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Australia: Shareholder class action against BHP to proceed following Samarco dam catastrophe

"Single BHP Samarco class action to proceed", 18 December 2018

Phi Finney McDonald has won the right to pursue a shareholder class action against BHP related to the Samarco dam catastrophe, beating two other law firms vying for the case.

Federal Court judge Mark Moshinsky...ruled the case could go ahead and stayed rival proceedings from Maurice Blackburn and Johnson Winter & Slattery.

The class action revolves around the 20 per cent fall in BHP shares that followed the 2015 disaster, when a dam wall collapsed at its Samarco joint venture in Brazil, killing 19 people and causing widespread environmental damage.

Justice Moshinsky preferred the funding model of Phi Finney McDonald, which details 18 per cent of any winnings would go to US-based backer G&E KTMC Funding.

This compared to a 15 per cent take from the self-funded Maurice Blackburn model and a complex sliding scale allowing up to 21.5 per cent to the funders of the JWS claim.

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