australian Invt. Pty Limited (ABN 91 635 083 984, Authorised Representative No. 1283704) (Funder) that the Funder has determined to fund the Class Action on an ‘open’ basis. 

What this means is that owners of property in the affected area of Spring Farm (Claimants) will be included in the class covered by the Class Action, unless they take steps to positively opt out of the proceedings by giving notice in writing to the Court using the relevant Opt Out Notice at any time prior to the deadline to opt out which will be specified by the Court.

For the open Class Action, members of the class who do not positively apply to become a member of the Scheme will be treated as “Passive Members” of the Scheme. Passive Members should note that in the event that the proceedings are successful and a Resolution Sum (as that term is defined in the PDS) is received, they may have their share of any Resolution Sum deemed by Court order as being contributed to, and distributed according to the Constitution of, the Scheme. That is, it is possible that the Passive Member’s share of the Resolution Sum will still be treated as part of the Scheme. 

The Issuer encourages all Passive Members who do not wish to opt out of the Class Action to complete an Application Form so that the Issuer can include them as a registered member of the Scheme and ensure that any distribution of the Resolution Sum to which they may be entitled is properly paid to them.  Such Claimants do not have to pay anything to be a Passive Member, or to convert their Passive Membership to being treated as a registered member of the Scheme.

If a Claimant wishes to withdraw from the Scheme during or after the cooling-off period, they must also opt out of the Class Action at the same time.  If a Claimant withdraws from the Scheme, they will not be paid anything. Further details in relation to opting out of the Class Action and withdrawing from the Scheme are set out in sections 15, 18 and 19 of the PDS. Because the proceedings have been filed on behalf of all Claimants (subject to any Claimant positively opting out as set out above) there is no longer a deadline following which Application Forms will not be processed. The Issuer will continue to process Application Forms received by Claimants unless and until: 

  1. any relevant deadline that may be set by the court; or
  2. The Scheme is wound up in accordance with the terms of the Constitution of the Scheme.

If either of these events is likely to occur, a further update will be posted to the website. 

The Class Action is being funded as a managed investment scheme in compliance with new funded class action regulations introduced by the Australian government in 2020.

Mayweathers are the lawyers conducting the Class Action in the NSW Supreme Court. 

Further details are set out in the PDS which is now available and can be accessed using the link below or by contacting Omni Bridgeway using the details below. If you decide to join having carefully read the PDS, please sign-up by completing and submitting an electronic or paper Application Form.  In accordance with Section 10 of the PDS, a deadline for submitting Application Forms (which was extended) had been in place. There is now no fixed deadline for the return of Application Forms. 

Applications to participate in the Scheme will only be accepted on the Application Form contained in or accompanying the PDS.

By Notice dated 30 June 20201 the Deadline for Applications to be submitted to participate in the Scheme was extended to 31 August 2021, as noted above, there is now no deadline for the return of Application Forms.

Terms not defined in this Notice have the same meaning as in the PDS.

Applications to participate in the Scheme will only be accepted on the Application Form contained in or accompanying the PDS.
 

Background

The Spring Farm Class Action alleges that Spring Farm Property Owners have suffered loss or damage due to the conduct of Camden Council, the developer Cornish Group Spring Farm Pty Limited, the geotechnical engineers SMEC Testing Services Pty Limited (In Liq) and SMECTS Holdings Pty Limited causing land located in Spring Farm to be unfit for residential development.

Causes of Action

The claims in negligence and misleading and deceptive conduct will be brought by Mayweathers who acts for property owners within Spring Farm. Further details are set out in the PDS which is now available and can be accessed using the link below or by contacting Omni Bridgeway using the details below.

How much will it cost to be part of the class action?

The class action is proposed to be funded by Omni Bridgeway on a “no win, no pay” basis in accordance with the terms of a PDS to be made available upon registration of a Litigation Funding Scheme with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. If the class action is successfully resolved and there is a recovery of compensation, Omni Bridgeway will be entitled to reimbursement of the costs it has spent plus a commission from such recovery only.

There are no ‘out of pocket’ costs for Group Members to pay. Group Members do not have to pay anything in the event that the class action is unsuccessful, as Omni Bridgeway agrees to pay any legal costs that might be awarded to the defendant.

How can affected group members participate in the class action?

If you are eligible to join the Class Action, you can apply to be a member of the Scheme and to participate in the class action by completing and returning the Application Form which is set out in the PDS. A copy of the PDS can be accessed here and should be read in its entirety prior to submitting an application. If you do not return an Application Form, and you are Spring Farm Property Owners, you will still be included in the Class Action unless you take or have taken positive steps to opt out. Further details are set out in the PDS at section 18.

If you have any queries, you can contact the Omni Bridgeway Client Liaison Team by email on springfarm@omnibridgeway.com or free call 1800 016 464.

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